Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim

   German advocate of religious toleration. Lessing was a poet, critic, dramatist and philosopher, and one of the leading figures in the German enlightenment. At the beginning and again at the end of his career he wrote pro-Jewish plays; his Die Juden (1749) portrayed dislike for the Jews as a prejudice, and made a break with the German dramatic tradition of representing stage Jews as figures of ridicule or hatred. His last play, and his most famous, Nathan der Weise (Nathan the Wise, 1804), whose chief character is a Jew, was a plea for toleration. It was inspired by Lessing’s friendship with Moses MENDELSSOHN, who served as the model for Nathan. Although a believer in toleration, Lessing did not believe that all religions were equal. He regarded Christianity as a superior development of Judaism, but thought that it, too, would be replaced one day by rationalist enlightenment.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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  • LESSING, GOTTHOLD EPHRAIM° — (1729–1781), German dramatist, philosopher, and critic. One of the outstanding representatives of the Enlightenment in Germany, Lessing was   devoted to the principle of toleration. One of Lessing s earliest literary ventures was Die Juden (1749) …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim — Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim, einer unserer größten Dichter und Prosaisten, ein Genius, auf welchen die deutsche Nation stolz zu sein Ursache hat. Sein Riesengeist überflügelte seine Zeit und er gab der Literatur eine Richtung, die national wurde,… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Lessing,Gotthold Ephraim — Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim. 1729 1781. German playwright and critic. A leader of the Enlightenment, he wrote the plays Minna von Barnheim (1763) and Nathan the Wise (1779). * * * …   Universalium

  • Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim — born Jan. 22, 1729, Kamenz, Upper Lusatia, Saxony died Feb. 15, 1781, Braunschweig, Brunswick German playwright and critic. After writing several light comedies, he became a theatre critic in Berlin in 1748. His play Miss Sara Sampson (1755) was… …   Universalium

  • Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim — (1729 1781)    Playwright, dramaturg, theorist. Lessing was a pastor s son who became the German theater s most accomplished playwright and critic during the mid 18th century. His influence and accomplishments were so substantial that he almost… …   Historical dictionary of German Theatre

  • Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim — (1729–81)    Dramatist and Theologian.    Lessing was the son of a Lutheran pastor and was born in Saxony. He became a wellknown literary critic and playwright and was regarded as a leading figure of the German Enlightenment. A personal friend of …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim — (22 ene. 1729, Kamenz, Lusatia Alta, Sajonia–15 feb. 1781, Braunschweig, Brunswick). Dramaturgo y crítico alemán. Después de escribir varias comedias ligeras, se dedicó a la crítica teatral en Berlín en 1748. Su obra Sara Sampson (1755) fue la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • LESSING, GOTTHOLD EPHRAIM —    a German author, and founder of modern German literature, born at Kamenz, Saxony, son of the pastor there; sent to study theology at Leipzig, studied hard; conceived a passion for the stage; wrote plays and did criticisms; wrote an essay on… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • LESSING, Gotthold Ephraim — (1729 1781)    German ENLIGHTENMENT PHILOSOPHER, publicist, playwright, critic, and art theorist. He worked for the free and democratic development of the German people and their CULTURE and was highly critical of the possibility of HISTORICAL… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing — Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Gemälde von Anton Graff (1771) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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