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Friedrich Schiller

Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (November 10, 1759 - May 9, 1805), better known as just Friedrich Schiller, was a German poet, historian and dramatist.

He was born in Marbach[?], Württemberg as the son of the military doctor, J. C. Schiller. His childhood and youth was spent in relative poverty, although he attended both village and Latin schools, and coming to the attention of Karl Eugen, Duke of Württemberg entered the Karlsschule in 1773 where he eventually studied medicine.

While at the arduous and oppressive school, he read Rousseau and Goethe and spoke about Classical ideals with his classmates. At school, he wrote his first play about a group of naive, rebellious revolutionaries and their tragic failure, called The Robbers.

In 1780 he obtained a post as regimental doctor in Stuttgart.

Following the performance of Die Räuber (The Robbers) in Mannheim in 1781 he was arrested and forbidden to publish any further works. He fled Mannheim in 1783 coming via Leipzig and Dresden to Weimar in 1787. In 1789 he was appointed professor of History and Philosophy in Jena. writing only historical works. He returned to Weimar in 1799, where Goethe convinced him to return to playwriting. He and Goethe founded the Weimar Theater[?] which became the leading theater in Germany, leading to a dramatic renaissance.

He also wrote many philosophical papers on ethics and aesthetics, finding that beauty must be conceived in the mind by applying reason to the senses and emotions. His philosophy glorified heroic statesmanship and helped to oppose the oligarchical duchies of his time to create the Weimar Renaissance.

He wrote Ode an die Freude (English: "Ode to Joy") which became the basis for the fourth movement of Beethoven's ninth symphony.

He remained in Weimar until his death at 46 from tuberculosis.

Table of contents


  • "Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain." -- Maid of Orleans



  • Die Räuber or The Robbers (1781)
  • Kabale und Liebe or Intrigue and Love (1784)
  • Don Carlos, Infant v. Spanien or Don Carlos (1787)
  • Wallenstein (1800) (translated from a manuscript copy into English as The Piccolomini and Death of Wallenstein by Coleridge in 1800)
  • Die Jungfrau von Orleans or The Maid of Orleans (1801)
  • Maria Stuart or Mary Stuart (1801)
  • Die Braut von Messina (1803),
  • Wilhelm Tell or William Tell (1804)
  • Demetrius (unfinished at his death)


  • The Revolt of the Netherlands
  • A History of the Thirty Years' War


External links e-texts of some of Friedrich Schiller's works:

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