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Gerhart Hauptmann

Gerhart Hauptmann (November 15, 1862 - June 6, 1946), German dramatist, was born on at Obersalzbrunn in Silesia, the son of an hotel-keeper.

From the village school of his natlve place he passed, to the Realschule in Breslau, and was then sent to learn agriculture on his uncle's farm at Jauer. Having, however, no taste for country life, he soon returned to Breslau and entered the art school, intending to become a sculptor. He then studied at Jena, and spent the greater part of the years 1883 and 1884 in Italy. In May 1885 Hauptmann married and settled in Berlin, anti, devoting himself henceforth entirely to literary work, soon attained a great reputation as one of the chief representatives of the modern drama.

In 1891 he retired to Schreiberhau in Silesia. Hauptmann's first drama, Vor Sonnenaufgang (1889) inaugurated the realistic movement in modern German literature; it was followed by Des Friedensfest (1890), Einsame Menschen (1891) and Die Weber (1892), a powerful drama depicting the rising of the Silesian weavers in 1844.

Of Hauptmann's subsequent work mention may be magic of the comedies Kollege Crampton (1892), Den Biberpelz (1893) and Den rote Hahn (1901), a "dream poem," Hannele (1893), and an historical drama Florian Geyer (1895). He also wrote two tragedies of Silesian peasant life, Fuhrmann Henschel (1898) and Rose Berndt (1903), and the dramatic fairy-tales Die versunkene Glocke (1897) and Und Pippa tanzt (1905). Several of his works have been translated into English.

Biographies of Hauptmann and critical studies of his drama, have been published by A Bartels (1897); P Schlenther (1898) and UC Woerner (2nd ed. 1900). See also L Benoist-Hanappier La Drama naturaliste en Allemagne (1905).

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.