Heinrich von Kleist

(3194 words)
  • William C. Reeve (Queen's University at Kingston Ontario)

Now recognized as the most “modern” and most performed German classical dramatist and as the author of eight narrative masterpieces, Heinrich von Kleist never saw any of his plays on stage and achieved notoriety throughout most of the 19th century primarily for his scandalous suicide. Because his dramas were considered unperformable and dealt with socially unacceptable themes such as rape, sado-masochism, guerilla warfare or a Prussian officer's fear of death, they could only appear in adaptations until the 20th century. Suddenly, a writer who identified art with life and whom his contemporaries had rejected as a “sick” romantic had anticipated the crisis of modernity and raised crucial existential issues. Since Jean Vilar's …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Reeve, William C.. "Heinrich von Kleist". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 August 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5477, accessed 25 May 2016.]

Articles on Kleist's works

  1. Amphitryon
  2. Das Bettelweib von Locarno [The Beggarwoman of Locarno]
  3. Das Erdbeben in Chili [The Earthquake in Chili]
  4. Das Käthchen von Heilbronn [Cathy of Heilbronn]
  5. Der zerbrochne Krug. Ein Lustspiel [The Broken Jug. A Comedy]
  6. Die Hermannsschlacht [Hermann's Battle]
  7. Die Marquise von O ... [The Countess of O ...]
  8. Die Verlobung in St. Domingo [The Betrothal in St. Domingo]
  9. Michael Kohlhaas
  10. Penthesilea
  11. Prinz Friedrich von Homburg [The Prince of Homburg]
  12. Über die allmähliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden [Concerning the Gradual Construction of Thoughts while Speaking]