Eulenspiegel, Till

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error


The figure of the trickster has a very long pedigree in world literature going back to antiquity (Homer’s Ulysses, e.g.) and continues to enjoy considerable popularity to this day. The most famous (or infamous) trickster in the history of German literature was the rogue or prankster Till Eulenspiegel, also known, in the original Low German, as Dil Ulenspiegel. Numerous literary historians have examined the episodic narrative reflected in individual stories first with scenes from his early life, later scenes from his time as a young man, and concluding with accounts of his old age and death; each episode invites us to discuss specific events in Eulenspiegel’s life, his actions, and words. There are strong parallels with famous figures such as Don Quixote, Gargantua, Falstaff, and…

2117 words

Citation: Classen, Albrecht. "Eulenspiegel, Till". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 May 2024 [, accessed 30 May 2024.]

358 Eulenspiegel, Till 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.