Jared Löhrmann



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German women writers, Marie Eugenie delle Grazie, Der Schatten, drama, shadows, Doppelgängers


Marie Eugenie delle Grazie’s drama Der Schattenpremiered in 1902 in the Hofburgtheater, Vienna’s most prestigious stage at the time. The play deals with the poet Ernst Werner and his encounter with a character called “Der Schatten”. The Shadow is Werner’s double, meaning that it looks like the poet, but it does not have all of the abilities of a human. Although the idea of a double or “Doppelgänger” is ubiquitous in the literature and art of Fin-de-Siècle Vienna, delle Grazie approaches the topic from a different angle. Many contemporary columnists, however, criticized her drama; to them it lacked depth and did not seem to add to the existing discourse (Münz 101). They interpreted the Shadow as a personification of evil or evil thoughts. Although this approach is certainly valid, the role of the Shadow is far more complex. In her play, delle Grazie alludes to several existing theories by important minds, such as Sigmund Freud, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Heinrich Heine, but employs their ideas in a unique way. As delle Grazie culminates these thoughts in the character of the shadow, the drama reflects the psychological complexity of life in Fin-de- Siècle Vienna. I will analyze the figure of the Shadow using Freud’s concepts of “Das Unheimliche” (The Uncanny), dreams and repression, and his theory on the Id, Ego and Super-Ego.


This work is part of the Sophie Digital Library, an open-access, full-text-searchable source of literature written by German-speaking women from medieval times through the early 20th century. The collection, covers a broad spectrum of genres and is designed to showcase literary works that have been neglected for too long. These works are made available both in facsimiles of their original format, wherever possible, as well as in a PDF transcription that promotes ease of reading and is amenable to keyword searching.

Publication Date



Sophie Journal


German Literature

Doppelganger, Dreams, and Delusions: A Freudian Reading of Marie Eugenie delle Grazie’s Der Schatten