Hanswurst

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hanswurst

 

a comic character in German popular theater. Hanswurst appeared in the 16th century in the Fastnacht festivities. In the 17th century Hanswurst and Pickled Herring became the main figures in the comical interlude, uniting the diverse parts of the presentations of wandering troupes. Hanswurst was a commoner, a simpleton and a cunning fellow, a merry bully, and a coward and a glutton who entertained the audience with farcical jokes and tricks. There were German and Austrian (similar to the Italian Harlequin) varieties of Hanswurst. In the work of the Viennese actor I. Stranitzky, Hanswurst saw the last period of his popularity. At the end of the 18th century he finally disappeared from the stage, yielding to the comical characters of vaudeville and Singspiel.

REFERENCE

Istoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra, vol. 1. Edited by S. S. Mokul’skii. Moscow, 1956.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
She compares the later Nietzsche's apparent self-identification as a Hanswurst, (or Hans Wurst, i.e.
Even Nietzsche who, he says, aspires to be the hanswurst, the buffoon, only partly achieves this when writing a monograph.
Thanks to Rademin, the transformation of Italian commedia dell'arte into German Hanswurst comedy actually took place in Kuks.
The banishment of Hanswurst in the 1730s meant the banishment of irrational and especially sensual forces associated with the brutish side of human nature, and with them a 'carnival' spirit fundamental to human nature, without which the theatre cannot survive (p.
Whilst some areas are usefully contextualized - notably the comic figures with reference to Hanswurst, Harlequin and Shakespearian figures, others are less so.
The comic folk character Hanswurst plays an important part and it is he who flirts with the servant girl Grete.
The character developed in late 17th-century Austria from Hanswurst, the cunning peasant servant of the Viennese popular theater.
In a scene discussed by Manfred Frank, two of the characters of the play within the play of Der gestiefelte Kater, the palace tutor Leander and Hanswurst, "Jackpudding," discuss a new play called Der gestiefelte Kater on the basis, among other things, of the accuracy of its depiction of the audience.
The tradition of the improvised comedy typified by Stranitzky and Prehauser earlier in the century was being maintained at the Leopoldstadttheater, which opened in 1781, and it is therefore not surprising that ordinary folk flocked to see the antics 6f the peasant figure Kasperl which stemmed from Stranitzky's renowned Hanswurst. indeed Joseph himself was known to patronise this theatre and was fond of imitating Kasperl's broad Viennese dialect.
Illustration 41, for example, has as its commentary: 'Hanswurst's head resembles an obscene baby whose physicality may be read as a deconstruction of Neuber's immaculate conception.' The fuller text on the facing page is more helpful: 'His [Hanswurst's] gesture of thrusting his head through the stage curtain like an obscene baby being born deconstructs Neuber's immaculate conception of legimate theater.' There are many such 'readings' in this very readable book.