Grillparzer, Franz

(1791-1872)
   Playwright. Grillparzer was perhaps the most accomplished playwright of 19th-century Austria; scholars sometimes compare his work to Heinrich von Kleist's as an example of late Romanticism, because his characters (like Kleist's) often suffer passions of unbridled dimensions in plays that cover vast expanses of time and territory. Grillparzer was a graduate of the University of Vienna's law school and served in the Habsburg bureaucracy for decades; in 1856 he received the honorary title of Hofrat (court counsel) for his services. As a playwright, however, he sometimes ran afoul of the Habsburg establishment, and he never received the literary honors many thought his due. Joseph Schreyvogel was the first director to encourage Grillparzer; his Die Ahnfrau (The Ancestress) premiered at the Theater an der Wien in 1817 and was generally successful. Schreyvogel's 1819 premiere of Grillparzer's five-act verse tragedy Sappho at the Burgtheater, however, was sensationally popular. It earned Grillparzer both money and renown, and the Burg named him one of its Theaterdichter (theater poets) thereafter.
   Grillparzer is one of the few German-language playwrights to have been strongly influenced by plays of the Siglo de Oro, the "golden age" of Spanish drama in the 17th century. His Der Traum ein Leben (Life Is a Dream) is perhaps the best example, since it derives in many respects from the Calderon de la Barca original. Grillparzer's Weh dem, der lügt (Woe Betide the Liar) is likewise thought to have antecedents in the work of Lope de Vega; Grillparzer set the play in medieval France, and unfortunately audiences hated it. His Die Jüdin von Toledo (The Jewess of Toledo, 1851), based directly on Lope's The Peace of Kings and the Jews of Toledo (1617), was more successful when it premiered after Grillparzer's death.
   Grillparzer was most successful in plays that dealt with Habsburg history; his first play chronicling the Habsburg dynasty was König Ottokars Glück und Ende (King Ottokar's Rise and Fall, 1825), featuring the first Habsburg king, Rudolf I, and his successful overthrow of the Bohemian king Ottokar. Czech patriots naturally resented the portrayal of Ottokar as a morose cuckold, and the play was at first banned; only when Empress Augusta Caroline intervened on his behalf was the production allowed to proceed. That was not the last encounter with censors for Grillparzer, though. Many critics have argued that Grillparzer's frequent conflicts with censors led him to a despondency that negatively affected his work. That may be true to some extent, but Heinrich Laube's numerous productions of Grillparzer's plays in the 1850s occasioned a revival of estimation for Grillparzer; that led to what is arguably his best play, Ein Bruderzwist in Habsburg (Fraternal Guile within the House of Habsburg), which premiered posthumously. Even before the 1850s, however, there was general recognition of Grillparzer's achievements. Habsburg chancellor Klemens von Metternich himself named Grillparzer to the Austrian Academy of Sciences in 1847; he was awarded several honorary doctorates in the 1850s, and in 1861 Grillparzer was appointed to the newly established Upper House of the Austrian parliament. When he died, thousands lined the streets as his funeral cortege passed by; an estimated 20,000 mourners accompanied it to the Hietzinger Cemetery in Vienna.

Historical dictionary of German Theatre. . 2006.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Grillparzer, Franz — Grillparzer, Franz, Franz, hat zuerst 1816 mit der »Ahnfrau« auf, einem Trauerspiel, das große Erwartungen von ihm erregte. Das Stück wurde auf allen deutschen Bühnen gegeben und in mehrern Auflagen gelesen. 1818 folgte das zweite Werk »Sappho.«… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Grillparzer, Franz — • An Austrian poet, b. at Vienna, 15 January, 1791, d. 21 January, 1872 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Grillparzer, Franz — born Jan. 15, 1791, Vienna died Jan. 21, 1872, Vienna Austrian dramatist. He spent much of his life in government service. His early tragedies include The Ancestress (1817), Sappho (1818), and the pessimistic The Golden Fleece (1821). The Waves… …   Universalium

  • Grillparzer, Franz — (1791–1872)    One of German literature’s greatest poetic dramatists, Grillparzer was born in Vienna, where he also died. His family was close to influential theatrical and government circles in the Habsburg capital. In 1813, following… …   Historical dictionary of Austria

  • Grillparzer, Franz — ► (1791 1872) Autor dramático austríaco. Obras: Safo (1818), El rey Ottokar (1825), Las olas del mar y del amor (1840), entre otras. * * * (15 ene. 1791, Viena, Austria–21 ene. 1872, Viena). Dramaturgo austríaco. Laboró gran parte de su vida como …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • GRILLPARZER, FRANZ —    popular Austrian dramatist, born at Vienna; studied law and then entered the Civil Service, in which he remained from 1813 to 1856; his first notable drama was the tragedy Die Ahnfrau, the motif of which is an extreme fatalism; Sappho, Das… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Grillparzer — Grillparzer, Franz …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Franz Grillparzer — Franz Grillparzer, Lithographie von Joseph Kriehuber 1841 Franz Grillparzer (* 15. Jänner 1791 in Wien; † 21. Jänner 1872 ebenda) war ein österreichischer Schriftsteller, der vor allem als Dramatiker hervorgetreten ist. Aufgrund der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Grillparzer — Franz Grillparzer, Lithographie von Joseph Kriehuber 1841 Franz Grillparzer (* 15. Januar 1791 in Wien; † 21. Januar 1872 in Wien) war ein österreichischer Schriftsteller, der vor allem als Dramatiker hervorgetreten ist …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Franz Grillparzer — Lithograph by Josef Kriehuber, 1841 Born 15 January 1791 Vienna, Austria Died 21 January 1872 Vienna Occupation …   Wikipedia

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