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November 15, 2005

Bernhardi and More

Schnitzler, Professor Bernardhi Acts 1-3 -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

Professor Bernhardi by Arthur Schnitzler

"BERNHARDI: God, who created you so humble and me so presumptuous, surely has His own mysterious reasons."

Both well-cultured and in a position of authority, Bernhardi was a doctor who took great care of his patients, and More was a fair and honest lawyer who did appeals free of charge and was open to all. Both were surrounded by people who didn't hold themselves to a high moral standard. Their struggle of a protagonist and their morals, against an immoral society is also similar. To them it is a matter of ethics, to society it is an act of defiance.

Bernhardi’s defiant act was just a common courtesy to dying patient, whereas More denied legitimacy to a King. Bernhardi ethics are not religious in nature, but are the ethics of a proper physician. More could have given in at any time and all Bernhardi had to do was promote a Catholic doctor over a Jewish one. Both Bernhardi and More refused to give up their principles in the face of adversity. Despite all they went through, they remained passive to their situation. Neither of them would ever make a big fuss about how they were being treated.

Posted by Kayla Sawyer at November 15, 2005 02:17 PM


Great comparison Kayla. I didnt even think about A Man for All Seasons when i read this play. That was great Kayla. You have great points.

Posted by: Denamarie at November 15, 2005 03:55 PM

Just so you know I posted a comment in reponse to your comment on Chera's blog.


Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at November 16, 2005 12:03 AM

I just thought about a key way in which Bernhaldi and More are different, or at least their situations seem to be. More is left totally alone without anyone supporting him, not his family or his friends (almost by choice really), while Bernhaldi, at least at this point, still is backed by many of his colleges and friends and his son. It will be interesting to see how the end turns out.

Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at November 16, 2005 07:48 AM

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