Miss Sara Sampson

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Miss Sara Sampson
Written byGotthold Ephraim Lessing
CharactersSir William Sampson
Miss Sara, his daughter
Marwood, Mellefont's old lover
Arabella, Marwood's daughter
Waitwell, an old servant of Sampson
Norton, servant of Mellefont
Betty, maid of Sara
Hannah, maid of Marwood
The Innkeeper and some secondary characters.
Date premiered10 July 1755 (1755-07-10)
Place premieredDrill hall
in Frankfurt-on-the-Oder, Germany
Original languageGerman
Bourgeois tragedy

Miss Sara Sampson (original spelling Miß Sara Sampson[1]) is a play by the Enlightenment philosopher, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Written in 1755 while the author was living in Potsdam, it is seen by many scholars to be one of the first bourgeois tragedies. In the same year it was represented at Frankfurt-on-the-Oder, and was very well received. It was afterwards translated and acted in France, where it also met with success. The play was Lessing's first real success as a playwright and it was in part due to the success of this play that he was asked to be the dramaturg at the German National Theatre in Hamburg.


  1. ^ "Miß" on the titlepage of the 1772 "Tragedies of G. E. Lessing" and "MISS" in all caps Dramatis personæ, though the spelling "Miss" now has wide currency in German

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