August von Kotzebue, (born May 3, 1761, Weimar, Saxony [Germany]--died March 23, 1819, Mannheim, Baden), German playwright widely influential in popularizing poetic drama, into which he instilled melodramatic sensationalism and sentimental philosophizing.Kotzebue's first comedy, written while he was a law student at Jena, gave him entree into court literary circles in Weimar, but in 1781 he was forced to go into exile for a reason that is not clear. Entering government service in Russia (1783), he became president of the magistracy of the province of Estonia in 1785 and was ennobled. Some..
Carl Zuckmayer, (born December 27, 1896, Nackenheim, Germany--died January 18, 1977, Visp, Switzerland), German playwright whose works deal critically with many of the problems engendered by two world wars.Zuckmayer served for four years in the German army in World War I and thereafter devoted himself to writing. In spite of his association in 1924 with the avant-garde playwright Bertolt Brecht and the innovative director Max Reinhardt, he remained faithful to the techniques of naturalism.Zuckmayer's first notable dramatic success was the earthy comedy Der frohliche Weinberg (1925;..
Adolf Mullner, in full Amadeus Gottfried Adolf Mullner, (born Oct. 18, 1774, Langendorf, near Weissenfels, Saxony [Germany]--died June 11, 1829, Weissenfels, Prussia), German playwright, one of the so-called fate dramatists, who wrote plays in which people perish as a consequence of past behaviour.After studying law at Leipzig, Mullner established himself as advocate at Weissenfels and made his debut as an author with the novel Der Incest, oder der Schutzgeist von Avignon (1799; "The Incest; or, The Guardian Spirit of Avignon"). He next wrote a number of comedies for an amateur theatre..