Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock’s creative life fell between the period of the German Enlightenment, dominated by the influence of French neoclassicism, and the emergence of the youthful, German nationalist writers of the Sturm und Drang and the early Romantic period, dominated by the young Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. This transitional position has led to Klopstock’s being praised as the godfather of a self-confident new generation of German writers while being criticized as long-winded, excessively ornate, and obtuse. Therefore, the author of The Messiah paradoxically is praised more for his literary influence than for his literary output. This is particularly true for his plays, which were seldom performed onstage—indeed, his biblical plays were more popular in Italy and France than in Germany. Klopstock’s enthusiastic endorsement of the French Revolution led to his being made an honorary citizen of France by the National Assembly in 1792, a title he retained even after he was deeply disappointed by the subsequent reign of terror. His funeral in Hamburg was attended by a large number of dignitaries and thousands of mourners—further proof of the accuracy of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s prediction in 1753 that Klopstock would be honored by many but read by only a few.