Wieland and Shakespeare

Wieland was one of the first writers who translated Shakespeare’s dramas into German. There had only been three translated dramas before Wieland started his work. In 1761 the first performance of a Shakespearean drama in German spoken states was staged: The actors of the “Evangelische Komödiantengesellschaft” (Protestant Society of Comedians) staged Der Sturm (The Tempest) in the Komödienhaus (House of Comedies) in Biberach. The performance was directed and translated by Christoph Martin Wieland. Based on the success of this performance, Wieland took on the ambitious project of translating 22 dramas by Shakespeare. Wieland’s translations gave rise to the popularisation of Shakespeare`s and English culture. As a consequence of these translations a range of new terms (neologisms) were introduced into the German Language that have had a lasting impact on the language.

First Folio of Wielands Shakespeare-Translation
House of Comedies

Wieland-Archiv Biberach,
Christoph Martin
Wieland-Stiftung Biberach
Haus der Archive
Waldseer Straße 31
88400 Biberach
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88400 Biberach an der Riß

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