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Nathan der Weise (Nathan the Wise)
by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Nathan der Weise (Nathan the Wise), is a five act is a five act play published in 1779 and is a fervent plea for religious tolerance. Its performance was forbidden by the Church during Lessing's lifetime; it was first performed in 1783 in Berlin.

Set in Jerusalem during the Third Crusade, it describes how the wise Jewish merchant Nathan, the enlightened sultan Saladin, and the initially anonymous Templar bridge their gaps between Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Its major themes are friendship, tolerance, relativism of God, a rejection of miracles and a need for communication.

Title Details

Translator:R. D. Boylan
Number of words:71,557
Print Length:204 pages

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All Titles by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Nathan der Weise (Nathan the Wise)

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