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Till Eulenspiegel

Till Eulenspiegel (owl glass) In medieval German legend, a trickster. He was a native of Brunswick, Dietrich (Till) Ulenspegel, who died in 1350 of the plague after a life in which he was noted for often brutal tricks and practical jokes, played mostly on tradespeople and innkeepers. His adventures were put into book form by Thomas Murner, a Franciscan monk of Strasbourg. The goal seems to have been to contrast city dwellers with unappreciated peasant farmers. Similar figures are found in other countries, such as the Turkish Hodscha Nasreddin. In English he was called Tyll Owlyglass or Tyll Owleglass. Richard Strauss’s tone poem Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks is a rondo for orchestra. In modern Germany there is an Eulenspiegel Museum in Schöppenstadt.

Taken from the Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante

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