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SCHLEGEL, J. E.—SCHLEGEL, K. W. F. VON

Amsterdam, he went to jena, where, in 1796, he married Karoline, the widow of the physician Bohmer (see Sc111;LL1NG, KAROLINE) and in 1798 was appointed extraordinary professor. Here he began his translation of Shakespeare, which 'was ultimately completed, under the superintendence of Ludwig Tieck, by Tieck's daughter Dorothea and Graf W. H. Baudissin. This rendering is one of the best poetical translations in German, or indeed in any language. At Iena Schlegel contributed to Schiller's periodicals the H oren and the M usenalmanach; and with his brother Friedrich he conducted the Athenaeum, the organ of the Romantic school. He also published a volume of poems, and carried on a rather bitter controversy with Kotzebue. At this time the two brothers were remarkable for the vigour and freshness of their ideas, and commanded respect as the leaders of the new Romantic criticism. A volume of their joint essays appeared in 1801 under the title Charakteristiken und Kritiken. In 1802 Schlegel went to Berlin, where he delivered lectures on art and literature; and in the following year he published Ion, a tragedy in Euripidean style, which gave rise to a suggestive discussion on the principles of dramatic poetry. This was followed by Spanisches Theater (2 vols., 1803-1809), in which he presented admirable translations of five of Calderon's plays; and in another volume, Blumenstrausse italienischer, spanischer und portuguesischer Poesie (1804), he gave translations of Spanish, Portuguese and Italian lyrics. In 1807 he attracted much attention in France by an essay in the French language, Comparaison entre la Phedre de Racine et cette d'Euripide, in which he attacked French classicisni from the standpoint of the Romantic school. His lectures on dramatic art and literature (Uber dramatische Kunst und Literatur, 1809-1811), which have been translated into most European languages, were delivered at Vienna in 1808. Meanwhile, after a divorce from his wife Karoline, in 1804, he travelled in France, Germany, Italy and other countries with Madame de Stael, who owed to him many of the ideas which she embodied in her work, De l'AlZemagne. In 1813 he acted as secretary of the crown prince of Sweden, through whose influence the right of his family to noble rank was revived. Schlegel was made a professor of literature at the university of Bonn in 1818, and during the remainder of his life occupied himself chiefly with oriental studies, although he continued to lecture on art and literature, and in 1828 he issued two volumes of critical writings (Kritische Schriften). In 182 3-1830 he published the journal Indische Bibliothek (3 vols.) and edited (1823) the Bhagavad-Gita with a Latin translation, and (1829) the Rdmdyana. These works mark the beginning of Sanskrit scholarship in Germany. After the death of Madame de Staél Schlegel married (1818) a daughter of Professor Paulus of Heidelberg; but this union was dissolved in 1821. He died at Bonn on the 12th of May 1845. As an original poet Schlegel is unimportant, but as a poetical translator he has rarely been excelled, and in criticism he put into practice the Romantic principle that a critic's first duty is not to judge from the standpoint of superiority, but to understand and to “ characterize ” a work of art.

In 1846-1847 Schlegel's Sdmtliche Werke were issued in twelve volumes by E. Bocking. There are also editions by the same editor of his CEu'ures écrites en français (3 vols., 1846), and of his Opuscula Latine scripta (1848). Schlegel's Shakespeare translations have been often reprinted; the edition of 1871-1872 was revised with Schlegel's MSS. by M. Bernays. See M. Bernays, Zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Schlegelschen Shakespeare (1872); R. Genée, Schlegel und Shakespeare (1903). Schlegel's Berlin lectures of 1801-1804 were reprinted from MS. notes by J. Minor (1884). A selection of the writings of both A. W. and Friedrich Schlegel, edited by O. F. Walzel, will be found in Kiirschnefs Deutsche Nationalliteratur, 143 (1892). See especially R. Haym, Romantische Schule, and the article in the Allg. deutsche Biagraphie by F. Muncker.


SCHLEGEL, JOHANN ELIAS (1719-1749), German critic and dramatic poet, was born at. Meissen on the 28th of January 1719. He was educated at Schulpforta and at the university of Leipzig, where he studied law. In 1743 he became private secretary to his relative, von Spener, the Saxon ambassador at the Danish court. Afterwards he was made professor extraordinary at the academy of Seriie, where he died on the 13th of August 1749. Schlegel was a contributor to the Bremer Beitrage and for some time, while he was living in Denmark, edited a weekly periodical, Der Fremde. With his dramas as well as with his critical writings he did much to prepare the way for Lessing, by whom his genius was warmly appreciated. He wrote two lively and well-constructed comedies, Der Triumph der guten Frauen and Die sturnme Schonheit, the former in prose, the latter in alexandrines. Hermann and Canut (in alexandrines) are generally considered his best tragedies.

His works were edited (in 5 vols., 1761-1770) by his brother, ]. H. Schlegel (1724-1780), who had a considerable reputation as a writer on Danish history. Another brother, Adolf Schlegel (1721-1793), an eminent preacher, and author 0 some volumes of verse, was the father of August Wilhelm and Friedrich von Schlegel. ]. E. Schlegel's Asthetische und dramaturgische Schriften have been edited by J. von Antoniewicz (1887). and a selection of his plays by F. Muncker in Bremer Beitrage, vol. ii. (Kiirschner's Deutsche Nationattiteratur, vol. xliv., 1899). See, besides the biography by his brother in the edition of his works, E. Wolff, Johann Elias Schlegel (1889); and J. Rentsch, Johann Elias Schlegel als Trauerspieldichter (1890).


SCHLEGEL, KARL WILHELM FRIEDRICH VON (1772-1829), German poet, critic and scholar, was the younger brother of August Wilhelm von Schlegel. He was born at Hanover on the 10th of March 1772. He studied law at Gottingen and Leipzig, but ultimately devoted himself entirely to literary studies. He published in 1797 the important book Die Griechen und Romer, which was followed by the suggestive Geschichte der Poesie der Griechen und Romer (1798). At ]ena, where he lectured as a Privatdozent at the university, he contributed to the Athenaeum the aphorisms and essays in which the principles of the Romantic school are most definitely stated. Here also he wrote Lucinde (1799), an unfinished romance, which is interesting as an attempt to transfer to practical ethics the Romantic demand for complete individual freedom, and Alarcos, a tragedy (1802) in which, without much success, he combined romantic and classical elements. In 1802 he went to Paris, where he edited the review Europa (1803), lectured on philosophy and carried on Oriental studies, some results of which he embodied in an epoch-making book, Uber die Sprache und Weisheit der I ndier (1808). In the same year in which this work appeared, he and his wife Dorothea (1763-1839), a daughter of Moses Mendelssohn, joined the Roman Catholic Church, and from this time he became more and more opposed to the principles of political and religious freedom. He went to Vienna and in 1809 was appointed imperial court secretary at the headquarters of the archduke Charles. At a later period he was councillor of legation in the Austrian embassy at the Frankfort diet, but in 1818 he returned to Vienna. Meanwhile he had published his collected Gedichte (1809) and two series of lectures, Uber die neuere Geschichte (1811) and Geschichte der alten und neuen Literatur (1815). After his return to Vienna from Frankfort he edited Concordia (1820-1823), and began the issue of his Samtliche Werke. He also delivered lectures, which were republished in his Philosophie des Lebens (1828) and in his Philosophie der Geschichte (1829). He died on the 11th of January 1829 at Dresden. A permanent place in the history of German literature belongs to Friedrich Schlegel and his brother August Wilhelm as the critical leaders of the Romantic school, which derived from them most of its governing ideas as to the characteristics of the middle ages, and as to the methods of literary expression. Of the two brothers, Friedrich was unquestionably the more original genius. He was the real founder of the Romantic school; to him more than to any other member of the school we owe the revolutionizing and germinating ideas which influenced so profoundly the development of German literature at the beginning of the 19th century.

Friedrich Schlegel's wife, Dorothea, was the author of an unfinished romance, Ftorentin (1801), a Sammlung romantischer Dichtungen des Mittelalters (2 vols., 1804), a version of Lothef und Matter (1805), and a translation of Madame de Staél's Corinne (1807-1808)-all of which were issued under her husband's name. By her first marriage she had a son, Philipp Veit, who became an eminent painter.