Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: Nathan der Weise [Nathan the Wise] (3134 words)

Friederike von Schwerin-High
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Gotthold Ephraim Lessing wrote Nathan der Weise [Nathan the Wise, cited here in the excellent translation by Noel Clark, London: Oberon 2002], his last play and one of his most celebrated works, in the winter of 1778, after a hiatus of six years in his output of theatrical writings. Nathan der Weise was published in 1779 with Voss Publishing, and it sold more than 1200 copies in its first edition. During the preceding years, Lessing had become enmeshed in a heated public controversy with J. M. Goeze, a prominent pastor from Hamburg, which ultimately led to the revocation of Lessing’s freedom from censorship. Lessing, then serving in his eighth year as head librarian i…

von Schwerin-High, Friederike. "Nathan der Weise". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 January 2007
[, accessed 21 October 2018.]

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