Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock

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Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock
BirthplaceQuedlinburg, Holy Roman Empire
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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.


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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.