Translation and Influence: Dorothea Tieck's Translations of Shakespeare
Christian Smith, Independent Scholar, Berlin
When Timon the misanthrope finds gold in the woods, he rails against it, excoriating it for its ruinous effects on civilization. At the end of his speech he says: "Come, damned earth, / Thou common whore of mankind." Critics are divided over whether Timon is referring to the earth or to the gold. Karl Marx, who quotes these lines repeatedly in all of his economic writings to depict the effects of money, interprets the word "earth" to mean gold — money. Marx first read Timon of Athens in the Schlegel-Tieck translation where Dorothea Tieck renders the line in this manner: "Verdammt Metall, / Gemeine Hure du der Menschen." By choosing to translate "earth"as "Metall"(metal) instead of Erde (soil, earth), she interprets the meaning of "damned earth" as gold. This interpretation may have influenced Marx's decision to use the line as a core element of his theory: his depiction of the ruinous effects of money. In this manner, Dorothea Tieck influenced not only German Shakespeare studies, but also German theory in general. Yet, Dorothea Tieck was not even named in the Schlegel-Tieck translation of Shakespeare; her father referred to the translator of Timon of Athens, Cymbeline, Coriolanus, Macbeth, The Winter's Tale, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and the Sonnets (published separately) only as mein junger Freund (my young [male] friend). Dorothea Tieck's life and translations were situated in a significant period of German literature's and philosophy's coming of age, the Romantic period. Her contributions to it can be discovered through a close reading of her translations of Shakespeare's plays and poems. In this paper, significant places in Dorothea Tieck's translations of three of Shakespeare's plays will be close-read, and explored for their contribution to selected writings of Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and Bertolt Brecht.
In his essay, "The Hermeneutic Motion," George Steiner writes that, to begin "the act of elicitation and appropriative transfer of meaning . . . we venture a leap: we grant ab initio that there is 'something there' to be understood, that the transfer will not be void. All understanding, and the demonstrative statement of understanding which is translation, starts with an act of trust" (2012, 156)
. There is something missing in this account. Steiner's formulation could be true for someone who approaches interpretation and translation with nothing at stake. It is the stance of one who is not an agent
in the interpretation, but one who stands by and wonders if
there is meaning in the text, one who must summon faith to accomplish the interpretive act.
For radical critics, hermeneutics is not built upon trust or faith, but upon need — the need to stage, in the interpretive act, a critique of oppressive social conditions. This need to construct meaning arises from an awareness of the contradictions and crises of the critic's historical time. In one who has genuine class consciousness, or is at least empathic to the experience of the oppressed class, the need arises immanently from the social contradictions. This is what Marx means when he writes that theory becomes radical when it grasps things by the root, and that, for the people, the root is the people themselves (1975, 251
). The radical critic does not worry about whether she trusts in the existence of meaning in a text. Instead she initiates
the construction of meaning from her own ethical stance. The meaning is in her; she temporarily appropriates the text for use in her project.
The hermeneutic motion of a translator can also be understood as an act of criticism. A close reading of the translator's verbal and syntactical choices can reveal her ethics. Lawrence Venuti writes that "[a] translation cannot be produced without theoretical concepts that guide the selection of a source text and the verbal choices made to render it" (2012, 485)
. He holds that the hermeneutic model "promotes an ethics of translation that avoids any mystifications designed to maintain a cultural or social status quo and instead lays out the possibilities for innovation and change, for the creation of values" (485)
. In this paper, selections from the German translations of three of Shakespeare's plays that were used by German theorists — Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and Bertolt Brecht, each radical in different ways — will be close-read to reveal the translator's critical hermeneutic, to consider how the translated texts may have been used in the construction of German theory, and to test whether the interpretive choices made during the translation may have had an effect on theory.1
Marx, Freud and Brecht all display a formative engagement with Shakespeare in their texts. This engagement is regularly mentioned by their biographers. David McLellan's biography of Marx relates the importance of Shakespeare in Marx's life and in the development of his work (1973, 15, 113, 267
Freud's biographer, Peter Gay, writes about the significance of Shakespeare in the development of Freud's thinking and the construction of psychoanalytic theory (1988, 100, 166, 313, 323
). Similarly, Brecht's biographer, Stephen Parker, lists Shakespeare as one of Brecht's heroes who formed a part of Brecht's lyrical awakening and served as a precedent for Epic Theatre (2014, 77, 226
). There are two papers that catalogue the use of Shakespeare's plays by Marx: M. Nechkina's "Shakespeare in Karl Marx's Capital" (1935)
and Robert White's "Marx and Shakespeare" (2007)
for Shakespeare Survey
. Both point to places where Marx used Shakespeare in the development of his theory. A large and quite significant contribution to the field of Shakespearean influence studies can be found in S. S. Prawer's books, Karl Marx and World Literature (1978)
and A Cultural Citizen of the World: Sigmund Freud's Knowledge and Use of British and American Writings (2009)
. Prawer catalogues many of the Shakespearean quotations that appear in Marx's and Freud's writings. He discusses ways in which the plays fit into the respective theories, and he begins the discussion of how they might have influenced Marx and Freud. In 2012 Peter Holland and Adrian Poole published the tenth volume of the Great Shakespeareans
series — Marx and Freud
— a study of the influence of Shakespeare on Marxism and psychoanalysis, in which Crystal Bartolovich details Marx's engagement and David Hillman details Freud's engagement with Shakespeare's plays. By grouping Marx and Freud, who for Holland and Poole are "thinkers whose work seems impossible without Shakespeare and whose influence on our world has been profound" (2012, vi)
, in one volume of a study of Shakespearean influence, the editors are making a statement about that influence on theory itself, given that Marxism and psychoanalysis are two of the most significant roots of critical and literary theory. In the fourteenth volume of the Great Shakespeareans
series — Hugo, Pasternak, Brecht, Césaire — David Barnett (2013, 113
) details the "lifelong connection"
between Brecht and Shakespeare's plays. Ruth Morse writes in the introduction to the volume that "above all, the most important thing uniting all five subjects [Victor-Marie Hugo, François-Victor Hugo, Pasternak, Brecht, Césaire] . . . is their unyielding opposition to oppression, and their demonstration that poetry can make things happen,"
and that "for all five men, Shakespeare was a source of cultural freedom and support for political liberty" (2013, 6)
. In my own doctoral research — "Shakespeare's Influence on Marx, Freud, and the Frankfurt School Critical Theorists" (Smith 2013)
— I show that the influence exerted by Shakespeare on Marx and Freud is formative. Shakespeare's texts influenced Marx's and Freud's writing style: Shakespearean lines appear in the fabric of Marxist and psychoanalytic sentences; Shakespeare's rhetoric and logic shows up in the flow of logic of many Marxist and psychoanalytic texts; his imagery is ubiquitous throughout Marxism and psychoanalysis. Both Marx and Freud admit to this influence.
However, a methodological problem arose during my research. Marx and Freud did not read Shakespeare first in the original English; they read him in the Schlegel-Tieck translation. So did Bertolt Brecht. Marx's copy of Shakespeare's plays is not extant. However, a comparison between the quotations in Marx's texts and the Schlegel-Tieck edition confirms that he read and quoted from that translation. Freud's copy of the Schlegel-Tieck edition of Shakespeare is on the shelf in his museum in London. Brecht read many different translations of Shakespeare, but he used the Schlegel-Tieck translation, which he preferred to others that he critiqued for their "oily smoothness." The methodological question of the role of the translation in the influence of Shakespeare on these German writers opens up the possibility that the translator may have had an influence in the engagement between these radicals and their literary precedent. A close reading of the translation can provide evidence to suggest this role.
The Schlegel-Tieck Shakespeare
August W. Schlegel began his famous project to translate Shakespeare's plays in the 1790s, but he abandoned it unfinished after translating only eighteen of the plays. His friend, Ludwig Tieck, took over the project, but he managed only to translate one play, Pericles
. By 1825, the first volumes of the edition began to appear before the public, but, soon after, the translation project halted. Publisher Georg Reimer was understandably upset, since subscriptions had been sold and subscribers began to demand their money back (Larson 1987, 27
). Schlegel refused to continue his work, and Tieck was incapable of completing it on his own. Yet, in 1830, the project began again and was completed and published by 1833. Tieck announced that two friends had helped him translate the plays, but at first he did not name them. In later editions, he finally named one of those friends, Wolf Graf von Baudissin, as the translator of twelve of the plays. The identity of the translator of the other six plays remained obscured. Tieck refers to this person as mein junger Freund
(my young [male] friend (Piper 2006, 123
The junge Freund
turned out to be Tieck's eldest daughter, Dorothea Tieck, who had been translating for her father since 1823, doing most of the work on Tieck's Shakespeares Vorschule
(Larson 1987, 29
; Jansohn 2000, 1
and translated all of Shakespeare's sonnets (Piper 2006, 123
; Jansohn 2000, 1
). Wolf Graf von Baudissin, Dorothea, and Ludwig Tieck worked alongside each other in the Tieck house, translating from the Johnson-Steevens edition of Shakespeare. Dorothea used Malone's edition for the Sonnets
, and Ludwig also owned a copy of the Fourth Folio (Paulin 2016, 3028
Ludwig Tieck led a literary workshop in his home. For the Shakespeare translation that Tieck had been contracted to produce, the team consisted of Tieck, Wolf Graf von Baudissin, and Dorothea Tieck. They worked daily on the translations and met in the afternoon for correction (Korrektur
) sessions. They would read aloud and critique each other's translations. Dorothea Tieck reports in a letter to her friend Friedrich von Üchtritz that "at first [she] worked together with Baudissin, in Much Ado About Nothing, [she] wrote the verse and he wrote the prose scenes. The difficult (Widerspänstige — stubborn) parts [they] both translated together, afterwards [they] kept the best ones" (Baillot 2008, 192)
Archival items, including letters, lists, daily time schedules and manuscripts, found in the Tieck archives at the Staatsbibliothek Berlin provide evidence that Dorothea Tieck was a key member of the Schlegel-Tieck Shakespeare translation project. However, a search I performed of the extant editions of the Schlegel-Tieck Shakespeare in Berlin's Staatsbibliothek discovered that Dorothea Tieck's name did not appear on a published edition of the plays until 1906. It was not until the twentieth century that she was credited in print for her translations of Macbeth
, Timon of Athens
, Two Gentlemen of Verona
, and The Winter's Tale
in the Schlegel-Tieck edition. The evidence above also suggests that Dorothea Tieck's hand as translator may be present in more than the six credited plays.
Dorothea Tieck (1799-1841) grew up during the German Romantic period in the company of its central figures: her father Ludwig Tieck and her father's friends Goethe, Novalis, A. W. Schlegel, F. Schlegel, and F. Schiller (Paulin 1986, 103
). She learned English, Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Latin, and Ancient Greek (Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie). If Dorothea Tieck's translations of Shakespeare, in which her hermeneutic stance is visible, did have an influence on German theory, then it can be suggested that Dorothea Tieck's translations serve a critical role in the history of Shakespeare influence. Translation scholarship now can take up the task to close-read Dorothea Tieck's work and to lift its ethics and productive influence out of the historical unconscious, where it has been repressed for so long.
Marx — Verdammt Metall
Karl Marx quoted from Shakespeare's Timon of Athens
in all of his economic writings up to and including Capital, Vol. 1
. He used Timon's rant against gold to depict the tragic effects that the money-based capitalist system causes to humanity. According to Marx, money as exchange-value is a radical leveller, a common whore, an object of greed, a fetish, an inverter of good and bad, and a part of the capitalist mechanism that causes alienation of humans. He found this list of qualities of gold/money in Shakespeare's Timon of Athens. Marx quotes Timon's lines:
|Gold? Yellow, glittering, precious gold?|
No, gods, I am no idle votarist —
Roots, you clear heavens! Thus much of this will make
Black white, foul fair, wrong right,
Base noble, old young, coward valiant.
Ha, you gods, why this? What this, you gods? Why, this
Will lug your priests and servants from your sides,
Pluck stout men's pillows from below their heads.
This yellow slave
Will knit and break religions, bless the accursed,
Make the hoar leprosy adored, place thieves
And give them title, knee and approbation
With senators on the bench: This is it
That makes the wappered widow wed again,
She whom the spittle house and ulcerous sores
Would cast gorge at, this embalms and spices
To th'April day again. Come, damned earth,
Thou common whore of mankind that puts odds
Among the rout of nations, I will make thee
Do thy right nature. (Timon of Athens, 4.3.26-46)7
The quotation is from Timon's soliloquy, which he speaks when he digs for edible roots but instead finds gold. Timon's description of gold prefigures the description that Marx writes of money 260 years later. In the section on money in Capital, Vol. 1
, Marx writes: "Just as in money every qualitative difference between commodities is extinguished, so too for its part, as a radical leveller, it extinguishes all distinctions" (1977, 229-230)
. A footnote inserted here leads the reader to an extended quotation from Timon of Athens
. In Marx's Capital
, the unnaturally powerful characteristics of money, which Marx uses Shakespeare's lines to describe, is the end result of a process that began in history with the leveling of distinctions between products, facilitating their exchange. In his 1859 Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy
, Marx writes:
Then he inserts the same quotation of Timon's speech at 4.3.26-46 that he had used in Capital
. After the quotation, he writes: "That which yields itself to all, and for which all is yielded, appears as the universal means of corruption and prostitution" (1987, 452)
. Here Marx utilizes another of Shakespeare's images for his critique of money — the metaphor of the whore.
The editors of both the Arden (Eric Dawson and Gretchen Minton; Shakespeare 2008
) and RSC (Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen; Shakespeare 2007
) editions of the play hold that, in Timon's soliloquy about gold, the earth is the whore. Bate and Rasmussen write that Timon is referring to the earth "because [it is] trodden upon or plowed (both euphemisms for sex)" (Shakespeare 2007, 1781
). Holding a different position, John Jowett, who edited the current Oxford edition of the play, writes that damned earth
refers to "the gold, so described for its sinfulness Timon attributes to it, and also because it dwells buried under the ground, suggesting the traditional location of hell,"
Karl Klein, editor of the Cambridge edition of the play, writes that the reference is "probably [to] the gold contained in the earth" (Shakespeare 2001, 138)
Dorothea Tieck makes the boldest interpretive statement about the meaning of the line; she translates "damned earth, / Thou common whore of mankind" as "verdammt Metall, / Gemeine Hure du der Menschen (damned metal / Thou common whore of mankind 4.3.42-43)
. This is a change from Christoph Wieland's 1763 German translation of the play. He writes this line as, "verdammt Erde, du gemeine Meze des menschlichen Geschlects"
(damned Earth, thou common whore of mankind 4.3). Here is Tieck's translation of the lines that Marx quotes:
|Gold? kostbar, flimmernd, rotes Gold? Nein, Götter!|
Nicht eitel fleht' ich. Wurzeln, reiner Himmel!
So viel hievon macht schwarz weiß, häßlich schön,
Schlecht gut, alt jung, feig tapfer, niedrig edel.
Ihr Götter! warum dies? warum dies, Götter?
Ha! dies lockt euch den Priester vom Altar,
Reißt Halbgenes'nen weg das Schlummerkissen.
Ja, dieser rote Sklave löst und bindet
Geweihte Bande; segnet den Verfluchten.
Er macht den Aussatz lieblich, ehrt den Dieb
Und gibt ihm Rang, gebeugtes Knie und Einfluß
Im Rat der Senatoren; dieser führt
Der überjähr'gen Witwe Freier zu;
Sie, von Spital und Wunden giftig eiternd,
Mit Ekel fortgeschickt, verjüngt balsamisch
Zu Maienjugend dies. Verdammt Metall,
Gemeine Hure du der Menschen, die
Die Völker tört! Komm, sei das, was du bist! (Timon of Athens, 4.3.27-44)8
Many lines in Shakespeare's plays are flexible enough to handle multiple readings of their meaning. However, some meanings act as layers of imagery that give depth to the play while other meanings have a primary role in the plot. The imagery that the earth
is a common whore serves the former function, while the assignation of the description whore to the gold
serves the latter function. This is supported by a close reading of the lines before and after the image of a common whore
. When Timon digs for edible roots, he finds gold. He asks, "What is here
?" Then he names it: "Gold? Yellow, glittering, precious gold?
" This noun, gold
, will serve as the antecedent of the pronoun this
that occurs seven times over the next sixteen lines leading up to the common whore
image. Shakespeare uses the pronoun, this
, as an anaphora bracketing and emphasizing the unnatural capacities of the antecedent — gold. Line 31, "Ha, you gods, why this? What this, you gods? Why, this . . . ,
" renders the anaphora a prayer of complaint to the gods. Immediately after the last item in the list of gold's capacities, Timon says, "Come, damned earth" (4.3.41-42)
. He is speaking to the antecedent of the last sixteen lines — gold. Timon says to it: "I will make thee / Do thy right nature" (Timon of Athens, 4.3.43-44)
. The stage directions immediately after that line say, "March afar off." This is the sound of Alcibiades' army that comes across Timon in the woods. When stage directions follow an ambiguous line such as "I will make thee do thy right natur
e," it can be assumed that the line points to an action that will occur after the stage directions. This is exactly what happens. When Timon learns that Alcibiades is marching on Athens, he gives him some of the gold that he has been speaking to before the soldier arrived. Timon says: "Go on, here's gold, go on. / Be as a planetary plague when Jove / Will o'er some high-viced city hang his poison/ In the sick air" (4.3.107-109)
. The gold will serve to strengthen the rebel army, pay the soldiers, some of whom are already defecting, and serve Timon's wishes of destroying Athens. This is the right nature
to which Timon refers.
Marx, following Dorothea Tieck, accurately reads the role of the gold in the plot of the play and uses this reading to develop his analysis of the abstract, universal nature of money as exchange-value. Like a whore who will yield to anyone, money, as exchange-value, will enter in relationship with any and all use-values regardless of their specific nature.9
As exchange-value, money extinguishes
use-value and alienates it. Metaphorically, the potentially deadly venereal diseases
arising from whores that Timon repeatedly wishes on the Athenians stand as the vehicle for the tenor of extinguishing
shared by both the diseases and exchange-value. Marx uses this imagery as his second critique of money. As leveller, in the first critique, money stands between commodities (C-M-C), facilitating the equivalence of things that are not equivalent. Now, Marx adds a value judgment to this function. It appears as the "universal means of corruption and prostitution" (1987, 452)
. This, as interpreted first by Dorothea Tieck, is the primary role of the image of gold as a common whore in Timon of Athens
In the Outline to the Critique of Political Economy
, a set of notebooks Marx wrote from late 1857 to May 1858 (Grundrisse), he writes:
|The exchangeability of all products, activities, relationships for a third, objective entity, which in turn can be exchanged for everything without distinction — in other words, the development of exchange values (and of monetary relationships) is identical with general venality, with corruption. General prostitution appears as a necessary phase in the development of the social character of personal inclinations, capacities, abilities, activities. More politely expressed: the universal relationship of utility and usefulness. Equating the incommensurate, as Shakespeare appropriately conceived of money. The craving for enrichment as such is impossible without money; all other accumulation and craving for accumulation appears merely natural, restricted, conditioned on the one hand by needs and on the other hand by the restricted nature of the products (sacra auri famas). [Marx's footnote here: "Thou visible god, that solder'st close impossibilities."] (1986, 99-100)|
This passage contains Marx's theory of money as the objective entity that is used as the general equivalent and his metaphor in which the prostitute stands for the general venality and corruption that springs from the money economy. The passage then presents a third image, "the accursed passion for gold," (sacra auri famas
) from Book 3 of Virgil's Aeneid
The object of greed becomes, through false consciousness, a fetish. Marx holds that money appears (erscheinen
) to have god-like powers. He cites Shakespeare on this point:
Timon calls gold "Thou visible God!"
and exclaims, when he finds the gold, that he is "no idle votarist" (4.3.27)
. When read
, the line can be paraphrased that he is not a frivolous devotee of gold. However, when heard
in the theater, the line acquires the double meaning "idol" — a fetish or false god.10
This gives the line resonance with Marx's theory of the fetishization of the commodity money. In Dorothea Tieck's German translation the line is, "Nein Götter! / Nicht eitel fleht' ich" (No Gods, I didn't beg vainly) (4.3.27-28
The pun eitel
and (das) Idol
works in German as well. This also serves Marx's purpose to use this quotation to allude to commodity fetishism, because if one believes that the money itself is what creates value, then one begs vainly.
There is a mystery as to why Dorothea Tieck changes the color of the gold from yellow to red in her translation. Shakespeare writes, "What is here? / Gold? Yellow, glittering precious gold?" (4.3.25-26)
. Wieland translates the color of the gold as gelbes (yellow 4.3)
. Dorothea Tieck translates this as, "Was find' ich hier? / Gold? kostbar, flimmernd, rotes Gold?" (4.3.26-27) (What find I here? / Gold? precious, shimmering, red Gold?)
. Later in the rant, Timon calls the gold a "yellow slave" (4.3.34)
; Wieland translates this as "gelbe Sclave" (yellow slave 4.3), but Dorothea Tieck translates this as "rote Sklave" (red slave 4.3.34)
. The search for red gold takes one to metallurgy and chemistry, where there exists the category of red-gold. This is gold that has been smelted with copper to make jewellery and coins (OED
, red-gold B.1). The Greeks learned this smelting process from the Egyptians, and there existed a category of gold in Athens called red-gold. By describing the gold as red, Dorothea Tieck may be both alluding to the setting of the play — Athens — and once more signalling that the gold to which Timon is referring is that in the form of coins — gold as money.12
Dorothea Tieck also makes changes to Shakespeare's lines that intensify the imagery. The line "this / Will lug your priests and servants from your sides"
is rendered as "dies lockt euch den Priester vom Altar."
She has dropped servants
and changed sides
, intensifying the distance travelled in the imagery. The priests are not only taken from one's side, but from up on the altar. The line "this / Will pluck stout men's pillows from below their heads" (4.3.33)
is rendered as "Reißt Halbgenes'nen weg das Schlummerkissen" (tear the sleeping pillow from the half-convalesced) (4.3.33)
. Shakespeare's line is an allusion to Jonson's 1605 Volpone
, where Mosca says "In his next fit, we may let him go. / 'Tis but to pull the pillow from his head,/ And he is throttled" (2.6.86-88; Jonson 1981)
. By claiming that gold can hurt even stout men, Shakespeare depicts the power of gold.13
Germans would not have likely seen Volpone
, so the allusion would not have worked. Dorothea changes it to intensify the victimhood of those affected by gold — those vulnerable because they are not yet fully convalesced. In many cases, Dorothea Tieck's translation foregrounds victimhood. In some cases, she signals class differences. At the beginning of Timon's rant from which Marx quotes, Dorothea changes Shakespeare's sequence of the inverted opposites. Where Shakespeare writes that gold makes "[b]ase noble, old young, coward valiant" (4.3.30)
, Wieland keeps the order in his translation, but Dorothea writes "Schlecht gut, alt jung, feig taper, niedrig edel" (bad good, old young, coward valiant, base noble) (4.3.30)
. The inversion that receives emphasis by being sounded at the end of the scansion is the one denoting class — base noble.
Dorothea Tieck's practice of intensifying the differences in the imagery can also be seen in the first translation she produced, the Shakespeare apocryphal play, Arden of Faversham
. After Arden's servant Michael betrays his master's location to his murderers, he speaks a soliloquy in which he reveals his guilt and sympathy for Arden, in contradiction to his loyalty to his mistress and his fear of the murderers. In the German translation, the imagery is altered to intensify the contrast between the evil murderers and the good and noble Arden. In the conceit of the soliloquy, a "hunger-bitten wolf" watches his prey, a lamb. Dorothea Tieck chooses "gier'ge Wolf" (greedy, craving) to describe the attacker. Michael says that wolf will "eat up" the lamb, but Tieck chooses "zerreißen" (tear to pieces, rip to shreds). Michel describes his master as a "gentle life" who is "unsuspecting", but in the German, the master is an "edlen Herzen" (noble heart) who "vertrau'st" (trusts). The murderers in the English version have "lawless rage," but in Tieck's version they have "Mordlust" (blood/murder lust) (Arden of Feversham, 3.183-201
; Dorothea Tieck translation, Arden von Faversham, pp. 165-66 in Jansohn 2000)
. Tieck's translation choices intensify the tragic feel of the imagery, thereby strengthening the feeling of injustice that readers/audiences potentially feel in this play.
When Marx read Timon of Athens in Dorothea Tieck's translation, he was not simply reading Shakespeare, but Shakespeare as refracted through the lens of a German Romantic female translator. Since Dorothea Tieck changed Shakespeare in key sections that Marx quoted, then it must be granted that she had a role in the transmission of the influence from the early modern dramatist to the modern theorist. This influence on a mid-nineteenth century writer by a Romantic translator of an early modern text parallels the influence that German Romanticism, both literary and philosophical, had on the mid-nineteenth century Marxist criticism of eighteenth-century political economy and enlightenment philosophy.
Freud — Er hat keine Kinder!
Sigmund Freud interpreted Shakespeare's Macbeth
as a means to develop and describe the way in which neurotic people can be wrecked by success. In his 1916 essay, "Some Character Types Met with in Psychoanalytic Work," Freud writes that "so much more surprising, and indeed bewildering, must it appear when as a doctor one makes the discovery that people occasionally fall ill precisely when a deeply-rooted and long-cherished wish has come to fulfillment. It seems then as though they were not able to tolerate their happiness; for there can be no question that there is a causal connection between their success and their falling ill" (1957, 316)
. He then explains the mechanism by which this occurs. He makes a distinction between external and internal frustration. External frustration occurs when "the object in which the libido can find its satisfaction is withheld in reality" (316)
. This in itself does not create neurosis until "an internal frustration is joined to it" (316)
. The internal frustration occurs when the ego blocks the libido's access to its object. A conflict, and subsequent neurosis, can arise if the repressed libido finds a substitute satisfaction by way of a circuitous route. According to Freud, internal frustration by the ego is potentially always present, but "it does not come into operation until external, real frustration has prepared the ground for it" (316)
. The case of those made ill by success arises when "the internal frustration has operated by itself; indeed it has only made its appearance after an external frustration has been replaced by fulfillment of a wish" (316)
. If the external frustration is removed and replaced by the wish fulfillment, then the internal frustration, a function of the ego, can operate by itself even more strongly. Freud uses his reading of Macbeth
to illustrate this theory.
For Freud, Macbeth
is not simply a tragedy of ambition. Freud reads Elizabethan and Jacobean England's anxiety about a failure of primogeniture in the Macbeths' childlessness. He writes that
According to Freud, Macbeth was most incensed by the witches' decree that he will not found a dynasty, but that, instead, Banquo's children will succeed to the crown (320)
. Freud points out the many disturbances of lineage that occur in the play: the murder of Duncan is parricide; Fleance escapes being killed, but his father, Banquo, is killed; Macduff lives, but his children and wife are killed; and the Macbeths both die without surviving children (321).
Freud diagnoses the Macbeths, whom he reads as a single character with two sides (1957b, 323
), as suffering from an illness that is a reaction to their childlessness, which is poetic justice for their crimes against the sanctity of generation. Freud writes that this poetic justice occurs "if Macbeth could not become a father because he robbed children of their father and a father of his children, and if Lady Macbeth suffered the unsexing she had demanded of the spirits of murder" (321)
. Once they succeed in killing Duncan and getting what they want, their internal frustration arises and grips their mental functioning. Macbeth's sleeping problem becomes Lady Macbeth's sleepwalking; his fear of not being able to clean the blood off his hands even with all of Neptune's ocean becomes her obsession with the spot that will not be erased (324
Freud began reading Macbeth
in Dorothea Tieck's translation in his childhood, long before he wrote this essay. He later read it in a French translation, most likely while he was in France in 1885, and also in English.14
Freud quotes from and alludes to Macbeth
at least sixteen times during his writing career. He began interpreting Lady Macbeth's problems in 1895, during the early years of the development of psychoanalysis (Freud 1962, 79
). It is in one of the inaugural texts of psychoanalysis, The Interpretation of Dreams
(1900), that he first writes that Lady Macbeth suffers from childlessness (1953, 266
). Freud's interpretation of Macbeth
evolved alongside the development of psychoanalysis. Indeed, the 1916 essay about the character types wrecked by success is an attempt to handle an exception in the theory of neurosis. Therefore, Freud's reading of the play — mutable, maturing and alive as it is — plays a role in the development of psychoanalysis.
Dorothea Tieck's interpretation of Macbeth, which becomes visible in a close reading of her translation, has similarities to Freud's reading. Similar to the effect her Timon of Athens translation may have had on Marx, her Macbeth translation may have contributed her interpretive stance to the influence of the play on Freud's work. She emphasizes both Macbeth's childlessness and his characterization as a victor who is inhibited by his own success.
The witches open the play in Shakespeare's original saying:
Dorothea Tieck renders these lines as:
Dorothea Tieck changes the line "When the battle's lost and won" to "Wer der Sieger ist, sich zeigt," which means "Who the victor is, shows itself (will become apparent)." This shifts Shakespeare's reference to the battle into a reference to the character. It foregrounds a feature of this character, that he is the victor (GDW
prominently at the beginning of the play. This immediately signals the success that Macbeth will have and that, according to Freud, will cause his downfall. By mentioning Macbeth's success in a dialogue that ends with the central inversion of the play, "fair is foul and foul is fair" (1.1.11)
, the translator also submits that success to an inversion.18
At 1.2.69, Duncan says, "What he [the former Thane of Cawdor] hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won."
Dorothea Tieck writes the line differently: "Held Macbeth soll, was der verliert, gewinnen" (1.2.68)
. She calls Macbeth hero
(Held — GDW
) instead of noble
, and, following German grammatical rules, places the words "lost" (verliert
) and "win" (gewinnen
) on either side of a comma. When Freud reads Shakespeare's play through Dorothea Tieck's translation, he encounters Macbeth as a hero, his status having been made more salient in the German.
At 1.3.84-85, after the encounter with the witches on the heath, Banquo wonders if he and Macbeth have eaten of the insane root. The editors of the Arden Shakespeare conjecture that Shakespeare may be referring to hemlock, henbane, or deadly nightshade, three plants that produce insanity (Shakespeare 1962, ed. Muir, 1962, 17
; Shakespeare 2015, ed. Clark and Mason, 143)
. Dorothea Tieck writes Banquo's line like this: "Oder aßen wir von jener gift'gen Wurzel, / Die die Vernuft bewältigt" (1.3.84-85)
. The adjective gift'gen
means poisonous (GDW
The word poisonous seems to carry a meaning that connotes a consequence more than the word insane does. It hints that the protagonist will be poisoned from his encounter with the witches.
The immobility that will befall the victor wrecked by own his success is hinted at by Dorothea Tieck in her translation of Lady Macbeth's complaint about her husband's fit at the banquet table when he sees the ghost of Banquo: "O! these flaws and starts / Imposters to true fear, would well become / A woman's story at a winter's fire" (3.4.60-62)
. The German translation reads: "Ha! dieses Zucken, / Dies Starr'n, Nachäffung wahren Schrecks, sie paßten / Zu einem Weibermärchen am Kamin" (3.4.67-69)
. The word Starr'n
(das Starren) means stare. It can also allude to the German adjective for rigidity, starr
. Tieck's lines carry that sense of immobility and inhibition that Freud is reading in the victor/hero who is wrecked by his success.
Dorothea Tieck closely captures the meaning from the form of Shakespeare's lines in her translation of 3.4.22-23. After Macbeth learns from the murderer that Fleance has escaped, he says: "But now I am cabin'd, cribb'd, confin'd, bound in / To saucy doubts and fears."
To be cabin'd is to be confined in action and to be stuck in a cabin (OED
). To be cribb'd is to be shut in a hovel (OED
). Shakespeare's alliterating words create imagery that closes in on Macbeth's body in the same manner that his enemies will close in on him as a result of his actions. He is first stuck in a cabin and then a hovel. The OED
calls a hovel a wretched cabin. The next word in the line is confin'd
, which brings the imagery closer to Macbeth's body, and this imagery tightens around Macbeth's body with the next word, bound
. The German translation is,"Doch jetzt bin ich umschränkt, gepfercht, umpfählt / Geklemmt von niederträcht'ger Furcht und Zweifeln" (3.4.23-24)
. To be umschränkt
is to be hemmed in by a wall or to be placed in a cabinet (Schrank) (GDW
). To be gepfercht
is to be crammed (GDW
The imagery moves closer to his body. In the third word of the line, Dorothea Tieck stakes down Macbeth's body with the word umpfählt
, which means to be surrounded by stakes. 21
She plucks this word from the last act where Macbeth is besieged by his enemies and he exclaims, "They have tied me to a stake: I cannot fly, / But, bear-like, I must fight the course" (5.7.1-2)
The theme Freud reads into the play about Macbeth's anxiety regarding his failure of progeniture is more salient in Dorothea Tieck's translation of Macbeth's question to Banquo at 1.3.119-22: "Do not you hope your children shall be kings, / When those that gave the Thane of Cawdor to me / Promis'd no less to them?"
She writes: "Hofft Ihr nicht Euren Stamm gekrönt zu sehen, / Da jene, die mich Than von Cawdor nannten, / Nichts Mindes prophezeit?" (1.3.118-20)
. The words Euren Stamm
can mean family tree, pedigree, or lineage. This carries the meaning of dynasty, which Freud reads in the play, more than the word children
In his essay "Some Character-Types Met with in Psychoanalytic Work," Freud writes:
Freud is referring to Macduff's lines at 4.3.219-20, spoken after he has learned from Ross that Macbeth had his family killed. The exchange is like this in the original:
Dorothea Tieck writes it this way:
In Shakespeare's original, Macduff is devastated and terribly sad. The long caesuras called for by the hyphens indicate fragility and weakness. He has received a great blow. He does not cry his words out strongly until he says "O Hell-kite!" In Dorothea Tieck's translation, Macduff is angrier. It is her punctuation that makes the "shattering cry" that Freud cites. She also has Macduff interrupt Malcolm by placing the word Er
at the final beat of Malcolm's line. The accusation of childlessness is emphasized in the German translation.22
A close reading of Dorothea Tieck's translation of Macbeth
also offers informed intervention into a longstanding mystery in psychoanalytic studies. In Freud's 1910 essay, "Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of his Childhood,"
Freud mistranslates a word in Leonardo's notebook. In the margin of one of his notebooks on the flight of birds, Leonardo scribbles a memory from childhood in which a kite ("nibio" sic
) flies down to Leonardo in his cradle, opens his mouth with his tail, and strikes him many times on his lips. Freud translates the word nibbio
in German as Geier
, which means vulture, instead of choosing the word for kite, which is Milan
. Freud interprets the memory sexually, and through a linguistic turn in which he traces the similarity between the word for mother in German, Mutter
, and the word for vulture in Egyptian, Mut
, he allows himself an Oedipal reading of Leonardo's memory. This discursive has proven unsatisfying to many psychoanalytic critics, not the least of which because Freud could read Italian and should not have made that error. Psychoanalytic editors and critics have attributed this to Freud being led astray by other German translations of Leonardo's memory (Freud 1957a, ed. Strachey, Strachey, 61
) and to a parapraxis committed by Freud (Fletcher 2013, 171-76
Upon reading Dorothea Tieck's translation, it becomes apparent that there is a kite-to-vulture switch in her rendering of MacDuff's exclamation "O Hell-Kite!" (4.3.220)
. Tieck chooses the word Höllengeier
(Hell vulture). Earlier in the play, where Shakespeare has Macbeth say to the Ghost of Banquo at 3.4.69-70, "If charnel-houses and our, graves must send / Those that we bury back, our monuments / Shall be the maws of kites,"
Dorothea Tieck translates maws of kites as "der Schlund der Geier" (maws of vultures; 3.4.76)
. Tieck may have picked up Shakespeare's devouring vulture conceit at 4.3.74, where Macduff is talking to Malcolm about the voraciousness of monarchs — "That vulture in you to devour so many"
— and applied it as her conceit across the play. Had Freud only read the play in the German translation, this may not be significant, but Freud, an anglophile, learned English as a youth and read it in the original language, as well. His biographer Peter Gay reports that Freud could recite scenes from Shakespeare in near perfect English (1988, 166
). It could be safely assumed that Freud payed special attention to the scene in which Ross informs Macduff of his family's murder, which forms a significant core of Freud's reading of Macbeth
in his theory. The slide from kite to vulture would have been set in Freud's mind already by Dorothea Tieck.
Psychoanalysis works partly through close-reading narratives (the analysand's story or a literary text) for clues about source drives that lie latent under the manifest content. The psychoanalyst traces a chain of associations from the manifest imagery of the narrative down into the unconscious of the story, following the links that were constructed during the ego's work of repression. Dorothea Tieck's translation of Macbeth, written in the 1830s, may have provided Freud with some of the necessary associative links from Shakespeare's original to Freud's construction of an interpretation of the play.
Brecht — Überfluß
In 1953, Bertolt Brecht and some collaborators studied and discussed the first scene of Coriolanus
in preparation for Brecht's adaptation of the play. Brecht was interested in the class conflict that the scene depicted. He wanted his adaptation to emphasize the role that the war with the Volscians played in diffusing the class war. In the study, he says that "the conflict between the patricians and plebeians is (at least provisionally) set aside, and that between the Romans and the Volscians becomes all predominant. The Romans, seeing their city in danger, legalize their differences by appointing plebeian commissars (People's Tribunes)" (1964, 256)
. In the introduction to his play about Brecht's adaptation of Coriolanus
, The Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising
, Günter Grass writes that "Brecht's self-appointed task, from the very start, was to endow the plebeians with class consciousness and the tribunes with persuasive power" (1966, xvi)
and that "Brecht's aim is to extract a lesson, both for himself and for his audience, from early Roman history. He points to the established position of the tribunes and of the aediles assigned to them. Accordingly, the illegality of Coriolanus' acts is far more blatant in the adaptation than in the original" (1966, xxiv)
. A close reading of Dorothea Tieck's translation of Coriolanus
shows that a class-based reading of the play which derives some of its meaning from Roman history, similar to Brecht's project, is already present in her translation.
Dorothea Tieck chooses words in German that emphasize the class divide and sets the class war in the context of Roman history more than Shakespeare does. She translates the First Citizen's line, "[w]hat authority surfeits on would relieve us" (1.1.14)
as "Das, wovon der Adel schwelgt, würde uns nähren" (1.1.16)
Tieck's word Adel
means aristocracy or nobility and stakes out a clearer class distance from the plebeians than Shakespeare's word authority
. She uses the word Adel
again in Menenius' speech at 1.1.68 where Shakespeare writes patrician
Tieck's translation choices for the other side of the class divide brings a historical and jurisprudential issue to her interpretation. The Second Citizen's line, "They say poor suitors have strong breaths, they shall know we have strong arms too" (1.1.54-56
), is rendered as "[s]ie sagen, arme Klienten haben schlimmen Atem: sie sollen erfahren, daß wir auch schlimme Arme haben" (1.1.61-62).
(They say that poor clients have terrible breath: they shall know that we also have terrible/serious arms.) Tieck's substitution of client
alludes to Roman jurisprudential history, in which a client is "a plebeian under the patronage of a patrician, in this relation called a patron, who was bound, in return for certain services, to protect his client's life and interests" (OED
). Tieck chooses a word appropriate to the play's setting, and that word signals the patron's responsibility to the client. A suitor is a petitioner. He may not yet have the relationship legally established with the patron. A client does. Tieck has made the patrician's responsibility to the plebeians more salient. She again chooses a word from a jurisprudential conceit in Menenius' parable of the belly when she translates accuse (1.1.92)
as verklagten (1.1.99)
, which carries the shading of an accusation through legal proceedings in its denotation (OGD
). The patricians in Tieck's Coriolanus
have a legal and social responsibility to take care of their clients, the plebeians. In this depiction, Brecht found a conceit that fit his Marxist analysis of the class struggle which he makes explicit in his didactic adaptation.
Dorothea Tieck added another conceit in her translation from which Brecht could read the working class in the depiction of the plebeians. Where Shakespeare's Second Citizen says, "The former agents, if they did complain, / What could the belly answer? (1.1.117-18)
, Tieck has the First Citizen say, "Die andern Kräfte, wenn sie nun so klagten, Der Bauch, was könnt' er sagen" (1.1.124)
Shakespeare's word agent
carries the meaning of one who does work, but Tieck's Kräfte
better fits the Marxist conceit of the working class as a force and a power that Brecht will use in his adaptation (GDW
Tieck uses Kräfte
again in Menenius' pleonasm "[d]u Schwächling ohne Kraft" (1.1.161
; You weakling without strength.)
Dorothea Tieck also emphasizes the plebeian's poverty more than Shakespeare does. This poverty conceit is found in the line already mentioned above, "[s]ie sagen, arme Klienten haben schlimmen Atem: sie sollen erfahren, daß wir auch schlimme Arme haben" (1.1.61-62)
, where schlimme Arme
(terrible arms, as in for fighting) can also allude to terrible poverty
and poor people
. The adjective arm
, and the noun Armer
denotes poor person
. The declined adjective at the start of the sentence, arme Klienten
, is spun around to serve as the noun, schlimme Arme
. The multiple layers of meaning pointing towards the class struggle and its cause, poverty, would be especially effective when heard on the stage, where the spelling of the word does not figure as significantly in the denotation. Tieck also renders the First Citizen's line, "[b]ut they think we are too dear" (1.1.17)
, as "aber sie denken, so viel sind wir nicht wert" (1.1.19)
; but they think we are not worth that much), which changes the valence of the line from describing the plebeians as too costly for the patricians to describing them as being of less value. In the next line, Tieck translates leanness (1.1.18)
as ausmergelt (1.1.20)
, emaciation or gauntness (OGD
), thereby deepening the poverty conceit.
Dorothea Tieck constructs a conceit of flowing and draining that will become critical to Brecht's reading of the effects of the Volscian war on the class war. Tieck translates the Second Citizen's description of the belly, which in Shakespeare is "the sink o' th' body" (1.1.117),
as [d]er nur des Leibes Abfluß (1.1.123)
. In early modern England, a sink is a cesspool. Tieck's word Abfluß
means drain (GDW
its parts being Ab
(off) and fluß
The conceit of flow emphasizes the waste and draining of resources from the plebeians. In the turning point of the first scene, where the messenger tells Caius Martius that the Volscians are in arms, Martius replies that he is happy because now he has a means to "vent / [the] musty superfluity" (1.1.221)
. He means that he can kill off the excess plebeian population in the coming war. Tieck's translation for superfluity, Überfluß (1.1.233)
, rhymes with and echoes her earlier word "Abfluß"
. The strength of the plebeians in the class war will now be drained off in the Volscian war. Brecht picks up the conceit of flow
and uses it to read the libidinal economics of this scene, whereby the class allegiance of the plebeians will switch objects, love the patricians, and be drained into the war against the Volscians.
Dorothea Tieck — Etwas Eigenes hervor zubringen
A question arises about why Dorothea Tieck's identity remained in the dark for so long. Was she kept hidden by a sexist culture that could not tolerate women having creative agency? Well-known women writers in the German states in the first half of the nineteenth century can be counted on one hand: Bettina von Arnim (1785-1859), Luise Hensel (1798-1876), and Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (1797-1848). Even after Mary Wollstonecraft's 1792 call for women's rights, A Vindication of the Rights of Women
, many nineteenth-century female authors still published under male or androgynous pseudonyms: Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell for Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë; George Sand for Amantine-Lucile-Aurora Dupin; George Eliot for Mary Ann Evans. Elizabeth Gaskell published her first novel Mary Barton
anonymously in 1848. Wollstonecraft's daughter, Mary Shelley, first published her novel Frankenstein
anonymously in 1818. When Jenny Marx (neé von Westphalen), Karl Marx's collaborator and wife, wrote some Shakespeare theater criticism for the Frankfurter Zeitung
, she asked that the articles be published anonymously (Gabriel 2011, 465
). Even as late as 1893, when Laura Marx, Karl's daughter, translated into French Friedrich Engel's The Origin of the Family
, she deleted her name from the title page (Gabriel 2011, 590
). There is also another woman hidden from public view in the Schlegel-Tieck Shakespeare translation under consideration in this article — Caroline Schlegel, A. W. Schlegel's wife, who co-translated most of the plays with him (Paulin 2016, 296
). There was little support for acknowledgment of the identity or creative agency of women writers and translators at any point in the nineteenth century.
Many intellectuals who produced large quantities of textual work relied on the collaboration of family members and others to support their output. Similar to Ludwig Tieck's literary workshop, Karl Marx, writing in the second half of the nineteenth century, was supported by the textual labor of four women: his wife Jenny and his three daughters, Jenny, Laura, and Eleanor. His family copied his dictation, rendered his nearly-impossible-to-read handwriting into fair copy, edited his texts, performed a lot of his research, and then translated his texts into English and French. In spite of being extraordinary scholars, translators, and social activists in their own right, none of the Marx women received credit for their work on Karl Marx's texts. Bertolt Brecht, writing in the first half of the twentieth century, was nearly always surrounded by women as collaborators; they collaborated in writing his plays, acting as amanuenses and discussants. In fact, it is incorrect to think of Brecht as a solo writer. Many of his plays were written in collaboration with other writers. Elisabeth Hauptmann collaborated with Brecht during his development of Epic Theatre. She wrote Man ist Man
, Die Heilige Johanna der Schlachthöfe, Die Mutter
, and Die Dreigroschenoper
with Brecht. Mutter Courage und Ihre Kinder
was co-written by Brecht, Margaret Steffin, and Helene Weigel (Parker 2014, 209, 224, 297
In spite of the collaboration, the names that would figure prominently on the covers of the Schlegel-Tieck translation of Shakespeare's plays would be only August W. Schlegel and Ludwig Tieck; these names sell books. Similar to the Marx women, Dorothea was working uncredited to ensure the livelihood of her family. This is how things were done back then. However, after the first edition of the translation, von Baudissin's name was added to the title page; Dorothea Tieck's and Caroline Schlegel's were not. All the men who worked on it were accounted for; the women were not. Even the placeholder for Dorothea on the title page was rendered male. Furthermore, Dorothea Tieck's 1837 translation of Miguel de Cervantes's Los Tabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda (Die Leiden des Persiles und der Sigismunda) was published under her father's name. These decisions were clearly gendered.
There is evidence that Dorothea Tieck internalized this unequal gendered order. She actively supressed acknowledgment of her creative influence on the texts. In spite of being supremely talented and hardworking, she held the opinion that the place of a female writer was ancillary. She wrote in a letter to Üchtritz, "Ich glaube, das Übersetzen ist eigentlich mehr ein Geschäft für Frauen als für Männer, gerade weil es uns nicht gestattet ist, etwas eigenes hervor zubringen": "I think translation is actually more of an activity for women than for men, precisely because it isn't permitted for us to produce something of our own."
In an 8 March 1833 letter to Üchtritz, Dorothea writes that it is very unpleasant for her (das ist mir unangenehm
) that the publisher, Reimer, was telling people that she was helping with the translations (Baillot 2008
). Considering her father's notorious reputation for not completing work, this may have been Reimer's effort to assuage the fears of subscribers. In her gendered societal environs, public exposure would not have been pleasant or easy for Dorothea Tieck. At one level, it was less oppressive for her to stay in her father's shadow and to internalize the sexism of her time than to make manifest her productive and creative agency in a world that was hostile to women writers.30
Other factors that may have influenced the manner in which Dorothea Tieck saw her productive and creative agency may include her Catholic piety, her relationship to her mother, and the depression that overcame her after her mother died. Dorothea only survived her mother by four years. In 1841, she contracted measles, then typhus, and died. Dorothea Tieck died unmarried, and there is no evidence that she had any romantic or sexual relations, except for a possible infatuation with Luise von Bülow, who was fourteen years her junior (Baillot and Zeil, 2016
; Jahnson 2000
). Much more work needs to be done to follow up on these clues about Dorothea Tieck's biography.
Dorothea Tieck stood loyally in the shadow of her father, Ludwig Tieck, and of the author she was translating, William Shakespeare. As shadow, she endeavored to render faithfully the original into German. In her translation practice, she worked with a devout loyalty to the original. Dorothea wrote, "gerade wenn man das Original so genau kennt, kann man nie glauben, daß die Übersetzung eine gelungene Arbeit seyn kann, und man fühl nur, wieviel verloren geht" (letter to Üchtritz 8 March 1833; Especially because one knows the original so precisely, does one not believe that the translation can be a successful job and one feels only how much has been lost). Paradoxically, it may have been her attempt to write as closely as possible to the original meaning that led to her translations becoming useful resources for the German theorists of modernity. In her devotion to the famous writer, she translated so closely that she interpreted
the meaning behind Shakespeare's words and images. Christa Jansohn writes about Dorothea Tieck's translation (in this case her sonnet translations) in this way: "Dennoch tragen auch ihre Übertragungen als extreme Form der poetischen Hermeneutik zur stets sich erneuernden Wirkung des Originals bei und sollten als Versuch, der unwiederholbaren historischen Wirkung des Originals näherzukommen, gewürdigt werden" (1992, 12)
. (Nevertheless, her translation, as an extreme form of poetic hermeneutic, contributes to the effect of the original which is constantly renewing itself, and should be acknowledged as an attempt to get closer to the unrepeatable historical effect of the original.) Dorothea Tieck's hermeneutic commitment was to the original, both its manifest and
latent content. She interpreted that Shakespeare was writing about the inverted world of the money economy in Timon of Athens
, about the tragic dialectic of success and failure of the hero's repressed desire in Macbeth
, and about the class struggle in Coriolanus
. These notions are anachronistic for the early modern period. They were developed by the theories of modernity, especially Marxism and psychoanalysis. Dorothea Tieck, writing in the German Romantic period, used the historical setting in which she lived to begin to interpret these notions in her translations of Shakespeare's texts. When considered within the intertextual nexus of historical literature and theory, Dorothea Tieck's translations of Shakespeare's plays can be seen as exerting an influence on German theory, offering conceptual resonance with their theories. Her interpretive choices display her ethics and her politics, however unconscious they might have been to her. Whether she was aware of it or not, Dorothea Tieck was an active agent in a radical German Romantic appropriation of literature for the transformation of society.
||By radical, I mean that they worked to discover the roots of their field of study and that they made irrevocable and revolutionary changes in history. Marx made radical changes to philosophy, economics, social theory, and aesthetics. Freud made radical changes to psychology and social theory. Brecht made radical changes to theater studies and practice.
||Unless otherwise indicated, all translations from German to English in this essay are by the author.
||This edition included Tieck's translations of Arden of Faversham, Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, and The Late Lancanshire Witches (Jansohn 2000, 1 n.).
||It is not known if or to what extent the Tiecks borrowed from other German translations before theirs. Further research on this topic could compare Dorothea Tieck's translations to preceding translations.
||Translation of "Im Anfang arbeitete ich mit Baudissin zusammen, in Viel Lärmen um nichts sind die Verse von mir und die prosaischen Szenen von ihm. Die Widerspänstige haben wir beide ganz übersetzt, hernach ist von jedem das Beste behalten."
||All references to the play are from the Arden third edition of the play (Shakespeare 2008).
||All references to this play are from the Aufbau-Verlag edition 2003 (Shakespeare 2003c). The lines have also been checked against extant nineteenth-century Schlegel-Tieck editions of the play at the Staatsbibliothek, Berlin.
||This is not to say that real-life sex workers do not discern between clients. It is a feature of Marx's imagery of whoring.
||The word fleht' could be flehte, which could denote either the past tense, "I did not beg vainly," or the conditional, "I would not beg vainly." Wieland's translation is different: "Nein, ihr Götter, das verlangt' ich nicht von euch" (No, you gods, I didn't ask this from you 4.3).
|| It is not too far of a stretch to suggest that Dorothea Tieck would have known about this. Goethe, a family friend and sometime visitor, wrote on geology and minerology and had a large mineral collection (Williams 2001, 268-71).
||I have viewed Freud's French edition of Macbeth, edited by James Darmester, at the Freud Museum Archives in London. Freud underlined many passages about Lady Macbeth in the text.
||All references to the play are from the Arden third edition of the play (Shakespeare 2015).
||All references to the play are from the Aufbau-Verlag edition (Shakespeare 2003b). The lines have also been checked against extant nineteenth-century Schlegel-Tieck editions of the play at the Staatsbibliothek, Berlin.
||The word "Sieger" is cited in the GDW as a name used in German to describe Napoleon, another hero who, like Macbeth, rose and fell and made many enemies. This occurred during Dorothea Tieck's youth.
||Friedrich Schiller also translated Macbeth, and he changed Shakespeare's opening. His translation of the witch's line is "Wann das Kriegsgetümmel schweigt / Wann die Schlacht den Sieger zeigt" (When the war commotion falls silent, / When the battle of the victor shows; (http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/buch/macbeth-2191/2). While Schiller has introduced the word Sieger — victor, the victor is not the subject of the clause; the battle is.
||According to the GDW, the word giftigen comes from the common German root gif, which denoted a payment for a wife, and which became poison in German and gift in English. Its use in Dorothea Tieck's translation of Macbeth captures the double meaning of the witches' prophecies — they are a gift to Macbeth, but also his poison.
|| The GDW lists this word being used in 1802 to mean fenced in / in a Pferch (pen).
||The OGD does not list the word umpfählen. The word does not appear in the GDW, either. It does appear in J. C. Adelung's Grammatisch-kritisches Wörterbuch der Hochsdeutschen Mundart, 1801.
||Some Shakespearean critics hold that Macduff might be speaking about Malcolm's childlessness as a reason for why he can speak about revenge so soon after the news. This challenges the interpretation that Macduff is speaking about Macbeth's childlessness as a reason for why he could kill children (Macbeth, Shakespeare 1962, 135; Macbeth, Shakespeare 2009, 86). By using angry punctuation and scansion, Dorothea Tieck interprets the line to mean that Macbeth is a child killer because he has no children. Her translation has Macduff deliver a shattering cry.
||All references to the play are from the Arden third edition of the play (Shakespeare 2013).
||All references to this play are from the Aufbau-Verlag edition (Shakespeare 2003a). The lines have also been checked against extant nineteenth-century Schlegel-Tieck editions of the play at the Staatsbibliothek, Berlin.
|| This may have been a metrical choice: two syllables in Adel versus three in Patriziers.
||It is also significant to note that, in the exchange with Menenius, Tieck switches Shakespeare's Second Citizen for the First Citizen, a move that Brecht also makes (or follows).
||The GDW lists Kräfte as a word used by Goethe to mean vigor, potestas, and facultas.
||The GDW lists Kant and Schiller as writers who used the word Abluß to mean draining water.
||Tieck could have chosen Senk (cesspit) or Senkgrub', to keep the line metrical.
Arden of Faversham. 2007. Edited by Martin White. Revised edition. London: Methuen.
Baillot, Anne. 2008. "'Ein Freund hier würde diese Arbeit unter meiner Beihülfe Übernehmen': Die Arbeit Dorothea Tiecks (1799-1841) an den Übersetzung ihres Vaters." In Übersetzungskultur im 18. Jahrhundert. Übersetzerinnen in Deutschland, Frankreich und der Schweiz. Edited by Brunhilde Wehinger. Hannover-Laatzen: Wehrhahn. 187-206.
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