Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock

(2045 words)
  • Kevin Hilliard (Oxford University)

Between 1750 and 1780, Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock was the most celebrated poet in Germany. He was a key figure of the German literary revival of the later 18th century. He redefined the sublime style for a whole generation of writers. Goethe, Schiller, Hölderlin, and many others acknowledged, admired, imitated, and resisted him in varying degrees; none could afford to ignore his example. A number of his lyric poems remain part of the canon of German verse to this day.

Klopstock was born into a middle-class family on 2 July 1724 in the ancient city of Quedlinburg. The Lutheran piety he absorbed in his early years was the dominant intellectual influence in his life. It was complemented by an equally firm grounding i…

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Hilliard, Kevin. "Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 July 2004
[, accessed 10 October 2015.]