Joose Van Den Vondel

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vondel, Joose Van Den


Born Nov. 17, 1587, in Cologne; died Feb. 5, 1679, in Amsterdam. Dutch poet and playwright; founder of the Dutch school of classical tragedy. Author of lyric, epic, and didactic verses, satires, and dramas on historical and biblical subjects. In his first tragedy, Pass-over (1612), Vondel glorified the struggle of the Netherlands against Spanish absolutism. The humanist idea of religious tolerance forms the basis of the tragedy Palamedes (1625). The first state theater in the Netherlands opened in 1638 with a production of Vondel’s national-heroic tragedy Gijsbrecht van Aemstel (1637). The character of Ursula in the tragedy Maidens (1639) embodies civic valor and selflessness. In the tragedy Lucifer (1654) he presents a conceptual and artistic generalization of the most important conflicts of his time. In the protest of the rebellious crowd the voice of the heroic Dutch people can be heard. The titanic spirit of struggle that is inherent in the play is stronger than the ideas of religious humility preached by Vondel, who in 1641 converted to Catholicism. The tragedy Salomon (1657) is characterized by a spirit of freedom and resistance. Among Vondel’s other artistic achievements are the tragedies Samson (1660), Batavian Brothers (1663),Adam in Exile (1664), and Noah (1667).

The dramatic works of Vondel, who was an heir to the humanist ideas of Erasmus of Rotterdam and Hugo Grotius, are outstanding examples of world classical drama.


De werken, vols. 1-10. Amsterdam, 1927-37.


Korsakov, P. Ioost fan den Fondel’. St. Petersberg, 1938.
Danchev, V. V. “Tema povstannia v tragedii losta van den Vondela Liutsyfer.” In the collection Inosemna filologiia, vol. 19. L’vov, 1969.
Smit, W. Van Pascha tot Noah, vol. 1-3. Zwolle, 1956-62.
Smit, W., and P. Brachio. Vondel. (1587-1679). Paris, 1964.


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