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8 Pages

Marie Beaumarchais: Kierkegaard’s Account of Feminine Sorrow

BySusana Janic

Under the pseudonym of A, Søren Aabye Kierkegaard sets forth his conception of Marie Beaumarchais in Either/Or I. He picked this character from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s (1749-1832) five-act tragedy, Clavigo, published in July 1774, and according to what Kierkegaard writes, the facts are plain: “The girl taken as our subject is known to us in Goethe’s Clavigo,” and further, “Her story is brief: Clavigo became engaged to her; Clavigo left her.”1