Danton's Death Book by Georg Buchner

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Danton's Death is a play written by Georg Buchner in 1834. The play is devoted to the events of the French revolutions and portrays virtues and understanding of terror by revolutionaries. Buchner depicts that Maximilien Robespierre had appeared among the deputies of 1789 as an aggressive and charismatic person who promulgated liberal ideas.


Buchner underlines that his mastery of revolutionary technique, the bourgeois respectability, and the touch of aristocracy given to his dress and manners, made him the leader of middle-class Jacobinism. Thesis Virtue is seen as an outcome of terror and the terror is the only possible way to build a virtuous society and maintain strict moral laws.
Robespierre supposed that terror is the only possible tool to control society. Buchner depicts that tradesmen and artisans relied on his leadership of their rights. Their women-folk found his speeches as comforting as sermons. His limited outlook and mind has reverted the virtues which had built up their small businesses. They did not foresee that selfflattery and the need of power would turn his liberalism into a norm, his cult of virtue into an Inquisition, and his shrinking from violence into the regime of the Terror. Depicted as a cold, enigmatic, unattractive man, Robespierre repeated within the limits of his study and of his soul the experiments of the revolution, and received nothing from them but anger and devastation. Robespierre made it his mission in the autumn of '91, to save the country from dangers which he saw gathering round it, and especially from the threat of war. The first six months of the Legislative Assembly may well seem the most difficult period of the whole revolution. "Vice must be punished. ...
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