Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock

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Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock
Birthday
BirthplaceQuedlinburg, Holy Roman Empire
Died

Klopstock, Friedrich Gottlieb

 

Born July 2, 1724, in Quedlinburg; died Mar. 14, 1803, in Hamburg. German poet; author of The Messiah (vols. 1–4, 1751–73), a religious epic in hexameters.

A forerunner of the Sturm und Drang movement, Klopstock attempted to make his lyric works express freedom of emotion and poetic imagination. His dramas include Adam’s Death (1757), Solomon (1764), and David (1772), tragedies based on biblical subjects and emphasizing the necessity for humility. His dramatic trilogy, consisting of Hermann’s Battle (1769), Hermann and the Princes (1784), and Hermann’s Death (1787), deals with Germany’s heroic past.

Klopstock hailed the Great French Revolution, and he was made an honorary citizen of the French Republic. However, his abstractly ethical point of view prevented him from properly appreciating the Jacobin phase of the revolution.

WORKS

Werke, vols. 1–4. Edited by R. Hamel. Stuttgart, 1884. (Deutsche Nationalliteratur, vols. 46–48.)
In Russian translation:
In N. V. Gerbel’, Nemetskie poety v biografiiakh i obraztsakh. St. Petersburg, 1877.
In Khrestomatiia po zapadno-evropeiskoi literature: Literatura XVIII veka. Moscow, 1938.

REFERENCES

Mering, F. “F. Klopshtok, v ego kn.” Literaturnokriticheskie stat’i vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1934.
Wiegand, J. Zur lyrischen Kunst Walthers, Klopstocks und Goethes. Tübingen, 1956.

IU. M. KAGAN