The Tragedy of Popular Sovereignty: Hölderlin’s Der Tod des Empedokles

  • Chenxi Tang


Written in the waning years of the French Revolution, Hölderlin’s dramatic fragment Der Tod des Empedokles centers on the figure of the republican lawgiver surrounded by the nimbus of divine authority. Formally, it represents an exercise in the genre of tragedy. This essay explores the nexus among the dramaturgy of the making of the republican constitution, the political theology informing it, and the aesthetics of the tragic.


Im Mittelpunkt von Hölderlins gegen Ende der Französischen Revolution geschriebenem Dramenfragment Der Tod des Empedokles steht die Figur des republikanischen Gesetzgebers, die mit dem Nimbus göttlicher Autorität versehen ist. Gattungsmäßig stellt das Stück eine Tragödie dar. Der vorliegende Aufsatz untersucht den Konnex zwischen der Dramaturgie der republikanischen Gesetzgebung, der ihr zugrundeliegenden politischen Theologie und der Ästhetik des Tragischen.


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© Metzler 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chenxi Tang
    • 1
  1. 1.BerkeleyUSA

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