Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, 1729 - 1781

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was a German dramatist, critic, and writer on philosophy and aesthetics whose brilliant work contributed to building a German drama free from the influence of classic and French models.  Lessing's critical essays were attractive to the New England Transcendentalists for their ability to affirm religious tolerance and intellectual honesty while avoiding dogmatism and cant.