In "Egmont", Goethe relates the fight of Count Egmont (1522-1568) against the despotic Duke of Alba. Egmont is a famous Dutch warrior and the Duke of Alba represents the Spanish invader. Though under threat of arrest, Egmont refuses to run away and give up his ideal of liberty. Imprisoned and abandoned because of the cowardice of his people, and despite the desperate efforts of his mistress Klaerchen, he is sentenced to death. Thus, faced with her failure and despair, Klaerchen puts an end to her life. The play ends on the hero's last call to fight for independence. His death as a martyr appears as a victory against oppression. Egmont is a political manifesto in which Egmont's craving for justice and national liberty is opposed to the despotic authority of the Duke of Alba. It is also a drama of destiny in which the Flemish nobleman, with fatalism, accepts the dire consequences of his straightforwardness and honesty. (Excerpt from Wikipedia)
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