Joseph, the beloved son of the old patriarch Jakob, is an ambivalent personality - beautiful but vain, clever but complacent. Spoiled by the love of his father, he looks down upon his brethren and, contrary to the order of birth, sees himself as the legitimate heir to his father's blessing. Just as his father Jacob deceived his older brother for his father's blessing, Joseph also believes that he can circumvent the old right of the firstborn. This pride turns into Joseph’s doom: his brothers sell him to foreign merchants and declare him dead, and he is sold as a slave in Egypt. Thus begins his second life, in which, as a result of his profound trust in himself, he rises to the challenge and is ultimately elected as Pharaoh's deputy, the second-mightiest man in the country. In this function, he meets his brothers again, to whom he finally reveals himself as their lost brother. He forgives them. In his last encounter with his father, Joseph must finally realize that the faith in his calling, which is the basis for all his actions and aspirations, turns out to be false: the blessing of his father, and the inheritance, is passed on to another brother.
Thomas Mann wrote his most extensive novel over a period of more than 15 years, which John von Düffel has now worked convincingly into a play for the theater. (Düsseldorf Theater)