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November 15, 2005

Schnitzler, "Professor Bernhardi"

Priest: I, Professor, am commanded by my religion also to love those who hate me
Bernhardi: And I am commanded by mine—or by that which has settled into my heart in its stead—also to understand where I am not understood.

"Professor Bernhardi" was an unusual play. It took me awhile to understand where the play was going, and the frequent use of more complex language made it all the more hard to understand.

The line above shows that both men have compassion for the unknowingly dying girl, but neither will concede to the other's proposed action. While the girl doesn't know she's dying, the priest wants to administer her "final rights," but the professor doesn't wants her final hours to be happy ones, not reminding the girl of her fate.

I wonder also about the implications of her slowly dying from a failed abortion, and how that fact may empassion the priest's desire to perform the ceremony.

Posted by DavidDenninger at November 15, 2005 07:01 PM

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