Johann Christoph Gottsched considers Molières comedy Le Misanthrope in the preface of the first volume of the Deutsche Schaubühne as a ‚masterpiece‘ due to its specific modelling: the scenery is located in a noble space and avoids every kind of despicableness. Furthermore, he emphasizes that this comedy is worth imitating, because it discusses a specific moral-ethical problem, namely a rhetorical-moral problem: what signifies the rhetorical ideal of honesty and how acts an honest speaker? Thus, Johann Christoph Gottsched, as editor of the Deutsche Schaubühne and Luise Adelgunde Victorie Gottsched as translator of the comedy, propound a new understanding of Alceste as an honest character, who is neither comic nor tragic, but always just himself.
Carlo Goldoni’s comedy La locandiera as well as Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s tragedy Emilia Galotti expound the problems of the order of the household in the early modern period. Both dramas focus on the power and the position of the father in the Enlightenment in order to reflect the transformations of the household and the dynamics due to the changing of positions in the family. These shifts become visible in the interaction of fathers and daughters with two remarkable effects: The presence of the father results in the daughter being incapable of acting, like Emilia Galotti, while his absence provokes an overacting of the daughter, like Mirandolina. Both women were not educated by their fathers and/or mothers to act self-aware and self-regulated in private and public spaces. On the contrary, they act in the name of the father without being able to reflect their actions and especially the consequences and effects of their activities – for themselves and others.