Classical- and Romantic Period

1830 and 1839 the local government of Oberammergau asked at the government of Upper Bavaria for the occupation of the vicarage by Josef Alois Daisenberger without success. Finally in June, 1845 Daisenberger was moved from Uffing, where he was since 1832, to Oberammergau. If the third petition was the reason for this success is not sure. The Oberammergauer define in it their expectations on Daisenberger quite clearly: „ he will act beneficial... as excellent teacher for our children, with his artistic sense on our industry, with apprenticeship and example on our spiritual welfare, and with right dignity on the passion play. [1]
1799 Alois Daisenberger was born in Oberau, which lies only few kilometres from the cloister of Ettal and also from Oberammergau. From 1804 he visited the lessons with father Otmar Weiss. [2] In October, 1812 he inscribed into the high school [3] of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Munich, which he concluded in summer, 1816. From 1817 to 1820 Daisenberger studied at the Landshuter university, which was strongly influenced by the most stamping figure Johann Michael Sailer. From 1820 he teached the children in his home town.
In October, 1821 he gets the ordination of priests. The Primiz mass took place in Oberau, father Othmar Weis held the sermon and Rochus Dedler composed the mass.
After different stations in different municipalities in Bavaria, in 1845 he finally achieved his purpose. „Since my youth I had a special predilection for Oberammergau. As a child every year I fully of longing looked forward to the “Kirchweihe” of Oberammergau; as a studying youth I experienced there very pleasant hours; in my first priest's years it was the last purpose of my wishes in respect on the place of my work: To become a priest in Oberammergau;” [4]
The People of Oberammergau entrust him with the direction of the passion play and the revision of the text. 1850 the revision was limited only to cancelations and low linguistic changes.
1850 starts a cultural-historical adoption strongly influenced by Martin Deutinger [6] and by the director and theatrical historian Eduard Devrient [7] which sees Oberammergau as a national inheritance of idealised Middle Ages. At the same time also critics in artistic regard were being raised. Also the government of Bavaria demands a treatment of the text. On the 21st December, 1858 Priest Daisenberger announced to the government that the draught of the passion for 1860 was finished.

The treatment of the passion in 1860 [9] was strongly stamped by the classical tragedy and used like these antique elements. Instead of the actualisation he placed general validity, instead of realism he placed sublimity and idealisation, instead of the political elements he placed psychological elements. Bound to the spirit of the times of the romanticism Daisenberger inserted legendary scenes to the play again, works with a pictorial language, and interprets the passiom drama as a fight between light and darkness. [11] Daisenberger juggles in nearly post modern manner with literary figures and style elements. He utilizes irony, which was very much popular in the romanticism. So he allows to pronounce the opponents of Jesus over and over again Christian truth which mean this, actually, in the reverse sense, as for example: „Only by the death of Jesus of Nazareth the people of Israel can be saved.” Or: „His death is our welfare.” [12] Daisenberger shapes the opponents of Jesus with the character of the followers of Jesus. E.g. the High priest Annas becomes like the old men Simeon who sees the long expected Messiah. But Annas' words refer on the luck to see the high council united against the enemy Jesus. Daisenberger get inspiration from Goethe's “Faust” to the desperation scene of Judas after the betrayal of Jesus.
The meeting of Maria and Jesus at the cross Daisenberger creates in the antique form of the Anagnorisis. In the prologues he reaches to alkäic and sapphic strophic forms.
The construction of the passion play shows a contentswise symmetry. The first part begins with the crowded scene ‚Marching in Jerusalem‘ where everyone is praising Jesus, and leads us up to loneliness in the Mount of Olives and therefore the loss of all friends. The second part is stamped by an increase of the enemies of Jesus, up to the scene where the people of Pilatus demand the crucifixion of Jesus. In the middle of these both parts lies the axis of the loneliness. The third part shows the rise of Jesus and therefore his independence of the people.
For the passion plays in 1870 Daisenberger tries to give a finally closed form to the passion play, while he catches the text in German blank verse and writes to the living pictures new prologues in the form of antique ode. However, this whole composition for unknown reasons was never performed. Nevertheless, since that time the play is called Daisenberger passion, without consideration of the Weiss’schen source material. Otto Huber has proved that in the version of 1860 still about half of the text were taken over partly literally, partly basically from Weis [13].
Daisenbergers work is less those of an artist, rather those of a knowing craftsman. „I feel that it was a venture exceeding my weak forces to treat the holy drama, this legacy of old-German devoutness, because I’m lacking the deeper understanding of the dramatic art, as well as the kind of my education which fell in the clarification period was not in addition provided to maintain that deeply dearly devout sense of the German ancestors in me. Still this sense was laid in me in my father's house.
However - I do not have imposed myself, I took over the work because it was arranged by authority and no one else was found, with the best wills, in love to my divine Redeemer and in view of a purpose: the edification of the Christian people.” [14]
Daisenbergers merit was to form the passion up-to-date, but the ideas on which the treatment was based had already become outdated. This can be led back on one hand on a delay of the South German and Austrian literature in general and, on the other hand, specific limping behind of Oberammergau.