chronos theatertexte

chronos theatertexte

Title details

Effi Briest

von Theodor Fontane / Stefan Schroeder

Nach Theodor Fontane

Effi Briest 

2f – 4m; age 14+; awaiting first production

Effi Briest is 17 when a marriage is arranged between her and the much older Baron von Instetten. She feels uncomfortable in her new surroundings and her new role, and is much in need of love and attention. Instetten treats her more as a child than as a wife and equal, and evidently his aim is to ‘educate’ her.  She ends up in the arms of the playboy Major Crampas. Years later, when the affair becomes known, Instetten kills the major in a duel and disowns his wife, as that is what society expects of him. Even her parents break all ties with her, through fear of the social consequences to themselves. When three years later they do eventually take her back into their home, it is already too late.


Theodor Fontane remorselessly exposes the consequences of adhering to social norms and constraints. Neither Instetten nor Effi’s parents are able to give adequate thought or consideration to individual relationships, the pursuit of happiness, or indeed their own personal needs, and they never depart from their norm-governed (and hence normative) roles. The fact that they are always fully aware of what they are doing makes them at best into somewhat tragic figures whose regrets at the end are totally sincere but ultimately meaningless. Against the background of the late 19th century, this is a timeless tale of conflict between personal emotions and social pressures – a conflict that leads to the death of an innocent young girl.

Besetzung: 2 Dame(n) , 4 Herr(en)
Alter: empfohlen ab 14
Frei zur: UA

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