August Wilhelm von Schlegel

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Schlegel, August Wilhelm von

(ou`go͝ost vĭl`hĕlm fən shlā`gəl), 1767–1845, German scholar and poet. With his brother, Friedrich von Schlegel, he founded the Athenaeum, which he edited (1798–1800). He served as secretary to Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte (later Charles XIVCharles XIV
(Charles John; Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte) , 1763–1844, king of Sweden and Norway (1818–44), French Revolutionary general. Bernadotte rose from the ranks, served brilliantly under Napoleon Bonaparte in the Italian campaign (1796–97), was French
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 of Sweden) and became professor (1818–45) of art and literary history at Bonn. Schlegel was one of the first critics to see the importance of social evolution in the history of art, and he was a champion of the Nibelungenlied. He is most noted for his extraordinary translations of Shakespeare (1797–1810), later completed by Ludwig Tieck and others, which established Shakespeare's greatness in Germany.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Schlegel, August Wilhelm Von


Born Sept. 8,1767, in Hanover; died May 12,1845, in Bonn. German literary historian and writer. Brother of F. von Schlegel.

A. von Schlegel studied classical philology at the University of Göttingen from 1787 to 1791. Beginning in 1818, he taught literary history at the University of Bonn and did work in Sanskrit studies. He was one of the founders of comparative linguistics. Schlegel belonged to the Jena school of German romantics. In his works, including the Berlin lectures on literature and aesthetics (1801–04, published 1884) and the Vienna lectures on dramatic art and literature (1808, published 1809–11), he gave the first systematic analysis of romanticism as a historical and aesthetic concept. In this analysis, which became famous throughout Europe, he contrasted ancient, classical aesthetics to modern, romantic aesthetics.

An outstanding theorist of artistic translation, Schlegel translated works by Dante, Calderón, and Petrarch; his translations of the plays of Shakespeare remain unsurpassed. Schlegel’s own literary works, including Poetic Works (1811) and his dramas, were influenced by classicism.


Kritische Schriften und Briefe, vols. 1–6. Stuttgart, 1962–67.
In Russian translation:
“Lektsii o literature i iskusstve: Fragmenty.” In Istoriia estetiki, vol. 3. Moscow, 1967.


Berkovskii, N. Ia. “Esteticheskie pozitsii nemetskogo romantizma.” In Literaturnaia teoriia nemetskogo romantizma. Leningrad, 1934.
Besenbeck, A. Kunstanschauung und Kunstlehre A. W. Schlegels. Berlin, 1930.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The book provides a panoply of contexts for the most celebrated theorists of 'poetic faith' in the theatre and the 'willing suspension of disbelief', August Wilhelm von Schlegel and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
(19) Walter Jesinghaus, August Wilhelm von Schlegels Meinungen fiber die Ursprache 41.