Ludwig van Beethoven (3183 words)

Ruth Starkman (University of San Francisco)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error


“Just as Italy has its Naples, France its revolution, England its navy, the Germans have their Beethoven symphonies. With his Beethoven, the German forgets that he has no school of painting; with Beethoven, he imagines that he has turned round the outcomes of the battles lost to Napoleon; he even dares place him on the same level as Shakespeare.” (Robert Schumann)

“Beethoven always sounds to me like the upsetting of bags of nails, with here and there an also dropped hammer.” (John Ruskin)

When Napoleon entered Vienna in 1809, Joseph Haydn lay dying, and with him the old world aristocracy. The young Ludwig van Beethoven, however, embodied the t…

Citation: Starkman, Ruth. "Ludwig van Beethoven". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 January 2004 [, accessed 07 August 2022.]

5598 Ludwig van Beethoven 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.