Ernst Benjamin Salomo Raupach - Encyclopedia

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ERNST BENJAMIN SALOMO RAUPACH (1784-1852), German dramatist, was born on the 21st of May 1784 at Straupitz, near Liegnitz in Silesia, a son of the village pastor. He attended the gymnasium at Liegnitz, and studied theology at the university of Halle. In 1804 he obtained a tutorship in St Petersburg. He preached at times in the German Lutheran church, wrote his first tragedies, and in 1817 was appointed professor of German literature and history at a training college in connexion with the university. Owing to an outburst of jealousy against Germans in Russia, culminating in police supervision, Raupach left St Petersburg in 1822 and undertook a journey to Italy. The literary fruits of his travels were Hirsemenzels Briefe aus and fiber Italien (1823). He next visited Weimar, but, being coldly received by Goethe, abandoned his idea of living there and settled in 1824 in Berlin. Here he spent the remainder of his life, writing for the stage, which for twenty years he greatly influenced, if not wholly controlled, in the Prussian capital. He died at Berlin on the 18th of March 1852.

Raupach was a prolific writer of both tragedies and comedies; of the former, Die Fiirsten Chawansky (1818), Der Liebe Zauberkreis (1824), Die Leibeigenen, oder Isidor and Olga (1826), Rafaele (1828), Der Nibelungenhort (1834) and Die Schule des Lebens (1841), and of the latter Die Schleichhcindler (1828) and Der Zeitgeist (1830) are pieces which have enjoyed great popularity owing to their skilful dramatic handling. On the other hand, the historical dramas with which his name is chiefly associated, Die Hohenstaufen (1837-38), a cyclus of 5 dramatic pieces founded on Friedrich von Raumer's Geschichte der Hohenstaufen, as also the trilogy Cromwell (1841-44), are superficial in treatment. Raupach had a great knowledge of theatrical effect and situations, but he contorts historical facts in order to suit his political hobby, which was the separation of church and state.

Raupach's collected dramas appeared under the title Dramatische Werke ernster Gattung (16 vols.,' 1830-43) and Dramatische Werke komischer Gattung (4 vols., 1829-35). For his life see Pauline Raupach, Raupach, eine biographische Skizze (1853); also K. Goedeke, Grundriss zur Geschichte der deutschen Dichtung, 2nd ed. (1905), vol. viii., pp. 646-668.

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