Famous 18th Century Playwrights

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 1 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
6
Famous As: Poet, Playwright, Novelist
Birthdate: August 28, 1749
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Goethe House, Frankfurt, Germany
Died: March 22, 1832

Regarded as the greatest literary figure in Germany's modern era, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a statesman and writer. Apart from writing poetry and prose, he also wrote treatises on color, anatomy, and botany. Thanks to his literary genius, Goethe was made part of the Duke's privy council in Weimar and he implemented several reforms at the University of Jena.

 2 Friedrich Schiller

Friedrich Schiller
4
Famous As: Poet, Playwright
Birthdate: November 10, 1759
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Marbach am Neckar, Germany
Died: May 9, 1805

Friedrich Schiller was a German poet, physician, philosopher, playwright, and historian. Schiller is best remembered for his friendship with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the two discussed issues concerning aesthetics. Schiller's discussions with Goethe paved the way for a period, which came to be known as Weimar Classicism. Friedrich Schiller is also widely regarded as Germany's most prominent classical playwright.

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 3 Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais

Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais
3
Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: January 24, 1732
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 18, 1799

 4 Olympe de Gouges

Olympe de Gouges
4
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: May 7, 1748
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montauban, France
Died: November 3, 1793

Olympe de Gouges was an 18th-century French playwright and political activist. Her writings on women's rights and abolitionism were popular in various countries. She was an outspoken advocate against the slave trade in the French colonies. She demanded that French women be given the same rights as French men. She was executed during the Reign of Terror.

 5 Oliver Goldsmith

Oliver Goldsmith
3
Famous As: Novelist, Playwright, Poet
Birthdate: November 10, 1728
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ballymahon
Died: April 4, 1774

Oliver Goldsmith was an Anglo-Irish novelist, poet, and playwright. Described by his contemporaries as a disorganized and impetuous person, Goldsmith is best remembered for his works, such as The Vicar of Wakefield, The Deserted Village, and She Stoops to Conquer. A respected writer, Goldsmith's statue has been erected in several places, including the Trinity College, Dublin.

 6 Carlo Goldoni

Carlo Goldoni
3
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: February 25, 1707
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: February 6, 1793

 7 John Burgoyne

John Burgoyne
3
Famous As: Politician, Playwright, Writer, Military personnel
Birthdate: February 24, 1722
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sutton, Bedfordshire
Died: June 4, 1792
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 8 Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Richard Brinsley Sheridan
3
Famous As: Poet, Politician, Librettist, Writer, Playwright
Birthdate: October 30, 1751
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dublin
Died: July 7, 1816

 9 Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
3
Famous As: Writer, Philosopher, Playwright, Poet, Librarian, Theologian, Dramaturge, Literary critic, Journalist
Birthdate: January 22, 1729
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kamenz
Died: February 15, 1781

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was a noted German dramatist, critic, and author, remembered especially for his contribution towards liberating German theatre from the influence of its classical and French counterpart. Known for such literary masterpieces like Miss Sara Sampson; Emilia Galotti; Minna von Barnhelm; Nathan the Wise; Laocoön; Hamburg Dramaturgy, he is now considered an outstanding representative of the Enlightenment era.

 10 David Garrick

David Garrick
3
Famous As: Actor, Playwright, Film producer, Writer, Screenwriter, Stage actor
Birthdate: February 19, 1717
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hereford
Died: January 20, 1779

 11 Frances Burney

Frances Burney
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 13, 1752
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lynn Regis, England
Died: January 6, 1840

 12 Hannah More

Hannah More
3
Famous As: Writer, Poet, Essayist
Birthdate: February 2, 1745
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fishponds
Died: September 7, 1833

English religious author Hannah More soared to literary fame with the release of Village Politics, penned under the pseudonym Will Chip. Its popularity made her write an entire series of tracts that educated the poor. She also established clubs and schools, apart from opposing slavery along with the Clapham Sect.

 13 Richard Steele

Richard Steele
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 12, 1672
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: September 1, 1729

 14 Heinrich von Kleist

Heinrich von Kleist
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: October 18, 1777
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany
Died: November 21, 1811

Dissatisfied with his army career, Heinrich von Kleist had also studied law and math but quit studies later to devote himself to writing. Part of German Romanticism, he penned iconic plays such as The Schroffenstein Family and Hermann’s Battle. He eventually shot himself and his lover Henriette in a murder-suicide.

 15 Joanna Baillie

Joanna Baillie
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: September 11, 1762
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hamilton, Scotland
Died: February 23, 1851

 16 Emanuel Schikaneder

Emanuel Schikaneder
3
Famous As: Impresario
Birthdate: September 1, 1751
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Straubing, Germany
Died: September 21, 1812

 17 Ludvig Holberg

Ludvig Holberg
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: December 3, 1684
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bergen, Norway
Died: January 28, 1754

 18 Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff

Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 10, 1788
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Łubowice, Poland
Died: November 26, 1857

German Romantic lyricist Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff is best remembered for his epic poem Robert und Guiscard, which highlights the French Revolution. His prose works such as Memoirs of a Good-for-Nothing, revolving around themes such as love, too, gained him fame. He also worked in the civil services

 19 Christopher Smart

Christopher Smart
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 11, 1722
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Shipbourne, England
Died: May 21, 1771

 20 August Wilhelm Schlegel

August Wilhelm Schlegel
2
Famous As: Linguist, Translator, Sanskrit scholar, Philosopher, Poet, Literary critic, Literary historian, Romanist, Playwright, University teacher, Writer, Indologist
Birthdate: September 8, 1767
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hanover
Died: May 12, 1845

 21 Pierre de Marivaux

Pierre de Marivaux
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: February 4, 1688
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 12, 1763

 22 Vittorio Alfieri

Vittorio Alfieri
2
Famous As: Dramatist
Birthdate: January 16, 1749
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Asti, Italy
Died: October 8, 1803

 23 John Galt

John Galt
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: May 2, 1779
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland
Died: April 11, 1839

 24 Eliza Haywood

Eliza Haywood
2
Famous As: British author
Birthdate: 1693 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: February 25, 1756

 25 Wolfgang von Kempelen

Wolfgang von Kempelen
2
Famous As: Engineer, Writer, Painter, Playwright, Chess player, Architect
Birthdate: January 23, 1734
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bratislava
Died: March 26, 1804

 26 Madeleine de Scudéry

Madeleine de Scudéry
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 15, 1607
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Le Havre, France
Died: June 2, 1701

 27 Judith Sargent Stevens Murray

Judith Sargent Stevens Murray
2
Famous As: Advocate
Birthdate: May 1, 1751
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 9, 1820

 28 Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois

Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 19, 1749
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: June 8, 1796

Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois was a French actor, essayist, dramatist, and revolutionary. He played an important role during the Reign of Terror, serving as one of the most important members of the Committee of Public Safety. Although he is credited with saving Madame Tussaud from the Guillotine, Collot d'Herbois oversaw the execution of over 2,000 people in Lyon.

 29 Matthew Lewis

Matthew Lewis
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: July 9, 1775
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 14, 1818

 30 Charles Maturin

Charles Maturin
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 25, 1780
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: October 30, 1824

 31 August von Kotzebue

August von Kotzebue
2
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: May 3, 1761
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Weimar, Germany
Died: March 23, 1819

 32 Nicolas Chamfort

Nicolas Chamfort
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 6, 1741
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Clermont-Ferrand, France
Died: April 13, 1794

 33 Felicia Hemans

Felicia Hemans
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: September 25, 1793
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: May 16, 1835

 34 Nicholas Rowe

Nicholas Rowe
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: June 20, 1674
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Little Barford, England
Died: December 6, 1718

 35 Charles Dibdin

Charles Dibdin
2
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: March 4, 1745
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Southampton, England
Died: July 25, 1814

 36 Eugène Scribe

Eugène Scribe
2
Famous As: French dramatist
Birthdate: December 24, 1791
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 20, 1861

 37 Carlo Gozzi

Carlo Gozzi
2
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: December 13, 1720
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: April 4, 1806

 38 Alain-René Lesage

Alain-René Lesage
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: May 6, 1668
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sarzeau, France
Died: November 17, 1747

 39 Royall Tyler

Royall Tyler
2
Famous As: Jurist
Birthdate: June 18, 1757
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 26, 1826

 40 Louis-Sébastien Mercier

Louis-Sébastien Mercier
2
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 6, 1740
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 25, 1814

 41 Samuel Foote

Samuel Foote
2
Famous As: Playwright, Impresario, Actor, Stage actor, Writer
Birthdate: January 27, 1720
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Truro
Died: October 21, 1777

 42 Mary Russell Mitford

Mary Russell Mitford
2
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 16, 1787
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Alresford, England
Died: January 10, 1855

 43 John Howard Payne

John Howard Payne
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 9, 1791
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: April 10, 1852

 44 Fabre d'Églantine

Fabre d'Églantine
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 28, 1750
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Carcassonne, France
Died: April 5, 1794

 45 Charlotte Lennox

Charlotte Lennox
2
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: 1730 AD
Birthplace: Gibraltar, United Kingdom
Died: January 4, 1804

 46 Susanna Rowson

Susanna Rowson
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: 1762 AD
Birthplace: Portsmouth, England
Died: March 2, 1824

 47 Elizabeth Inchbald

Elizabeth Inchbald
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 15, 1753
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Suffolk, England
Died: August 1, 1821

 48 Charles Paul de Kock

Charles Paul de Kock
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: May 21, 1793
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Passy, Paris, France
Died: April 27, 1871

 49 Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz

Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 23, 1751
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cesvaine, Latvia
Died: June 4, 1792

 50 Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz

Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: February 16, 1758
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Skoki, Poland
Died: May 21, 1841