KLEIST, Heinrich Bernt Wilhelm von, hin'riH bernt klist, German dramatist : b. Frankfort-on-the-Oder, 18 Oct. 1777; d. Wannansee, near Potsdam, 21 Nov. 1811. He entered the army in 1795, but left it in 1799 to study at Frankfort and Berlin, and later engaged injournalism in Dresden and Berlin. His first drama, 'Die Familie Sehrof fenstein,) was published in 1803, and was fol lowed by 'Amphitryon' (1807) • 'Penthisilea,) a tragedy (1808) ; 'Das Kitchen von Heil bronn) (q.v.) (1810), a popular poetic drama; 'Der zerbrochene Krug' (The Broken Jug) (1811). A volume of 'Tales> appeared (1810-11), and posthumously, 'The Battle of Hermann,' and 'Der Prinz Von Homburg.' He exhibits some of the worst faults of the Romantic school, to which he belongs, but nevertheless his best plays, such as 'The Prince of Homburg> and The Broken Pitcher> possess sufficient vigor and fidelity to life to snake them popular even at the present day. The best of his tales is 'Michael Kohlhaas,' a story of Brandenburg in the Middle Ages.
He failed to gain recognition and shot himself, after first shooting a woman whom he loved, and who like him was weary of life. His works did not receive notice till after his death, when they were made known by Tieck. An incomplete edition of his works appeared at Berlin (3 vols., 1826). The best modern edition is that by Schmidt, Minde-Pouet and Steig (5 vols., 1904). His letters were edited by Billow (Berlin 1848), Koberstein (ib. 1860) and Biedermann (Breslau 1888). Consult Becker, K. H., 'Kleist and Hebbel) (1904) ; Brahm, 'Heinrich von Kleist' (new ed., Ber lin 1913) ; Hart, Julius, Was Kleist-Buch> (1912) ; Herzog, 'Heinrich von Kleist> (1911) ; Roettcker, 'Heinrich von Kleist> (1907)'; Wildbrandt, 'Heinrich von Kleist' (N511:1 lingen 1863), and Lloyd and Newman, 'Prus sia's Representative Men> (London 1875).