Sebastian Brant. Poem "Ship of Fools"
Sebastian Brant is a legendary satiristthe fifteenth century is from Germany. During his life the poet wrote quite a few worthy works. However, world fame brought him a poem called "Ship of Fools". Do you want to know more about the writer and his life's path?
Sebastian Brant: Biography
The future writer was born in 1457 inthe German city of Strasbourg. Being the son of the owner of the inn, Sebastian Brant got the opportunity to move to Basel, which is also known as the "free city".There, young talent began to study various sciences,among which was jurisprudence, classical literature and so on. Already in 1484 Sebastian Brant received the right to conduct teaching, and five years later the poet was awarded a doctorate in economic and Roman law, becoming the so-called doctor of both rights, which in those days was incredibly prestigious. Later, Brant took up the post of dean at the Faculty of Law. Moreover, Sebastian had his own law practice and actively participated in the publication of various books. Brant was a man with a huge stock of encyclopedic knowledge. He was fluent in Latin and at the same time was studying the Ancient Greek.
In 1499, Sebastian left Basel andreturns home. The writer quickly earned the respect of the inhabitants. Brant almost immediately got the post of a city scribe, and already in 1503 he became a municipal chancellor. Also quite an interesting fact from the biography of the writer is that the Emperor Maximilian gave Sebastian the title of Palatine as a gift and, at the same time, the post of the imperial adviser. Sebastian Brunt died on May 10, 1521, and the poet was buried in his hometown of Strasbourg.
Sebastian Brant: poetry
Brant got into world history as a talentedlyricist. The poet tried himself in various genres, nevertheless he became famous as a satirist. Sebastian Brant cruelly and uncompromisingly defames the vices of people of that time. It is also worth noting that most of Brant's poems were written in Latin. In 1498 the first collection of the poet under the name "Different poems" was published. It included much of Brant's poetry. Nevertheless, the book is of historical rather than artistic interest.
A satirical poem called "The Shipfools "- this is a real magnum opus, the quintessence of the entire creativity of the author. In it, the author very aptly notes the stupidity and other vices of his contemporaries. The poem has been very popular among the people for a long time. And this is not surprising, because the book was written frankly and witty. In addition, Brant knew everything about the lives of people of that time, which is very well felt when reading. Also important role played for sure 75 engravings, which adorned the narrative.
For hundreds of years the book has been rewritten andtranslated into most European languages. The poem "Ship of Fools" was also translated into Russian in 1965 by the efforts of Lev Penkovsky. This was the most voluminous translation (before this book the fragments were published in various readers). Unfortunately, some passages have not been published because of strict censorship by the communist regime. For example, in the Russian translation there were no lines about blasphemers, which Brant condemned.
Being written in German, the book becamesatirical mirror of an era. The author, with his usual humor, portrayed fools of all kinds who intended to sail to the Kingdom of Nonsense. Under the sharp eye Brant got princes, priests, monks and even lawyers. The poem is completely penetrated with moralistic proverbs and sayings. The author tried to draw public attention to the problems of that time and to call upon Germany to awaken, to correct morals. Sebastian Brant created a whole current in German literature with his poem, which is known as the "literature about fools". Later, this flow went beyond Germany and spread throughout Europe.
In the poem, the author actively uses symbolism. Thus, a fool is a symbol of a man who was injured in his mind, who was kept in princely courts for entertainment. And the ship, in turn, symbolizes public holidays and other festivities. In addition, the author draws parallels with religion, arguing that stupidity is a sin.