Hans Sachs has remained a highly controversial figure despite more than two hundred years of literary research. The first section of this article outlines the curious history of Sachs scholarship as a good yardstick that allows us to grasp how much this sixteenth-century poet has been abused as vehicle for extra-literary purposes. The second section focuses on the way how Sachs portrays women in many of his Shrovetide plays and poems. Whereas a naive reading would immediately confirm his strongly patriarchal perspectives, a careful analysis of selected texts indicates that Sachs introduced many different women figures, some with considerable power and influence, others as submissive and meek, some as resolute and energetic, some as the true head of the household. Whereas Sachs never questioned the principles of patriarchy, he was obviously sensitive enough to reflect upon conflicts within marriage, to realize the on-going querelle des femmes, and to credit women with being a cornerstone of peace and harmony within his society.
|Translated title of the contribution||The unrecognized master? A key figure of the 16th century in the spotlight of critique. The presentation of women at work by Hans Sachs|
|Number of pages||35|
|State||Published - 2004|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Literature and Literary Theory