A carnival game by Father Brey

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Title: A carnival game by Father Brey
Genus: Posse
Original language: German
Author: Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Publishing year: 1774
Premiere: October 20, 1778
Place of premiere: Ettersburg
  • Father Brey
  • Spice Shop
  • Leonora
  • Balandrino

A carnival play by Father Brey is a farce by Johann Wolfgang Goethe . Probably written in 1773, the piece was in print in 1774.


The annoyed spice grocer (= spice grocer) scolds Father Brey as a devil , because the father has set up the general store according to the alphabet ; So coffee has recently been sorted under C and the tobacco cans under T. That is not enough. Father also split the spice grocer with the neighbor Sibylla . However, Sibylla doesn’t let the father come up against it - if only because he shows her daughter Leonora how she should be smart and old . The spice grocer has eyes on his head. How Padre and Leonora are entwined ! All that was missing was that they went to bed together .

After almost three years of service in Italy , Dragoon captain Balandrino, Leonora's bridegroom, returns home and asks the würzkrämer how things are going. The captain is put in the picture and immediately takes revenge on the priest. Balandrino disguises himself as a wealthy landowner and pretends that he is looking for a competent manager. The priest wants to create order and goes to the glue. At the behest of the false landowner of the Father is the Würzkrämer to the need of supervision Völklein banished.

They all talk through their noses
Got very puffed up deserts
And sniff at every Christian
And run away from everyone.

The annoying do-gooder is led by the spice grocer outside to the pigs . The groom can unmask himself and discover himself to his delighted bride:

You virgins, never let me kiss you
From priests who don't want to know anything else.

Real role models

According to Wilpert, there are people from Goethe's circle behind the figures:

figure real person Role of the real person
Father Brey Franz Michael Leuchsenring like the other members of the Darmstadt circle ; Literary man of sensitivity

and of Sturm und Drang

Spice Shop Johann Heinrich Merck Host of the Darmstädter Kreis
Leonora Caroline Herder ( Maria Karoline Flachsland ) Wife , biographer and editor of the writings of Johann Gottfried Herder
Balandrino Johann Gottfried Herder influential writer and thinker of the Weimar Classics


“I spoke to Goethe on Monday about the Leonore in Pater Brey . I asked him if I was that whole person. By no means! he said: I shouldn't interpret like that. The poet only takes as much from an individual as is necessary to give life and truth to his subject, the rest he gets from himself. "

- Caroline Herder, b. Flax Country, February 8, 1789



  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Poetic Works, Volume 3 . Pp. 535-543. Phaidon Verlag Essen 1999, ISBN 3-89350-448-6

Secondary literature

Web links