August Wilhelm von Schlegel Criticism - Essay

American Monthly Review (review date July 1833)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Review of A Course of Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature. American Monthly Review 4, no. 1 (July 1833): 1-14.

[In the following review, prompted by the republication of Schlegel's A Course of Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature in the United States, the reviewer praises Schlegel's critical insight and summarizes the content of the Lectures.]

An American reprint of A. W. Schlegel's Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature, is in itself a sign that the taste of the public is growing better. We have been of late years so deluged with novels of the robber school, and poems of the satanic school, and worse than both, with romances of the...

(The entire section is 5962 words.)

John Black (essay date 1846)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Black, John. “Memoir of the Literary Life of August Wilhelm von Schlegel.” In A Course of Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature, by August William Schlegel, translated by John Black, pp. 7-15. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1846.

[In the following essay, Black surveys Schlegel's life and literary career.]

Augustus William Von Schlegel … was, with his no-less distinguished brother, Frederick, the son of John Adolph Schlegel, a native of Saxony, and descended from a noble family. Holding a high appointment in the Lutheran church, Adolph Schlegel distinguished himself as a religious poet, and was the friend and associate of Rabener, Gellert, and Klopstock....

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Margaret E. Atkinson (essay date 1958)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Atkinson, Margaret E. “Introductory.” August Wilhelm Schlegel as a Translator of Shakespeare: A Comparison of Three Plays with the Original, pp. 1-8. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1958.

[In the following essay, Atkinson reviews Schlegel's translations of Shakespearean drama.]

There is no doubt that August Wilhelm Schlegel fully realized the magnitude of the task he was undertaking in his translation of Shakespeare's plays. This emerges clearly from statements in his essay, “Etwas über William Shakespeare bei Gelegenheit Wilhelm Meisters,”1 and from scattered remarks in his other theoretical writings and in his letters and reviews.2 On...

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Harold von Hofe (essay date December 1960)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Hofe, Harold von. “August Wilhelm Schlegel and the New World.” Germanic Review 35, no. 4 (December 1960): 279-87.

[In the following essay, Hofe considers Schlegel's diverse and thoughtful treatment of America and American themes in his writing.]

In the monographs and articles on America in German literature and thought August Wilhelm Schlegel is either misrepresented or not mentioned;1 in the critical and biographical studies of Schlegel, America is ignored. A revaluation of the part which the New World played in his life and works is needed, for abundant pertinent material is contained in his verse, critiques, essays, and letters.


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Edgar W. Hirschberg (essay date spring-summer 1967)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Hirschberg, Edgar W. “G. H. Lewes and A. W. Schlegel: An Important Critical Relationship.” University of South Florida Language Quarterly 5, nos. 3-4 (spring-summer 1967): 37-40.

[In the following essay, Hirschberg compares the critical methods of Schlegel and G. W. Lewes, arguing for the influence of the former on the latter.]

Bernard Shaw once termed George Henry Lewes “the most able and brilliant critic between Hazlitt and our own contemporaries.”1 Certainly at the time he wrote most of his dramatic criticism, during the 1840's and 1850's, he was better equipped by way of background, education and experience for the task of criticism than...

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Marianne Thalmann (essay date 1967)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Thalmann, Marianne. “August William von Schlegel.” In August William von Schlegel, pp. 5-30. Bad Godesberg: Inter Nationes, 1967.

[In the following essay, Thalmann details Schlegel's career as an eminent literary critic and scholar in the Europe of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.]

On April 1st, 1804, Madame de Staël1 wrote to her friend Albertine Necker de Saussure: “In the whole of this Berlin, who is it that has engaged my interest? The famous Prince Louis? No. A few from among those ‘grands seigneurs’ who abound here? No. A professor, a German professor! … If you are thinking of a flirtation, there is no question...

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Ralph W. Ewton, Jr. (essay date 1972)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Ewton, Jr., Ralph W. “The Speculative History of Poetic Origins.” In The Literary Theories of August Wilhelm Schlegel, pp. 22-38. The Hague: Mouton, 1972.

[In the following essay, Ewton analyzes Schlegel's theory of poetic language.]

In his “Briefe über Poesie, Sylbenmaß und Sprache” (1795-96) Schlegel observes, “indem man erklärt, wie die Kunst wurde, zeigt man zugleich auf das einleuchtendste, was sie sein soll” [Sämtliche Werke, ed. Ednard Böcking, 12 vols. (Leipzing, 1846-47). Hereafter SW, VII, 107]. Herder is Schlegel's model in this approach to the nature of art. It should be noted, however, that Schlegel had some...

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Margaret Stoljar (essay date 1973)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Stoljar, Margaret. “The Art of Criticism.” In Athenaeum: A Critical Commentary, pp. 111-33. Bern: Herbert Lang & Co., 1973.

[In the following excerpt, Stoljar discusses Schlegel's contributions to the journal Athenaeum, including his numerous polemical pieces and his study of Ludwig Tieck's Volksmärchen.]


The importance of the Athenäum in the definition of romantic attitudes to the art of literary criticism is greater than the proportion of critical articles in the strict sense would indicate. So great is the originality and fecundity of the journal in respect of aesthetic and literary theory that its purely...

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Glyn Tegai Hughes (essay date 1979)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Hughes, Glyn Tegai. “Profusion and Order: The Brothers Schlegel.” In Romantic German Literature, pp. 41-60. London: Edward Arnold, 1979.

[In the following excerpt, Hughes summarizes Schlegel's literary criticism, principally concentrating on the writer's influential formulation of Romantic theory, and notes his accomplishments as a translator of Shakespeare.]

August Wilhelm studied at Göttingen, where he came into close and fruitful contact with the great classical scholar Heyne and with the poet Bürger, both of whom thought highly of him. After four years as tutor to a Dutch family he married Caroline as a kind of rescue operation and moved with her to...

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Nancy M. Goslee (essay date 1981)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Goslee, Nancy M. “Plastic to Picturesque: Schlegel's Analogy and Keats's Hyperion Poems.” Keats-Shelley Journal 30 (1981): 118-51.

[In the following excerpt, Goslee considers the insight that Schlegel's A Course of Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature provides into the poetry of John Keats.]

In a series of lectures on literature from 1811 through 1818, Coleridge drew upon the attempts of Schiller, Schelling, and most extensively A. W. Schlegel to define the relationship of ancient to modern culture through analogy to the plastic and visual arts. “The spirit of ancient art and poetry is plastic, and that of the moderns...

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Ernst Behler (essay date 2002)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Behler, Ernst. “Lyric Poetry in the Early Romantic Theory of the Schlegel Brothers.” In Romantic Poetry, edited by Angela Esterhammer, pp. 115-41. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2002.

[In the following excerpt, Behler studies Schlegel's ideas regarding the mythic origins and the formal, metrical, and aesthetic features of lyric poetry.]

Considering the prominent rank of lyric poetry in European Romantic literature, we would expect an equally important position of the lyric genre in the thought of the Romantic critics about poetry. Indeed, this expectation is met by rich and diversified reflections on the nature of the lyric in essays,...

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