Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

(2661 words)
  • Eva Parra Membrives (Universidad de Sevilla)

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, one of the most important dramatists and aesthetic theorists in European literature, was born on 22 January 1729 as the third of twelve sons of Johann Gottfried and Justine Salome Lessing into a humble and deeply religious family in the small town of Kamenz near Dresden (Saxony). His father, a recognized theologian, was the town's Protestant minister, a severe patriarch and a lover of culture. He soon recognized his son's extraordinary intellectual abilities, instructed him at an early age in various areas of knowledge and sent him to the Lateinschule (high school) in Kamenz from 1737-41. At the age of twelve, young Lessing was rather proficient in Latin and Greek, and spoke English and French fluently. H…

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Membrives, Eva Parra. "Gotthold Ephraim Lessing". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 July 2004
[, accessed 06 May 2016.]

Articles on Lessing's works

  1. Die Erziehung des Menschengeschlechts [The Education of the Human Race]
  2. Emilia Galotti. Ein Trauerspiel in fünf Aufzügen [Emilia Galotti. A Tragedy in Five Acts]
  3. Laokoon oder über die Grenzen der Malerei und Poesie [Laokoon: An Essay on the Limits of Painting and Poetry]
  4. Minna von Barnhelm oder Das Soldatenglück [Minna of Barnhelm, or Soldiers' Fortune]
  5. Miss Sara Sampson. Ein bürgerliches Trauerspiel in fünf Aufzügen [Miss Sara Sampson]
  6. Nathan der Weise [Nathan the Wise]