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I noticed a similar phrase recurring twice in the conversation between Effi's parents in Chapter V of Theodor Fontane's Effi Briest, which I'm reading online:

Miss Hulda had clinked her glass too hard against Lieutenant Nienkerk's.
"Of course, half asleep and always has been, and lying under the elder tree has obviously not improved matters. A silly person, and I don't understand Nienkerk."
"I understand him perfectly."
"But he can't marry her."
"No."
"His purpose, then?"
"A wide field, Luise."

"So now you admit it. In talking with me you have always denied, yes, always denied that the wife is in a condition of restraint."
"Yes, Luise, I have. But what is the use of discussing that now? It is really too wide a field."

In the first of these passages, the meaning of "A wide field" seems clear to me: their conversation suggests that Nienkerk was flirting with Hulda although he knew that he wouldn't commit to a married relationship with her; the "wide field" means he wanted to keep his romantic options open.

In the second passage, which occurs at the very end of Chapter V, the meaning of "too wide a field" is more obscure to me. What field, in this context, is too wide?

Is there any significance in this phrase being repeated twice in quick succession? Does it foreshadow later events in the story, or is it a well-known proverb in German with some meaning that I'm missing from reading a translation?

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What field, in this context, is too wide?

The topic of the inequality between women and men, manifested in the fact that Innstetten decides how he and Effi will spend their honeymoon, and Effi has to accept this even though she's clearly somewhat unhappy.

Is there any significance in this phrase being repeated twice in quick succession?

You actually missed a third use of the phrase in the same chapter. And yes, there is a significance. The phrase is repeated several more times throughout the book by Effi's father, and in one case even by Innstetten referring to it as "as your father always said".

Does it foreshadow later events in the story

Oh boy, does it ever, as you will have noticed - that phrase is actually the very last phrase in the entire novel, uttered by Effi's father after Effi has died, and her mother raises the question whether they are responsible for her fate because she was too young when they agreed to let Innstetten marry her.

or is it a well-known proverb in German with some meaning that I'm missing from reading a translation?

I cannot say whether it was well-known at the time Effi Briest was written, but I doubt it. Nowadays, the phrase is fairly well-known because of its significance in Effi Briest (which is a very common - and generally despised - assigned reading material in schools).

It's really more a platitude than a proverb. The way Effi's father uses it makes it clear that it's his go-to phrase to avoid discussing complex moral issues - issues which he recognizes as valid concerns, but is not willing to really discuss. And the oppression of women is the most common (but not the only) issue he treats that way. My interpretation is that this represents status quo bias, people talking themselves into believing that something cannot be changed and therefore is pointless to discuss.

In the end, quite tragically, it's his way to avoid discussing the reasons for his daughter's death - something he actually cannot change, no matter how much he'd want to.

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