Ewald, Johannes yōhän´əs ā´väl [key], 1743–81, Danish poet. Ewald's elegant verse made him the leading poet of his time. He studied for the ministry but soon turned to writing. His lyrical tragic drama Adam and Eve (1769) showed the influence of Klopstock. A prose work, Rolf Krage (1770), was based on a Danish legend from Saxo Grammaticus. The verse tragedy Balder's Death (1774) was a landmark in the revival of interest in Scandinavian mythology. His operetta The Fishermen (1779) contains the Danish national anthem, King Christian Stood by the Lofty Mast. The central figure of the Danish Literary Society, Ewald exerted marked influence on later writers. His name also appears as Evald.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Scandinavian Literature: Biographies