Between the Devil and the Good Lord: Sartre and the Gift

in Sartre Studies International
Author: Douglas Smith
View More View Less
Restricted access

In June 1951, Sartre’s play The Devil and the Good Lord (Le Diable et le Bon Dieu) was first produced at the Théâtre Antoine in Paris. Set during the German Peasants’ War, the play recounts the story of Goetz, a military leader who transforms himself from a feared and notorious war criminal into a saint and folk hero through a series of arbitrary acts of clemency and generosity. First sparing the besieged town of Worms from total destruction, Goetz then proceeds to break up his own estates and redistribute the land among the peasantry. Far from being presented as an ethical conversion from Evil to Good, however, Goetz’s generosity is twice criticised within the play as a strategem to achieve even greater domination over the beneficiaries of his mercy and munificence.

Sartre Studies International

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Existentialism and Contemporary Culture

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 16 16 2
Full Text Views 1 1 0
PDF Downloads 1 1 0