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Franz Grillparzer (1791-1872)
Grillparzer is emblematic of the late Austrian monarchy for several reasons. He described himself as split personality always drawn between rational thought and galloping fantasy. As a son of a well-situated advocate the profession of a civil servant for the Habsburg monarchy seemed the obvious choice.
He never abandoned his interest in theatre and literature and wrote an impressive number of plays and poems. His first play to hit the stage was called 'Die Ahnfrau' (The Ancestress) and earned him the position of official playwright of the Burgtheater. As an artist he combined German classicism inspired by Friedrich Schiller and exuberant lyricism. Franz Grillparzer is generally considered to be the greatest Austrian playwright.
His major works are 'Ein Traum, ein Leben' (A Dream is Life),
his comedy 'Weh dem, der lügt', a historical tragedy
'König Ottokars Glück und Ende' (King Ottokars Rise
and Fall') and a trilogy inspired by Greek mythology: 'Das
mir die buntverworrne Welt!
Contemporary playwright Nestroy satirized some of Grillparzer's plays.