As an agnese, partly also an agnese role, the role of a naive, gullible, often peasant (country) girl is described in the literature as well as in the theater. The term is derived from the five-act comedy The School of Women (1663, original title: L’école des femmes) by the French poet, not even the Latin noun Agnus, which means sheep Molière. The Agnese role also finds a counterpart in August of Kotzebue’s drama The Indians in England (1790): here the role of the Gurli is similar. From this, the term Gurli-Role later derived, which is related to the agnese. Both terms mean a gullible girl.
The Agnès in Molière’s school of women, which is the first masterpiece of the poet, is the drawing-house of the rich, 42-year-old citizen Arnolphe. Arnolphe, who is himself a bachelor, took the plan of taking Agnès, when she was a young girl of four years, and growing her up in the seclusion of a monastery. His plan is to marry the young girl when she is a woman, while she is raised according to his ideas. This is to keep him from adultery.
After 13 years in the monastery he quarters them in one of his houses and leaves them guarded by limited servants. The young woman was educated in the monastery for innocence, ignorance, and subservience, and behaves accordingly. It is easy to believe, simple as well as naive, and that is what is called theater or agnese. The role of Gurli is a very similar type.
Gurli, the daughter of the rich Kaberdar in Kotzebues is playing the Indians in England. It has very similar properties. In order to round the picture, she should speak at this point herself. With the following words, Gurli characterizes himself in the twelfth performance of the first act: “Yes Father does Gurli also; but Gurli is so awkward, she spoils everything. When I am near, my twist will soon tear me, and soon the sewing needle will break. if I knit, I will let the stitches fall, and when I read, I will sleep. “