Meaning of HEINRICH JULIUS in English


born Oct. 15, 1564, Schloss Hessen, near Wolfenbttel, Saxony died July 20, 1613, Prague duke of Brunswick, a representative of early Baroque culture who was important in the development of German drama. His work incorporated the theatrical effect of English Elizabethan drama and the English clown, or fool, into German theatre. A gifted scholar, theologian, and patron of the arts, Heinrich Julius became rector of the University of Helmstedt in 1576 and bishop of the Catholic see of Halberstadt in 1578. He became duke in 1589, succeeding his father. In 1592 he brought English actors and dramatists (notably Thomas Sackville) to Wolfenbttel and thereafter maintained a troupe at his court. His moralizing plays (Von einem Wirthe [1593; "Of an Innkeeper"]; Von einem Buler und einer Bulerin [1593; "Of Two Lovers"]; Von einer Ehebrecherin [1594; "Of an Adulteress"]), written for these actors and influenced by the English tradition, treat topics of everyday middle-class life in a realistic style. An autocrat by conviction and a persecutor of Jews and witches, Heinrich wrote in a didactic tone aimed at instilling the ideology of the landed aristocracy. His best-known tragedy, Von einem Ungeratnen Sohn (1594; "Of a Spoiled Son"), showed his predilection for the scenes of horror and crime that characterized the repertoire of the English actors then common in Germany. His best work, the comedy Von Vincentio Ladislao (1594), showed his skill at characterization and used elements of the much-imitated style of the English actors, the exaggerated language and the pretensions of the braggart, as objects of satire. In 1607 he lost interest in the duchy and moved to Prague, where he became an adviser to Emperor Rudolf II.

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