Andreas Gryphius

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Gryphius, Andreas


Born Oct. 2, 1616, in Glogau; died there July 16, 1664. German poet and playwright. Son of a pastor.

The pessimistic mood of the sonnets, odes, epigrams, and religious songs of Gryphius (in Latin) reflected the collapse of Germany after the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48). His historical tragedies in the baroque style— Leo Armenius (1646; published, 1650), Carolus Stuardus (1649; published, 1657), Katharina von Georgien (1646–48; published, 1657), Papinianus (1659), and Cardenio and Celinde (1649; published, 1657—also deal with contemporary problems. Gryphius’ best comedies are Peter Squentz (published, 1657) and Horribilicribrifax (1659; published, 1663). The most realistic and democratic of Gryphius’ plays— The Beloved Briar Rose (1660)—is a comedy in the Silesian dialect; its heroes are German peasants.


Werke: In einem Band. Weimar, 1963.


Istoriia nemetskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow, 1962. Pages 381–89.
Purishev, B. I. Ocherki nemetskoi literatury XV-XVII vv. Moscow, 1955. Pages 311–29.
Bibichadze, A. A. Grifius i ego tragediia “Koroleva Gruzii Katarina.” Tbilisi, 1950.
Flemming, W. A. Gryphius.... Stuttgart, 1965. (Bibliography.)
Szyrocki, M. A. Gryphius. Tübingen, 1964. (Bibliography.)


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The lyric poet Andreas Gryphius (1616-1664), who in 1636 knew his homeland only as a battleground, described the atrocities in grim detail in his sonnet "Threnen des Vatterlandes.
The first leads us from the vesper prayers of Dante's Purgatorio through Abendlieder lyrics of seventeenth-century German Protestant poets such as Andreas Gryphius and Paul Gerhardt and Jesuits such as Friedrich von Spee to the mystical poetry of the same century inspired by the noche oscura, noche serena of St.
In addition to the voice of Manrique and its radical scrutiny of life's irreversible course, there is a quotation from a poem by the seventeenth-century German poet Andreas Gryphius, ending with the line: "Die schonheit ist wie Schnee, die Leben ist der Tod" (Beauty is like snow, life is death).