In the Dungeon of Conscience. Dramatising Ethical Normativity on the Stage of Early Modern Times

Based on the situation of prisoners in historical dramas of Early Modern Times, this study aims to contribute towards the knowledge about the strategies used in dealing with conflicting ethical norms. The ethical reading of history in drama requires a conflict with “the other”, the other confession, the other culture (orient, slavism) in order to certify the non-questionable norm in its deathly consequence, which is above the individual life. Thus, a situation is created which is characterised by an inability to enter into a dialogue or to reach a compromise between different ethical norms or cultural worlds. The study further aims to examine how conscience has to be re-interpreted and re-defined in order to survive as a non-questionable authority in the conflict with the power of “the other”.