Biography of Franz Grillparzer (1791-1872)

Austrian writer born in Vienna in 1791 and died in this city in 1872. After studying philosophy and law at the University of Vienna, he/she worked as a librarian. In 1832 he/she was appointed director of the court file; in 1856 he/she retired in possession of the title of Counselor Real. The successes of his first theatrical compositions, as well as his good relationship with F. Schreyvogel, the playwright of the Vienna Burgtheater, did that in 1818 they will invite you to take care of the mentioned Theatre programming. However, after the unsuccessful obtained with comedic Weh dem der lugt (Ay which lie!, 1838), has restated his activity as a writer and decided to move away from public literary life and do not represent any part. In 1821 he/she met Katharina Fröhlich, who would handle after the death of the writer of his legacy.

Along with H. von Kleist and C.. F. Hebbel, Grillparzer is one of the most outstanding playwrights of his time. His compositions have marked influences from the Viennese popular theatre, but also the influence of the Spanish Theatre (Lope de Vega, Calderón) and classicism is remarkable. The central theme of all his production is the duality that is the individual, divided his self between inner and the outside world. But, contrary to what happened in the classical drama, the protagonists of the works of Grillparzer, very much in line with the current problems of the individual, are not a possible reconciliation for these opposites.

His first work, Die Ahnfrau (grandmother, 1817), keeps the romantic trend of the doomed protagonist; Sappho (Sappho, 1818) develops the inner conflict of an existence marked by art which perishes in the dichotomy between art and life. His trilogy Das Goldene Vlies (the fleece of gold, 1822), Der Gastfreund (guest), Die Argonauten (the Argonauts) and Medea, also recreates in the figures of Jason and Medea the antagonistic world of two opposing beings.

With König Ottokars Glück und Ende (the luck and the end of the King Ottokar, 1825), Grillparzer launched a line of works of political and historical content. Die Jüdin von Toledo (the Jewish of Toledo, 1872) the protagonist, the Castilian King Alfonso VIII, is torn between passion and duty; Libussa (1841), a work on the Foundation of the city of Prague, and in Ein Bruderzwist in Habsburg (a fraternal quarrel in Augsburg, 1872), historical issues make up the bulk of the tragedy: the first will elucidate on the best form of Government, patriarchy or Matriarchy; the second contains the lawsuit between the Emperor Rudolf II and his brother and successor Mathias, through which Grillparzer tries to warn of the impossibility of the existence of a world Empire.

Grillparzer also wrote some works in prose. His short novel Der arme Spielmann (poor juggler, 1847) reflects the longing of a poor itinerant musician find beauty and harmony. He/She tried also some lyrical compositions and epigrams, and always carried the day his diaries, valuable documents to understand his thoughts and his conception of the world.