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"Reflecting and Performing Selves: The Fate of Recognition in Kleist's Penthesilea"

Wiggins, Ellwood. "Reflecting and Performing Selves: The Fate of Recognition in Kleist's Penthesilea." German Studies Review 41, no. 2 (2018): 253-74.

Critics have rightly read Kleist's Penthesilea as prefiguring many modern discourses. This essay argues that the drama is also in dialogue with the past. By underscoring its intertextual play with the mirroring topos in the Platonic Alcibiades and anagnorisis in Aristotle's Poetics, this reading of the drama shows how a radical critique of the modern subject is already implicit in ancient philosophy, and demonstrates the tragic consequences of taking interiority literally.

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