Category Archives: German Literature

German Olympiad – round 2!

Great news: Round 2 of the Oxford German Olympiad 2024 is now open for entries! The Olympiad is an annual competition run by the Oxford German Network for learners and speakers of German from ages 9 to 18.

The theme of this year’s Olympiad is Kafkaesque Kreatures, taking inspiration from the animal stories by Franz Kafka (1883-1924), who gave the German and English languages the word kafkaesk / Kafkaesque to describe a weird, disturbing experience. 

Image taken from the Oxford German Network website.

There are three Round 2 tasks to choose from this year, with exciting cash prizes for the winners of each task:

  • Oxford German Network Task
  • The White Rose Prize: Einen Brief schreiben
  • Camden House Book Proposal

Winners and runners-up will be invited to a prize-giving ceremony at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, in June 2024.

Further details about the tasks and the competition in general can be found here. The deadline for all entries is 7 March 2024 at 12 noon.

Please note:

  • students may enter only one of the three Round 2 tasks
  • there are age restrictions for each task
  • Round 1 and Round 2 of the Olympiad are separate competitions. Students may enter both, but do not need to have entered Round 1 in order to enter Round 2.

There’s also still time to enter Round 1! Find details here.

Undergraduate vs DPhil: What’s the Difference?

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to continue studying a subject you love, beyond an undergraduate degree? Well, wonder no more! Further study is a popular route taken by our graduates, whether it’s completing a Law conversion, a PGCE, or a DPhil [1] . On the blog this week, current DPhil student in German, Isabel Parkinson, explains what this means and entails…

Being a DPhil student is to exist in a strange, liminal space between the student bubble and the real world. You’re straddling the boundary between town and gown; certainly no longer an undergraduate – in fact, you’re probably teaching them! – but still going to college formals, still claiming a student discount whenever the chance should come your way. I was an undergraduate here at Oxford, and I’m a third-year DPhil student now – not quite long enough to have produced a full thesis, but long enough to have noticed the biggest differences between the two degrees.

Expertise

Even if you are just a couple of weeks into your DPhil research, you’ll have crafted a research proposal that is so niche, and so specific to you, that you are probably already a world expert in your own little field. It’s possible that nobody else in the Faculty will be looking at your chosen author or text, or will have considered your topic with the particular slant that you have put on it, or will have seen the archive material that you’re accessing.

Isabel presenting her research at a conference.

How often you meet with your supervisor will depend on what you both decide, but there is a real possibility that you could go for at least a fortnight without seeing anybody else (theoretically, at least – I do not advise doing this). It’s a personal choice, how much you fill this time and what you fill it with: you may choose to take on teaching commitments, to convene this seminar or that reading group, to deliver outreach, to present at conferences.

Instead of tutors asking you questions to which they already know the answers, your supervisor(s) will ask you for your opinion and input because they recognise it as valuable, informed. It’s a disquieting feeling at first; similar to when the GP asks you what treatment you fancy for whatever ailment you’ve presented them with. But as you’re trusted to set your own working pattern, your hours, your deadlines, as the bare bones of your research proposal get fleshed out, the feeling of being a clueless undergraduate pushed, blindfolded and disoriented, into a world of Real Academics, begins to fade.

People

The end of an undergraduate degree brings an end to tutorial partners, college classes, lectures. Rather, as a DPhil, you will likely mix much more with people in fora not specific to your degree – the MCR [2] , perhaps your scholarship or funding group, on projects or at conferences. It generally means coming into contact much more frequently with people working on very different research – oncology, music, archaeology, politics, anthropology… you get the sense very quickly that you could assemble an unbeatable University Challenge team.

St Hugh’s College, Oxford

Unlike school, undergraduate, and maybe even Master’s, a DPhil cohort is also a much broader cross-section of ages and life stages. I spend an inordinate amount of time saying to new acquaintances, variously, ‘nooo, I can’t believe you’re thirty-seven!’ or ‘wow, so – yes, you were still in primary school when I was a Sixth Former?!’ Mixing with people who have spent years in the working world, or who are married or have children, helps to remind you that life is a little broader and bigger than your laptop screen and your library desk, in a way which the undergraduate world seldom does.

Time

Unlike at undergraduate level, there is more of a sense at DPhil level that you are expected to have a rich life outside of your research. Three senior academics have now told me, independently of each other, that one never has as much free time again after the DPhil – so enjoy that time; read widely; explore new topics; do those things that you didn’t get time for as an undergraduate.

View of the Radcliffe Camera from Exeter College
Focus

From swapping between ten or so subjects at GCSE, three or four at A-Level, a plethora of assorted papers or modules at undergraduate – a DPhil is the culmination of an increasingly specialised focus across your academic journey.

Rather than the constant working towards deadlines as an undergraduate – handing in a completed essay for a tutorial and, Sisyphus-like, beginning the whole process again with a fresh title – you spend three or four years focussing on one title, one big research question. That focus will shift as you get better at research, get worse, and then get better again, as you read more texts and soak up more opinions – but that’s what keeps the whole process so absorbing.

Isabel Parkinson

St Hugh’s College | DPhil in German


[1] Doctorate of Philosophy. The PhD is known as the DPhil in Oxford.

[2] MCR (Middle Common Room): The self-governing body and social centre for graduate students in a college. Fourth year students are also granted MCR membership. The MCR is also a room located in the college. 

A German Classic 2023 – Kafka’s Der Heizer

The Oxford German Network are delighted to announce the launch of the 2023 edition of ‘A German Classic’ – Oxford’s essay competition for sixth-form students. This year we invite you to read Franz Kafka’s Der Heizer (1912/13).

It is the first chapter of the unfinished novel Der Verschollene (‘The Man Who Disappeared’), narrating the beginning of the story about 17-year-old Karl Rossmann. The story addresses themes including family and friendship, migration, identity and encounters with the foreign, be it a person of a different nationality, social status or gender. It is a story about growing up, finding one’s way in a foreign land, and personal (in)stability. The experiences Kafka evokes for the reader with his narratives are so distinctive that they have given rise to the word ‘Kafkaesque’. Get a sense of what it means by studying Der Heizer in the original – one of the iconic works of world literature!

ELIGIBILITY

Entrants must fulfil the following requirements as of 8 September 2023:

  • be beginning their final year of full-time study at a secondary school in the UK (upper-sixth form, Year 13 or S6 in Scotland);
  • be between the ages of 16 and 18;
  • hold a GCSE, IGCSE or equivalent qualification in German offered in the UK, or have at least an equivalent knowledge of German, as confirmed by their teacher;
  • be resident in the United Kingdom.

Entrants are not expected to have prior experience of studying German literature.

PRIZES

Up to three prizes will be awarded: a first prize of £500, a second prize of £300, and a third prize of £100. Prizes will only be awarded if work is of sufficient merit. All entrants will receive a Prize Certificate or a Certificate of Participation. Results will be announced in early October 2023.

STUDY PACKS

Sign up here by 5pm on Friday 30 June 2023 to receive free physical copies of the German original and an English translation of Kafka’s novel Der Verschollene, the first chapter of which is the set text of the competition. The website will also give you access to a set of free multimedia resources and essay writing guidelines created and curated by us especially for this competition. All physical study materials will be dispatched in early July.

For further information, please have a look on our website.

If you have any questions, please email the Prize Coordinator at germanclassic@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk

Apply to Study Beginners’ German!

Here at Oxford, the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages welcomes applications for German at all levels. This means that if you haven’t studied the language at A-level, you can still apply to study Beginners’ German as part of your degree.

Excitingly, 2023 marks the first year that prospective students can apply to study Beginners’ German as part of our Joint Schools degrees. This means that you can combine learning German from scratch with another of the following Humanities subjects:

  • Classics
  • English
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Philosophy

So, if you’re hoping to study one of these subjects, but are interested in learning a new language, why not choose Beginners’ German?!

Take a look at our brand new video below to learn more about studying German for Beginners at Oxford, and to hear about the experiences of our current students who have chosen this excellent option!

If students apply via the Beginners’ German route, they will sit the Language Aptitude Test, which forms part of the Modern Languages Aptitude Test (MLAT).

Students taking Beginners’ German will receive intensive language tuition during their first year and further targeted language support specific to their needs during their second year. From the start of their course they will have some teaching on narrative works together with the post A-level group, and they will be fully integrated from the start of the second year, with access to all the course options in linguistics, literature, film and culture.

During the course, Oxford’s tutorial system and small-group language teaching will enable students at all levels to receive the appropriate tuition for their needs, which will build on the knowledge they have already acquired.

You can learn more about German at Oxford here.

German Classic Prize & Conference

The Oxford German Network (OGN) are delighted to make two exciting announcements: firstly, the 2022 German Classic Prize is now open for entries! Secondly, the OGN will also be running a new Classic Conference for Year 12 students this year – see below for further details!

‘A German Classic’ Prize 2022

1st Prize: £500     2nd Prize: £300     3rd Prize: £100

Deadline: Wednesday 14 September 2022, 12 noon

2022 marks the sixth round of ‘A German Classic’ – our essay competition for sixth-form students! This year we would like to invite you to read with us Annette von Droste-Hülshoff’s captivating story Die Judenbuche published in 1842.

Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, often called Droste by friends and family, was one of the most influential German-speaking female authors of the 19th century. Her work Die Judenbuche is sometimes considered to be the first murder mystery, containing elements of a crime thriller and gothic novel. Filled with plot twists, Doppelgänger, grisly murders, and red herrings, Die Judenbuche explores how human nature is shaped and (de)formed, confronting us with existential questions of good and evil and all the greyscales in between.

Over the coming weeks, we will release further resources and provide insights into the text and its author on our webpage (where you can find more information and resources) and via Twitter. Together we will explore the text, discussing topics ranging from uncanny Doppelgängers, deadly curses, and 18th-century slavery, showing you the enduring relevance of this 19th-century text.

For all details about eligibility, study packs, essay questions, submission, judging criteria, and more, see here.

We encourage all students interested in entering the competition to email their UK correspondence address to the Prize Coordinator (Natascha Domeisen: germanclassic@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk) by 12 noon on 25 June to receive a free study pack. 

*****

German Classic Conference 2022

Tuesday 21 June 2022 | Jesus College, Oxford, Ship Street Centre

Jesus College, photo by John Cairns, taken from the Jesus College website

We are delighted to announce the launch of the first German Classic Conference for Year 12 students on the topic of Die Judenbuche by Annette von Droste-Hülshoff. This half-day conference will provide insights into the text, its key themes and translations in brief lectures and undergraduate-led discussions. There will also be a tour of Jesus College and the Fellows’ Library with the opportunity to enjoy some German treasures of the Jesus College collection. We are looking forward to exploring this German Classic with you!

Programme
11.45 – 12.25    Registration and Lunch
12.30 – 13.10    Introduction to Die Judenbuche (short lectures and Q&A)
13.15 – 14.00    Lost in Translation? Die Judenbuche in German and English
14.05 – 14.40    Tour of Jesus College and Fellows’ Library
14.45 – 15.15    Group Discussion of key themes with undergraduates
15.15 – 15.45    ‘More than a Whodunnit?’ Undergraduate Panel Discussion with Q&A
15.45 – 16.15    Tea and Departure

To download the programme as a PDF, please click here.

To register, please fill out this registration form and email it to the German Classic Prize Coordinator, Natascha Domeisen (germanclassic@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk) by noon on 10 June 2022.

Please note: Attendance at the conference is not a condition of entering the German Classic Prize competition 2022. More details about the Conference (including specifics about entry requirements, travel costs and accommodation) can be found here.

OXFORD GERMAN OLYMPIAD 2022

The tasks for the Oxford German Olympiad 2022 are now online.

It is our 10th Olympiad!

This year’s topic is “Der Rhein”. 

 It is a topic that explores cultural, geographical and historical dimensions of Germany’s second largest river.

There is also a nice little prehistoric link to Oxford: a long time ago, the Rhine and the Thames used to be connected!

The tasks and further information can be found here: https://www.ogn.ox.ac.uk/content/oxford-german-olympiad-2022

The Competition Tasks

Choose one of the tasks appropriate for your age group.
All tasks to be completed in German, unless indicated otherwise.

Years 5 and 6 (age 9-11):

  1. Draw a picture of a barge on the Rhine. Label the 12 most important items.
  2. You are attending the “Basler Fasnacht” (carnival of Basel) or “Kölner Karneval” (carnival of Cologne). Design your costume and give your drawing or painting 10 labels.
  3. Draw a comic strip of the Rhine and the places it flows through.

Years 7 to 9 (age 11-14):

  1. Draw or paint a picture of creatures that live in and by the Rhine, and write a short text describing them.
  2. Write about a day in your life on Lake Constance (der Bodensee) in a prehistoric stilt house (Pfahlbau) – “Ein Tag am Bodensee in der Bronzezeit”.
  3.  Draw a scene from Heinrich Heine’s poem „Die Loreley“ and describe what is happening.

Years 10 and 11 (age 14-16):

  1. “Rheingold”. Write a story or create a video inspired by the Nibelung treasure.
  2. Create an online exhibition about the famous castles along the Rhine.
  3. Give a video presentation about the historical importance of the Rhine.

Years 12 and 13 (age 16-18):

  1. “Wie sichern wir die nachhaltige Zukunft des Rheins?”. Plan a conference for 16-18 year olds including the advertisement and programme with keynote lectures and topics for roundtable discussion.
  2. Write an essay, give a video presentation OR create a website on one of the following topics associated with places on the Rhine: “Hildegard von Bingen”, “Die Geschichte des Zeppelins” OR “Der Kölner Dom”.
  3. Write an essay or video yourself giving a lecture on the following topic: „Schlagader Europas: Die Geschichte des Rheins”.

Open Competition for Groups or Classes (4+ participants):

  1. Create a website for a Rhine river cruise.
  2. Write and illustrate a children’s book about acat living on a Rheinschiff (Rhine barge).
  3. Create a graphic novel or a video featuring characters or storylines from the “Nibelungenlied”.

Discover German – Taster Competition (1-3 participants with no prior experience of studying German):

  1. Years 5 and 6: Find out what the following German words mean and draw a picture including all these items, each with a label:
    der Fluss, das Ufer, die Brücke, das Haus, das Schiff, der Hügel, die Burg, die Fahne, der Fisch, die Nixe.
  2. Years 7 to 9: Draw or paint a picture of the whole Rhine and label the countries (in German), 10 cities and 10 things you would be likely to find in or along the river.
  3. Years 10 and 11:Create a crossword puzzle or game that includes the names of 15 places on the Rhine or words associated with the Rhine.
  4. Years 12 and 13:  Research words formed with (a) Fluss, (b) fließen and (c) flüssig. Give one or more translations for each word (the translation may consist of more than one word).

Please note:

– Each participant must submit an entry form and a teacher form.

– Each participant may only enter for one task within their age group as an INDIVIDUAL entrant.

– We require a consent form for under-13 participants. Click here to download the form.

Inspiration
Click here for some of our thoughts and ideas about this year’s tasks.

Closing date for all entries is Thursday, 10 March 2022.

We are looking forward to receiving lots of exciting entries!

Any questions, please contact Eva Wechselberger: olympiad@mod-langs-ox.ac.uk

New Resources for Sixth-Form Language Learners

On Tuesday 12 January 2021 the Faculty hosted our first virtual literature masterclass for sixth-form students. The event usually takes place in Oxford each January but, as with most things this academic year, it has been necessary to move it online. We were joined by around 80 Year 12 and 13 students from nine different schools; colleagues led eleven parallel workshop sessions, each focusing on a different set text from the French, Spanish, or German A level curriculum. Participants were able to get a flavour of how tutorial teaching works, and to get to grips with some in-depth literary analysis. The virtual format enables us to broaden our geographical reach, and we hope to be able to offer similar sessions to more schools over the course of the year.

We’ve also begun producing a series of short videos focusing on particular literary techniques. You can find these over on our YouTube channel, on the playlist titled ‘Literary Masterclass for Sixth-Formers’. To date we have videos for French on ‘Perspective’, ‘Theatricality’, ‘Time and Tense’, and ‘Lexis and Imagery’, and a video for German on ‘Perspective’. Over time we hope to add more to the collection, with videos for Spanish learners as well as more for those studying German. Do subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive a notification when we upload a new video!

German Classic: Thomas Mann’s Der Tod in Venedig

Readers familiar with the blog may be aware that the Oxford German Network normally runs a German Classic Prize for sixth formers. While the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that the prize can’t run this year, they have come up with a great alternative way to engage with another Classic piece of German literature. If you study German and are currently in Year 12/ Lower Sixth, this is an awesome opportunity to immerse yourself in a German text and get some feedback from an Oxford academic. Read on to find out more…

A German Classic: Thomas Mann’s Der Tod in Venedig

Participation Guidelines for Sixth-Formers

We are delighted to announce the launch of the 2020 edition of ‘A German Classic’. Although we are unfortunately unable to run it as a competition this year, we would still like to invite you to read with us Thomas Mann’s Der Tod in Venedig (1912) – one of the most famous novellas in German literature and a masterpiece of European modernism. In his inimitably elegant and sumptuous style, Mann tells a transgressive story of Gustav von Aschenbach, an aging German writer, who falls in love with Tadzio, a teenage boy from Poland, during a holiday in Venice in the midst of a cholera epidemic. Often hailed as a break-through work for the queer community, Der Tod in Venedig might resonate differently now, in the era of the #metoo movement and the coronavirus pandemic.

You can sign up for free to receive a physical copy of the German original and an English translation of Mann’s novella, watch a specially recorded lecture that will guide you through the text, and have the opportunity to get feedback on your written commentary on a passage from Der Tod in Venedig from an Oxford academic. While logistic challenges this year mean that we are unable to compile extensive study materials and conduct our usual essay competition, we hope that you will want to join us for an exploration of ‘A German Classic’ in this adapted format.

‘A German Classic’ was launched in 2017 thanks to a generous donation by Jonathan Gaisman, QC. It is designed to celebrate a different literary classic each year and encourage in-depth study by creating a wide range of resources that open up different perspectives on the concerns at the heart of the work. The links to interviews and discussions, articles and performances remain available on our website to inspire ongoing interest in these works beyond the year of the competition. So far, we have featured Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust (in 2017), Freidrich Schiller’s Maria Stuart (in 2018), and E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Der Sandmann (in 2019).

ELIGIBILITY

Participants must fulfil the following requirements as of September 2020:

  • be beginning their final year of full-time study at a secondary school in the UK (upper-sixth form, Year 13 or S6 in Scotland);
  • be between the ages of 16 and 18;
  • hold a GCSE, IGCSE or equivalent qualification in German offered in the UK;
  • be resident in the United Kingdom.

Participants are not, however, expected to have prior experience of studying German literature.

PARTICIPATION

All interested students should email the German Classic Coordinator, Dr Karolina Watroba (germanclassic@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk), as soon as possible. We will be accepting new participants until the end of July. Students will receive free of charge:

  • Physical copies of the German text of Der Tod in Venedig and an English translation. Shipping will be administered by the Blackwell’s online bookshop. Students will need to provide an address in the UK to which they would like the books shipped, by which they consent to having their address passed on to Blackwell’s. Shipping may take up to a few weeks. Editions received may vary as they will depend on the availability of stock. Since we depend on the availability of stock, which is currently subject to potential disruption, we cannot unfortunately guarantee shipping: orders will be placed on a first come, first served basis.
  • Access to a specially recorded, hour-long, university-style online lecture. The lecture will introduce Thomas Mann’s life and work, guide students through Der Tod in Venedig, and discuss additional resources on the text that are freely available online.
  • A choice of three short commentary passages from Der Tod in Venedig alongside a guide on how to write a good commentary. Students will be encouraged to write and submit their commentaries (c. 1500 words) by email by 1 September 2020. All students who submit a commentary by this date will receive individual written feedback on their work by 1 October 2020. The feedback will not include any ranking or mark. It will be designed purely as informal academic comment on the piece of work submitted.

We would like to ask all students who request access to these materials to let us know the name and type of their school (non-selective state-maintained; selective state-maintained; non-selective independent; selective independent; other) so we can monitor whether we are reaching a diverse range of schools around the country.

A Writer’s War

Last week we brought you news of an exciting new podcast from Creative Multilingualism. This week, we have another new podcast to share with you – this one produced by some of our academics in collaboration with the wonderful Year 10 students at Oxford Spires Academy. The podcasts are available to listen to here.

The Oxford Spires Academy’s project “A Writer’s War” was designed to examine how writers from the UK, France, and Germany responded to the First World War in poetry and prose. Students were encouraged to draw parallels between texts in three languages, and examined the respective authors’ experiences of the war, as well as cultural and artistic reactions to war. To this end, students were encouraged to ponder whether war, for the writers in question, was seen as a patriotic endeavour, or as a time of suffering, or as something altogether quite different. Students were shown archive documents sent from the trenches or diary entries from those at home.

The students were also taken to Magdalen College, where they examined various memorials such as that commemorating Ernst Stadler, a German Expressionist poet, Rhodes scholar, and Magdalen alumnus. Stadler was killed in battle at Zandvoorde near Ypres in the early months of World War I. Stadler was not named on the Magdalen War Memorial as he was a foreign combatant, but later received a separate plaque on Magdalen’s grounds. This opportunity enabled students to examine the politics of commemoration and the question of post-war reconciliation. Students were encouraged to think about such issues beyond the case of WW1.

Royal Irish Rifles ration party Somme July 1916 . Via Wikimedia Commons.

Organised by the Head of Languages, Rebekah Finch, students at the Oxford Spires Academy engaged in research-led workshops with interventions from Professor Toby Garfitt, Professor Ritchie Robertson, and Andrew Wynn-Owen (a current Ph.D. student and published poet) on the literatures of the three linguistic areas. The students also enjoyed a creative writing workshop with Andrew Wynn Owen, where they wrote their own poems about war.

Catriona Oliphant of Chrome Media presented a skills workshop on creating podcasts, after which each pupil made a short podcast about the project and experience, discussing what they had seen, read, thought, or written.

Professor Toby Garfitt, Professor Ritchie Robertson, Andrew Wynn-Owen, Professor Santanu Das (a specialist of WW1 and the Indian sub-continent) and Professor Catriona Seth also recorded podcasts on the topic.

The students enjoyed studying parallel and diverging literary traditions, and gained a greater awareness of various literary genres, the politics of commemoration, gendered reactions to war, and war as the subject for literary texts.

Cilck here to access the podcasts. There are nine episodes:

  1. Dulce et Decorum Est. In the first four podcasts, we hear from Year 10 students at Oxford Spires Academy.
  2. Fête. This is the second of four podcasts, in which we hear from Year 10 students at Oxford Spires Academy.
  3. All Quiet on the Western Front. This is the third of four podcasts in which we hear from Year 10 students at Oxford Spires Academy.
  4. In Memoriam. This is the last of four podcasts in which we hear from Year 10 students at Oxford Spires Academy.
  5. Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! In this podcast, we hear from Prize Fellow and poet Andrew Wynn Owen and Senior Research Fellow Prof. Santanu Das of All Souls College about the British response to the First World War.
  6. Art, Adventure, Love. In this podcast, we hear from Prof. Toby Garfitt, Emeritus Fellow of Magdalen College, about the response in France to the First World War.
  7. Storm of Steel. In this podcast, we hear from Ritchie Robertson, Taylor Professor of the German Language and Literature and Fellow of The Queen’s College, about the German response to the First World War.
  8. From Across the Seas They Came. We conclude this group of podcasts with a discussion about responses to the First World War in former colonies of the British and French Empires. Catriona Seth, Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature and Fellow of All Souls College, chairs a conversation between Prof. Santanu Das, Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, and Prof. Toby Garfitt, Emeritus Fellow of Magdalen College.
  9. President Warren at Home. In the final podcast in our series, we visit the archives of Magdalen College to hear from archivist Dr Charlotte Berry and archives assistant Ben Taylor about some of the items in the College’s First World War collection.

Literature Masterclass: Dürrenmatt

You may remember that in the past this blog has featured clips from our sixth form literary masterclass: our tools and tips for sixth formers approaching literature in a foreign language for the first time. Past episodes have included a French introduction to ‘Time and Tense’ and an introduction to ‘Theatricality’, also with a French focus. Today, we shift the focus to German and consider the theme of ‘Perspective’ in a text that is commonly studied as part of the German A Level: Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s Der Besuch der alten Dame. Dr Karolina Watroba explores this topic in the video below, showing how a few key quotations can reveal the shifting points of view represented in the play.