The Feast as Performance: Esther in Sixteenth-Century German Plays


  • Cora Dietl University of Giessen, German Department



The Book of Esther was extremely popular as a dramatic subject in the German speaking countries in sixteenth and early seventeenth century, especially in Protestant regions. The several feasts mentioned in the biblical book gave the opportunity to draw connecting links between festive contexts of the performances of these plays, and to consider and display the effect of performative presentations. The chapter chooses three out of twenty preserved texts (by Valten Voith, Hans Sachs, and Jos Murer) and analyzes the significance of the feast and banquet scenes in these plays. These scenes reveal to be essential for the political, religious, and moral interpretation of the biblical book in each play.

Keywords: Valten Voith; Hans Sachs; Jos Murer; feast; performance; politics; Protestantism; groups