German lyric poet and dramatist
Born in Glogau, Silesia, he travelled in Holland, France and Italy, studying medicine and astronomy, then returned to his native town. His early misfortunes led him to the "all is vanity" theme of his lyrics, expressed in deep gloom, collected under the title Sonn-und-Feiertagssonette (1639, "Sonnets for Sundays and Holidays"). His dramas, mainly concerned with martyrdom, include Leo Armenius (1650), Catharina von Georgien (1657) and Papinianus (1659). He also wrote the pastoral Die geliebte Dornrose (1660, Eng trans The Beloved Hedgerose, 1928), and the comedies Herr Peter Squentz (1663, Eng trans Absurda Comica, or Master Peter Squentz, 1964), which resembles the scenes with Bottom in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Horribilicribrifax (1663), satirizing the Thirty Years' War. He was indirectly influenced by Shakespeare and Joost van den Vondel.