Article Title (2.Language):
The very word “reason” has a significant place in the history of human mind. However, the dominant powers of the varying systems of social order have monopolized reason by imposing ethnic, religious and feudal allegiances on the individual throughout history. It was the Age of Enlightenment that people started to question those social etiquettes by thinking independently. This article entitled “Reflections of the Individual, Free Will and Independent Thought Conceptions in Lessing’s Plays” investigates these conceptions in the light of the analyses of the German dramatist’s works “Minna von Barnhelm” and “Nathan the Wise”, taking Kant’s opinions regarding free will, pure and practical reason as a starting point. This article intends to show how an individual can act freely as a consequence regardless of any kind of social limitations. The two plays being analyzed here, “Minna von Barnhelm” and “Nathan the Wise” are significant for the development of modern drama due to the fact that they both include comedy and drama. Therefore, the article gives an account of how comedy is used as an instrument of emancipation for the individual. Furthermore, the article points out the underlying message of “Minna von Barnhelm”: the necessity of mutual recognition of man and woman based on empathy and equality. Additionally, the article aims at revealing the thoughts of Lessing in regards to tolerance and friendship and intends to show how conceptions of free will and independent thought can be used to cut the Gordian knot among people which derives from misconceptions and animosities pertaining to ethnic, religious and political prejudices. The paper concludes with an evaluation stating that the emancipation of the individual from limitations due to social, ethnic, religious, and political differentiations can be put into practice by employing the forces of free will and independent thinking.