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Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


LACS: German Language and Culture Studies

First Advisor

Professor Assaiante


This thesis will examine the construction of femininity in German literature based off the concept of the ‘beautiful soul’, established by Friedrich Schiller in the late eighteenth century. The thesis will begin by providing historical and philosophical context regarding the prominent literary figures and their philosophy regarding Schillers ‘beautiful soul.’ The thesis will then examine case studies in which the ‘beautiful soul’ is exemplified in female characters throughout Enlightenment, Storm and Stress, and Romantic literature, and how this concept of the ‘beautiful soul’ in these stories negatively impacted the constructions of femininity. In addition, women who run counter to the standard of the ‘beautiful soul,’ and the ways in which they transcended societal barriers during this era will be discussed. Finally, the thesis will conclude by analyzing modern-day examples of women who overcame obstacles in literary and societal settings


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford CT for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in LACS: German Language and Culture Studies. Full text access is limited to the Trinity College community.