Date of Award

Spring 1972

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Foreign Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Taylor, Ransom

Second Advisor

Joda, Robert

Third Advisor

Bender, Gisela


The purpose of this paper is to trace the development of the German radio play as a form of literary art. The first section deals with the history of the radio play in Great Britain, France, the United States, and that which we now consider West Germany. After defining the characteristics of the radio play as an artistic form, the thesis deals with the differences among three mediums, the radio play, the traditional drama, and the film, with emphasis upon the absence of the visual element and the dominance of the spoken work and other various auditory devises in the radio play as opposed to the drama and the film. A critical analysis of the German radio play in relation to structure, plot, dialogue, timing and audience impact follows. I have chosen Heinrich Boell's radio play, Klopfzeichen, as a well-written example composed specifically for this medium. Alfred Neumann's Der Patroit serves as a contrast in style, having been originally composed as a novella, as a traditional drama, as a film, and, finally, as a radio play. An evaluation of the two follows. Finally, I have attempted to speculate about the future of the radio play as an art form in itself.