Gutzkow, Karl

(1811-1878)
   Playwright. Gutzkow came to prominence as a member of the "Young Germany" movement, which among younger German intellectuals voiced sympathy for the ideals of the 1830 revolution in Paris, especially those of universal male suffrage, religious tolerance, and sexual emancipation. In 1831 Gutzkow wrote Uriel Acosta, a five-act blank-verse tragedy about an Orthodox Jew who confronted intolerance and bigotry in his own religion; the play did not premiere until 1846, but thereafter it proved exceedingly durable as a standard feature in several theater repertoires. Gutzkow was briefly imprisoned in 1836 for his revolutionary convictions, but public sentiment ran in his favor. He edited several publications through the 1840s, during which time his playwriting thrived. His best effort from that decade was the comedy Der Königsleutnant (The King's Lieutenant), written for the Johann Wolfgang Goethe centenary in 1849. It remained popular through the 1880s. He worked as a dramaturg in Dresden, but for the most part Gutzkow concentrated on writing novels for the remainder of his life.

Historical dictionary of German Theatre. . 2006.

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