This essay traces the process of naturalization of Shakespeare on the Continent and especially in nineteenth-century Germany with the consistent recurrence of his oscillation between the Protestant and Catholic poles in the biographical studies by Shakespeare scholars up to the twentieth century. In the second half of the eighteenth century, when German poets and critics discovered Shakespeare and chose his dramas as their literary models, they were not chiefly interested in his biography, character, and religious belief. Instead, his German admirers, especially of the school of Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress) and the early Romanticists, concentrated on coming to terms with his dramatic art and defining his poetological position.
Sonja Fielitz, Paul Franssen, Graham Holderness, Park Honan, Reiko Oya, Robert Sawyer, Katherine Scheil, Wolfgang Weiss and Stanley Wells
Notes on contributors