Gustav Freytag (13 July 1816 – 30 April 1895) was a German novelist and playwright.Freytag was born in Kreuzburg (Kluczbork) in Silesia. After attending the gymnasium at Oels (Oleśnica), he studied philology at the universities of Breslau (Wrocław) and Berlin, and in 1838 received his degree with a dissertation titled Über die Anfänge der dramatischen Poesie bei den Germanen, which translates as On the Beginnings of Dramatic Poetry among the Germans. He became member of the student corps Borussia zu Breslau.
In 1839, he settled in Breslau, as Privatdozent in German language and literature, but organ of German and Austrian liberalism. Freytag helped to conduct it until 1861, and again from 1867 till 1870, when for a short time he edited a new periodical, Im neuen Reich. In 1863 he developed what is known as Freytag's pyramid; see Dramatic structure.