This book is dedicated to my oldest daughter, Elisa, who attended theSchiller-Gymnasium in Marbach am Neckar. When available in translation,English title and date of appearance are given. The occasional works ofSchiller are not included in this list. Berkeley: U of California P, Tytler as The Robbers. Mannheim, London: Johnson, Philadelphia: Carey, London: Miller, Frankfurtam Main: Krebs, Jena: Akademische Buchhandlung, Edited by Schiller. Leipzig: Gschen, Leipzig: Crusius, Tbingen: Cotta,. Volume 1: Wallensteins Lager, translated by F. Gower asThe Camp of Wallenstein. Tbingen: Cotta, ; translatedby Joseph C.
Mellish as Mary Stuart: A Tragedy. London: Printedby G. Auld, Eineromantische Tragdie. London: Longmann, Tbingen: Cotta, ; translated by G. Irvine as TheBride of Messina. London: Macrone, Zum Neujahrsgeschenk auf Tbingen, Cotta, ; translated anonymously as William Tell. London: Bull, Tbingen: Cotta,; translated by A. New York: German Publication Society, Theater, 5vols. Tbingen: Cotta, Schillers smmtliche Werke, 12 vols. Edited by ChristianGottfried Krner. Amberg: Klber, Edited by Karl Hoffmeister. Leipzig: Payne, Edited byCarl Knzel Leipzig: Payne, Edited by Emilie Freifrau von Gleichen-Russwurm.
Stuttgart: Cotta, Edited by Karl Goedeke and others. Edited by J. Weimar: Bhlau, Edited by Bernhard Suphan. Weimar: GoetheGesellschaft, Edited by E. Edited by Julius Petersen and Hermann Schneider. Nationalausgabe, NA. Edited by Klaus HarroHilzinger, et al. Frankfurt am Main: Deutscher Klassiker Verlag, Frankfurter Ausgabe, FA. Iphigenie in Aulis. Der Neffe als Onkel. Lustspiel in drey Aufzgen. Theater von Schiller. Tbingen: J. Cotta, Der Parasit oder Die Kunst sein Glck zu machen. Ein Lustspiel. Stuttgart, Here: Schiller: Leben — Werk — Zeit.
Munich: C. Beck, Friedrich Schiller: Biographie. Jahrbuch der Deutschen Schillergesellschaft. Unser Commercium: Goethes und Schillers Literaturpolitik. Stuttgart: J. Baur, Eva Gesine. Hamburg: Hofmann und Campe, Berghahn, Klaus. Schiller: Ansichten eines Idealisten.
Friedrich Schiller: Zur Geschichtlichkeit seines Werkes. Borchmeyer, Dieter. Schiller als Historiker. Metzler, Stuttgart: Metzler, Grathof, Dirk, and Erwin Liebfried, eds. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, Guthke, Karl S. Schillers Dramen: Idealismus und Skepsis. Francke, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, Hammer, Stephanie.
Detroit: Wayne State UP, Herder, Johann Gottfried. Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit. Martin Bollacher. Frankfurt am Main: Deutscher Klassiker Verlag, Hinderer, Walter, ed. Stuttgart: Reclam, Hofmann, Michael. Schiller: Epoche — Werk — Wirkung. Humboldt, Wilhelm von.
Bernhard Zeller. Frankfurt am Main: Insel, Schiller heute. Koopmann, Helmut, ed. Veil aus dem Jahre Lahnstein, Peter. Schillers Leben: Biographie. Munich: List, Karl Fink and Herbert Rowland, — Baden-Baden: Nomos, Oellers, Norbert. Michael Hofmann. Piedmont, Ferdinand, ed. Schiller spielen: Stimmen der Theaterkritik, — Eine Dokumentation. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Pieper, Heike. Lage: Jacobs, Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, Pugh, David.
Rochester, NY: Camden House, Reed, T[erence] J. Rippere, Vicky. Bern: Peter Lang, Saranpa, Kathy. Schiller: Aspekte neuerer Forschung. Schiller, Johann Kaspar. Neustrelitz: Michaelis, Schmidt, Benjamin Marius.
Schulze, Hagen. Kleine Deutsche Geschichte. Munich: Beck, Sharpe, Lesley. Oxford: Oxford UP, Friedrich Schiller: Drama, Thought and Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, Columbia, SC: Camden House, Simm, Hans-Joachim, ed. Insel-Almanach auf das Jahr Friedrich Schiller Zum Sokel, Walter. Ein Symposium, ed. Wolfgang Wittkowski, — Sulzer, Johann Heinrich. Winterthur: H. Steiner u. Ugrinsky, Alexej, ed.
Friedrich von Schiller and the Drama of Human Existence. New York: Greenwood Press, Werner, Charlotte M. Friedrich Schiller und seine Leidenschaften. Wolzogen, Caroline von. Zeller, Bernhard. Schiller: Eine Bildbiographie. Munich: Kindler, Here, the individual experiences the parallelogram of forces of his basic drives, both physical and mental, and is motivated to become a second creator. It is also true that traces of this basic program of the classical ideal of humanity can be found a generation earlier in the writings of Herder and Wieland.
From this perspective, it is clear that the Biblical narration of the fall of man evolved into a paradigm of intellectual emancipation. Aesthetics holds an exceptional place, following Marquard, among the simultaneous innovations that occurred in the various compensatory disciplines because it liberates the individual through a new enchantment from a reification imposed by alien powers.
Above all, it was Jakob Friedrich Abel — who introduced the young Schiller to the important medical discourses of the time. But, like his two students Friedrich Wilhelm von Hoven and Schiller Riedel, , —20 , he advanced the psycho-physiological perspective. It is evident that Schiller is applying terms and issues from anthropologicalmedical contexts to contemporary problems of cultural philosophy, society, and aesthetics.
For all the intellectuality of his arguments, he did not intend in the s to develop a closed system, a fact that distinguishes him from Kant and Fichte, but aims instead to propose for discussion elements of an anthropologically-based aesthetics. It follows that love is the precondition of the possibility of equality with God. It should be noted in this context that in what remains to us of his first dissertation Schiller seems not to continue his discourse on love, which makes use of formulations very similar to the ones in Theosophie des Julius and in the letter to Reinwald that has been quoted.
Schiller Drama Thought and Poetics | Friedrich Schiller | Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Wholly in accord with his time, Schiller derives the system of sensory perceptions from the specific organs of the senses. In the wake of Albrecht von Haller, though in a much more speculative way, he locates the Mittelkraft in the nerves; indeed, in the sixth paragraph, he practically associates the Mittelkraft with the nerve spirit Nervengeist. His less than benevolent instructors interpreted his tendency to draw his own conclusions as a sign of arrogance.
Here the external changes of material nature become inner ones. In order to illustrate this psychosomatic exchange, Schiller introduces an organ of thought, the instrument of understanding. Here the question arises what constitutes the material ideas of this organ of thought or of imagination. The result achieved by the author through a critique of various theories see Alt, —66 lies in the material association upon which thinking is based.
It is plain that in this text Schiller practically equates thinking and imagination. For young Schiller, this concept represents the precondition of freedom to the extent that man, thanks to freedom, possesses a free will, whereas he is otherwise a slave of reason For Schiller, therefore, the morality of the human being is located in awareness, that is, the active influence of the soul on the material ideas in the organ of thought. Thus it is through awareness that we can let our imagination wander, reflect, differentiate, and write poetry At the end of this first, fragmentary dissertation, Schiller emphasizes again that the soul is not only a thinking but also a sentient being.
The schemes of self-expansion and self-diminution that Schiller would later develop in his Philosophische Briefe are touched upon here, and their psychic consequences are described. He is concerned with the whole human being, whereby, with his portrayal of the human being in at least the last two paragraphs, the personal experiences linked to his poetic imagination become evident. In his third dissertation,5 Schiller again takes up the topic of the first one, where, contrary to his first attempt, he emphasizes the empirical side of the psychosomatic connections in the human being.
Logically, then, Schiller puts his explanations into two main chapters; the first supplies the physical, while the second addresses the philosophical context of the problem. It is striking that here young Schiller also targets the idea of totality that is found at the beginning of his first dissertation before touching the question of how the activity of the human soul relates to the activity of matter.
As early as his first theoretical writings, this purported exponent of philosophical idealism had already begun to propagate the materialistic-realistic basis of his anthropology. If, in the child, the sensual drives are still predominant, then in the boy selfreflection has already begun, and this will become the highest objective for the adolescent and the man. The second fundamental psychosomatic law concerns the coherence of perception and rational thought.
The many references to literary works that Schiller used to illustrate his scientific explanations show how greatly the medical theory of emotions or physiognomy of the sensations shaped the dramas of his youth. For Schiller, every emotion has its own particular expression, in a way, its own unique dialect, that is also reflected in the physiognomy. Every extreme emotion, whether pain or desire, aims at its resolution Shifted to the psyche, there is an essential difference whether the sensation of love leads to self-expansion or whether the emotion of hatred leads to selfdiminution.
The young Schiller had already intimated this idea in his second speech at the Karlsschule before explaining it in greater detail in his Philosophische Briefe. His last dissertation is also concerned with psychological diatectics. Since the highest state of emotional pleasure also signifies the highest state of physical well-being , it is in the interest of the individual to do everything he or she can to support this self-expansion.
The insight that even positive emotions and sensations can be either minute or exaggerated leads to the requirement of finding the right balance by a harmonization or a dialectical synthesis of the basic drives see Martinson, — Just as in the early history of the individual, Schiller distinguishes three stages through which the human being passes in his development from childhood to manhood; in the perspective of universal history he speaks first of the development from the tribal existence of the natural human being to the civilized nation —41 and then tells the story of how the natural state advances to the moral and, eventually, to the aesthetic state —74; see Alt, — The point of unity, the synthesis, is created by a kind of aesthetic condition.
In this and other writings, we can see that anthropological presuppositions are powerful not only in aesthetics; they are also valid to the same degree for the fields of cultural history, politics, and society.
About this book
It must be noted here that in the discussion of freedom, emphasis falls on the notion of self-determination, the most important concept of philosophical anthropology at the time of the Enlightenment. Where nature lends to animals and plants their determination and executes it all by itself, human beings are distinguished by the fact that they must themselves realize the determination prescribed to them by nature.
These are the acts of a free person who is responsible for his own deeds. In the German Enlightenment view of the anthropology and history of the formation of an individual, maturity and the discovery of selfconsciousness are often the names of a single idea. Here he differentiates in the human being between an absolute being that is grounded in itself, that is, the person, and a dependent condition, being, or becoming.
Nevertheless, from this limited anthropological constellation, Schiller derives the two fundamental principles of sensual-rational nature that, conceived at the point of their highest fulfillment, should lead to the concept of divinity. If the first of the laws insists on absolute reality, the second one emphasizes absolute form. In a procedure typical for him, and one that is evident in the writings of his youth, Schiller posits a play drive Spieltrieb alongside the material and form drives, in which the two basic drives are united. Thus, the play drive would be in a position to place the individual in a state of physical and moral freedom and to reproduce the totality —15 that has been lost to our culture.
In the aesthetic condition the individual experiences himself in the fullness of his possibilities. Now it becomes clear how the concept of beauty as a medium and mediator, anthropologically conceived, becomes the compensatory model of modernity, which is characterized by defects like fragmentation and a loss of reality.
He deals with the conditions in the lower as well as in the civilized classes, and notes even more negative syndromes in the higher classes than in the lower ones. Whereas at the time of Greek antiquity nature united all things, today understanding Verstand leads to the segregation of the different realms of life. In modern times, the original unity is torn asunder: church and state, laws and morals, pleasure and work, means and end, effort and reward are detached from each other.
Here Schiller formulates a powerful metaphor for the mechanization of human life and disenchantment through rational culture, which left a lasting impact on his contemporaries. Only beauty can connect theoretical with practical culture —83 and bring about the nobility of character that is the condition of any improvement in the political sphere. That is the point where aesthetics becomes a political and social preparatory school.
In this text, the aesthetic state, which is also capable of establishing an aesthetic culture, is, for Schiller, the precondition of freedom — Schiller differentiates between three different moments or stages in human development, in both the individual and the species. In his physical condition the individual endures the forces of nature; in the aesthetic condition he rids himself of these forces; and in the moral condition he governs nature This psychic triad correlates with the political one: in the dynamic state of rights, one man encounters the other as a force, which restrains his abilities; and in the ethical state of obligations he is opposed by the majesty of the law, which enchains his will.
Whereas in the dynamic state nature is tamed by nature and in the ethical state the individual will is subjugated to the general will, only in the aesthetic state is the will of the whole accomplished through the nature of the individual. The basic anthropological conditions or forces of human existence characterize — again triadically — political institutions and societies, depending on which of the basic conditions or forces is dominant.
At this point in the text, Schiller indicates, interestingly, the necessity of an intermediary force that is successful in changing the rolling wheel of state at the moment of its reversal. In his last, most important text, the question changes but not the basic anthropological conception. Not by chance is the idyll understood as a synthesizing concept, in which the opposition of reality and ideal, satire and elegy, appears to be suspended Nevertheless, in both parts of the argument, the triadic cognitive model that will become characteristic of the dialectics of idealistic philosophy is still directly and indirectly perceptible.
Characteristically, in a footnote, Schiller introduces a three-stage model Dreischritt in the context of poetic genres and types of sensation, in which the ideal is raised up as the sought-after concept of synthesis. In der zweiten stehen wir. In his three major philosophical texts, Schiller works with opposing concepts that are ultimately united into a synthesis. What makes his writings especially interesting documents of the time is that they never attempt to cover up their ruptures or resolve their contradictions.
At the end of each of his three major texts, Schiller emphasizes not only the experimental character of his reflections but also draws attention to the discrepancies between theory and practice, idea and reality. From this point of view, it comes as no surprise that with each new writing he should, to some extent, start anew methodologically and thematically.
This does not mean, however, that he altered his anthropological concept of the human being, which runs as a red thread throughout all his theoretical statements. If we visualize in overview the smaller as well as the more comprehensive contributions to the philosophical discourse of the time, it is strikingly clear that from the pamphlets of his youth to the well-known essays of the last decade of the eighteenth century, Schiller formulates a set of fundamental principles concerning the psychosomatic conditions of human existence.
Art, in this case theater, turns out to be the aesthetic demonstration of the divine atomic nucleus in the human being, a view that can, moreover, be found in Wieland as well as in Herder, and whose intellectual origins are in Christian stoicism10 and the tradition of baroque drama. Here Schiller captures the dichotomies of his dissertation more precisely as person and condition, being and time, which human beings experience in different ways. The schema of self-diminution and self-expansion that the essay Theosophie des Julius connects with the positive and negative characteristics of egoism and love supplies the framework for the comparison of the statecraft of Lycurgus and Solon.
His unquestionably high opinion of the human being — in no way a rare view among eighteenthcentury intellectuals — must also be reflected in political institutions and society. In this way, the historian would indeed become an author of pathetic representation, whose business it would be to report the triumphs of the person over the surrounding circumstances. Whereas the first thesis in Latin was rejected again, the second was accepted. Both were written in ; the last one was also published in the same year.
To be more correct, one could speak here of transcendental aesthetic concepts that early romanticism took over and continued. Reprint of the second edition of , edited by Leonard Forster. Works Cited Abel, Jacob Friedrich. Wolfgang Riedel. Friedrich Schiller: Leben — Werk — Zeit. Friedrich Schiller: Poesie, Reflexion und gesellschaftliche Selbstdeutung. Munich: Fink, Dewhurst, Kenneth, and Nigel Reeves.
Friedrich Schiller: Medicine, Psychology and Literature. Oxford: Sanford, Forster, Leonard, ed. Heidegger, Martin. Sein und Zeit, 11th ed. Wilhelm Dobbek. Berlin: Aufbau, Hinderer, Walter. Gerhard Neumann, 25— Hinderer, Walter, and Daniel O. Dahlstrom, eds. Friedrich Schiller: Essays. New York: Continuum, Kant, Immanuel. Wilhelm Weischedel. Marquard, Odo. Abschied vom Prinzipiellen. Transzendentaler Idealismus: Romantische Naturphilosophie: Psychoanalyse.
Platner, Ernst. Leipzig: Dyckische Buchhandlung, Die Anthropologie des jungen Schiller. Koopmann, — Schiller, Friedrich. Siegfried Seidel. Schillers Briefe. Fritz Jonas. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlagsanstalt, — Der ganze Mensch: Anthropologie und Literatur im Szondi, Peter. Wackenroder, Wilhelm Heinrich. Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder: Werke und Briefe. Gerda Heinrich. Weinrich, Harald. Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, Wentzlaff-Eggebert, Friedrich-Wilhelm. Hans Steffen.
Wieland, Christoph Martin. Fritz Martini and Hans Werner Seiffert. Since various forms of classicism had been prevalent in European letters for around three centuries, at first sight we might view German classicism as a mere footnote. Learn hence for ancient rules a just esteem; To copy Nature is to copy them. The adoption of the ancient authors as literary models would mean a restoration of simplicity, moderation, and good sense. Rather, the corruption that surrounds him is merely a symbol for the work of temporality in general, and the pure form displayed by Greek art is to be seen less as the product of a free society than as an achieved conquest of time.
Whereas Schiller might seem to be outbidding Pope merely in adding a new strand of political polemic to the traditional advocacy of a classical aesthetic, he is in fact heightening the neoclassical argument by rephrasing it as a metaphysical one, for he is attributing to a classically inspired art a power not just of liberation but of redemption. It is not possible to point to one overpowering new idea that Winckelmann contributed to the discussion.
As Hatfield argues, his thought is an eclectic synthesis. Altogether, his work denotes a multiple shift in the approach to antiquity: from a Roman to a Greek paradigm, from a dependence on French mediation to a new German autonomy, from an emphasis on politics and the state to one on the arts and, within the arts, from a focus on literature to one on sculpture.
Last but not least, we can observe the shift from the idea of antiquity as the source of rational norms to one of Greece as a lost paradise and the object of insatiable yearning. The protracted composition of this tragedy had left Schiller dissatisfied with his achievements to date and with his working method, and the study of the ancients was intended to enhance his skills. It is notable that Schiller had to use the available translations of Euripides into Latin, French, and German, for unlike Goethe and Wilhelm von Humboldt, he never had the opportunity to study the Greek language thoroughly.
Thanks to the progress of moral culture and the comparatively milder spirit Geist of the times, the modern author enjoys an inherent advantage over the ancients. With the third phase, we see Schiller returning to a more speculative preoccupation with antiquity. In the early part of each treatise, an eloquent passage praising Greek culture for its harmony with nature is encountered, while the possibility is also held out that, with our higher level of rationality and morality, the moderns can actually surpass the Greeks. Schiller had earlier planned a drama, Die Malteser, that was intended to conform to the pattern of ancient tragedy.
Though he resumed work on it in these years, it was left unfinished at his death. The most classical of the completed plays of this period is Die Braut von Messina The Bride of Messina, , in which Schiller attempted a synthesis of ancient and modern techniques and motifs, including a chorus, the use of which he justified in his Foreword by philosophical arguments.
But Wallenstein also contains in Gordon a figure whose role is based on that of the ancient chorus, and even the romantic tragedy Die Jungfrau von Orleans The Maid of Orleans, has a scene act 2, scenes 6—7 derived from an episode from the Iliad and written in iambic trimeters, the Greek tragic meter. A letter of July 26, , shows that he had not abandoned the conclusions of the foregoing speculative phase.
The drive towards unification, of which humanity is the goal, goes beyond the immediate human sphere. Schiller seems to be hovering between a Christian affirmation of the immortality of the soul and a more mysterious suggestion as to a future deification of humankind. Schiller is intensifying the conventional concept of perfection, Vollkommenheit, to the point where the difference between humanity and God is suspended. The theme of the poem is the birth of Venus, which brings about a softening and rejuvenation in the natural world, and which for humankind signals the arrival of civilization after a somewhat Hobbesian prehistory.
In its full complexity, it states that in antiquity human beings were more human than they are now, in the sense of being more natural and less corrupted by culture. In particular the Greeks did not try to approach divinity as Christians do, that is, by misguidedly suppressing their humanity through an ascetic morality, and they also did not suffer from the division of labor that distorts and fragments the modern personality. However, and only here do we see the full paradox, the Greeks came closer than we do to divinity precisely by disclaiming any desire to be more than human. But the nature that is enshrined in Greek culture is not the nature of Alexander Pope.
Pope understands nature as a codification of the rules of good sense, whereas Schiller to compress the impressions left by the poem into a single phrase presents it as a perpetual springtime of youth, dance, and free love. The common thread running through the Greek panorama, with its numerous mythological vignettes, is the unity of nature and spirit or of human and divine. With remarkable dialectical skill, Schiller portrays modernity in this poem as groaning under both an ascetic Christianity and an abstract, mechanistic science, each of which is presented as a result of the same original estrangement.
He adheres to the same intellectual model in his essays of the next decade. The course of history is characterized here as a fall from a state of nature into one of culture, with the latter being understood as the fragmentation wrought by the destructive faculty of the understanding. Its full scope is revealed in two further statements that illuminate each other. As the juxtaposition of the two statements shows, nature stands as both the first and the last term in a triadic scheme, for the future ideal is itself associated with the concept of nature.
And yet the ideal nature is not identical to the original nature, but is posited as existing at a higher level of consciousness and morality. On the one hand, they represent a paradigm of unity and harmony to an age that has lost these qualities, and hence they are an object of aspiration and longing. Therefore the Greeks must also represent a stage that humanity has outgrown and must outgrow further. In a handwritten comment on an essay by his friend Wilhelm von Humboldt, Schiller sketched an analogy for this dialectic of unity and division in the cognitive process: first we grasp the whole object, but only indistinctly; next we take in the parts and lose sight of the whole; finally we return to viewing the whole, but now with a distinct knowledge of the parts.
In the second phase, we still long for the first, but in the third, we have no need to do so. Similarly, in the third phase of history, we will no longer wish for the return of the Greeks It is of course ironic to find the Greeks at the heart of such a quintessentially un-Greek argument, though it is also possible to relate it to the Neo-Platonic dialectic of fall and return that M. Abrams has applied so effectively to the Romantic era. In the context of the eighteenth-century argument, nature and culture are antithetical terms. How, we wonder, can it then make sense to describe Greek culture as natural?
Winckelmann had also used the concept of nature to establish the superiority of Greek sculpture, but his argument is largely restricted to matters pertaining to anatomy, such as the athletic training of Greek youths.
Schiller expands the argument far beyond this narrow base. First, as we have seen, he defines nature as unification, and he uses this term to illuminate not only the Greek religion, which projects humanity into nature and the divine world, but also the quality of Greek society, with its less advanced division of labor, and even Greek individuality, in which the human faculties are not fragmented.
The further advance of culture in modern times necessarily brought a rupture with nature, and the breach can only be healed by the reconstitution of nature at an ideal level, however that is to be understood. In their poetry we do not come across the idea of nature, for nature was their immediate life and not an object of reflection or longing.
The stress on simplicity as a feature of Greek poetry may be consistent with the old neoclassical doctrine, but this concept is now embedded in a speculative system of which Boileau and Pope had no inkling. On one hand, it stands for the dominion of the intellect that, with its compartmentalization and mechanization, has disrupted an original, natural unity. On the other hand, it means the process by which the rupture can be healed and the unity restored at a higher level. How did Schiller envisage this higher art? It may seem to be making matters still more complicated when in the Ninth Letter he tells us that Greek art preserved the achievements of Greek nature, but this provides us with our answer.
A simple formulation comes in the ninth Brief, where, desiring to preserve the young artist from the harmful influences of modernity, Schiller sends him to school in Greece. For Schiller, the Greeks may represent the best instantiation to date of the fusion of form and life, for which he calls in the Fifteenth Letter, but the principle of form is itself timeless, a metaphysical force that enables us to master the world of flux in which we live. We are not all that far from the world of Gottsched and German neoclassicism here.
The original chorus, he writes, grew from the natural and mimetic art of ancient Greece. However, since modern art is not mimetic, the chorus can be retained, albeit with a different justification. Far from reflecting reality, the task of modern art is to transform reality according to a model that is at once natural and ideal. Although Schiller speaks of the future state as different from Greece, it is still based on Greece as its prefiguration. Although Schiller used the chorus only once, one can recognize in this wider explanation some more general features of his later dramatic style.
This brings us to the question of whether Schiller responded in any way to the political legacy of ancient Greece. The answer here must be mainly negative. The problem of disunity in Greek history, that is, the actual fragmentation of the country into warring statelets and the frequency of civil strife within them, is barely touched upon.
Schiller is thinking here of a national theater as a means of overcoming German Vielstaaterei. And yet, as he would have had to acknowledge, the theater failed to have any such effect in Greece, and the similar hopes placed in the German theater would turn out to be no less chimerical. What is left is the fallback position of the theater, or of art in general, serving as a refuge for ideals for which there is no room in real life, that is, as a substitute and a consolation and not as a means of making them a reality. Two qualifications should be made to this depoliticized picture.
All this is still abstract, but further on in the lecture Schiller writes that Solon understood these relations correctly, and hence built a state in which, in contrast to the Spartan tyranny, men governed themselves and were thus capable of the highest cultural attainments.
For this reason, the references to the historical Athens and the poetic image of the Greek Golden Age do not really represent distinct interpretations of Greece but are rather the two faces of a single complex idea. Greece figures here as the locus of two succeeding eras, both of which are states of nature, although the second is also one of culture.
Next, in a passage of astonishing concreteness, he describes the arrival of civilization and its advance in Greece up to the limits set by nature. Greek religion, art, technology, commerce, and exploration all receive their due. Significantly, it is not the selfgovernment of the Greek republics but their patriotism that Schiller celebrates, and also, by his skillful translation of the Thermopylae epitaph ll.
This is not to suggest that individual texts are inaccessible to a straightforward reading. The ballad, based on a story from late antiquity, tells of the unmasking of two murderers at a performance of the Eumenides of Aeschylus, during which the chorus of the Furies provokes such terror in the criminals that they spontaneously confess their crime. The elegy begins with an evocation of the close relationship in antiquity between poets and their audience, and goes on to celebrate the wider harmony existing at that time between idea and reality; not only were the gods visible, the poet also did not have to struggle for an inner vision but took his inspiration from the reality that surrounded him.
In both poems, Greece serves as the ideal locus for a paradigm of humanity and society. They portray a world in which aesthetic, religious, and ethical experience all work together, in which inner and outer experience mirror each other, and in which the poet is the mouthpiece for communal beliefs. It is a powerful vision, and we do not disparage Schiller by saying that he based it on the deficiencies and absences that he felt in himself and in the world in which he lived.
But with its combination of personal engagement and intellectual sophistication, of formal clarity and moving lyricism, it deserves to be counted among the finest and most interesting versions of classicism to have appeared in European letters. It is more likely that his ideas were transmitted to him by Wieland. Klaus Harro Hilzinger et al. Poems are quoted from vol. His hexameter translation of part of book 1 is a school exercise and is of less interest.
The name Ludovisi refers to the Roman villa where the original could be inspected. Schiller must thus have known it only from hearsay. This crisis in his concept of nature gives rise to the rupture in his aesthetics between the concepts of the beautiful and the sublime. For a recent discussion, see Ritzer. New York: Norton, Auerbach, Erich. Willard R. Princeton: Princeton UP, Boyle, Nicholas. The Poetry of Desire. Cassirer, Ernst.
Helmut Koopmann, — Habel, Reinhardt. Manfred Fuhrmann, — Poetik und Hermaneutik 4. Hatfield, Henry. Kondylis, Panajotis. Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Malsch, Wilfried. Frank Justus Miller. Loeb Classical Library, London: Heinemann, Riedel, Wolfgang. Ritzer, Monika. Stauffenberg Colloquium Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times. Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy. Lawrence Klein. Staiger, Emil. Zurich: Atlantis, Winckelmann, Johann Joachim. Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums. Vienna, Reprint, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Resigning his post as a military doctor in Stuttgart in September left Schiller without a steady income and heavily in debt.
As a historian he gained new intellectual perspectives, social connections, and sources of income. In Schiller moved from southwest to central Germany and soon became a noted partner in the flourishing book and newspaper industry. Already well known as a dramatist, as a writer he encountered personal engagement and intellectual interest within socially open-minded literary and artistic circles in Leipzig, Dresden, Jena, and Weimar.
In the second issue of the magazine, in February , the second act of Don Carlos appeared. The encouragement of the prominent Weimar writer Christoph Martin Wieland in the fall of was critical. The young historical narrator became courageous. In this subsequent work, at least four volumes of personal memoirs from European history since the Middle Ages were to appear annually.
Schiller accepted the task of writing an introductory historical overview for every volume. His involvement in the German university system, with which he was not yet familiar, was a personal challenge. Schiller also recorded other of his earliest lectures and published them soon thereafter.
The end of saw the continuation of his Geschichte des Abfalls der Vereinigten Niederlande. He overestimated his energy, and became a victim of the book until, in January , his appalling physical condition caused him to take a break, at which point he either dropped his previous commitments or handed them over to someone else. He devoted his time first to aesthetic and anthropological questions, publishing them in extensive pamphlets. In , poetry and drama moved back to the center of his attention, partly due to the influence of his friendship with Goethe.
For it is based on a problematic approach that is retrospective in nature, and in many respects often the anti-historical resentment of those who are committed to literature in the narrower sense. One has to keep in mind that Schiller the historian was still an artist. For him and his contemporaries, art and science were the two great cultural realms, and were related in their investigation and mediation of truth. Beginning in Stuttgart, stories based on authentic life experiences fascinated Schiller. As an author he had a need to tell true stories.
In the story he reports on the destiny of two brothers in the environs of Stuttgart. He places the story into the context of the most recent history and its educated society, telling it in the form of a drama. Here the original relationship between his literature and his historical project becomes graphically clear, as Schiller narrates once again a nexus of occurrences that extend from the framework of the everyday and were of special interest to him. As an author, he considered it his task to bring them back to life with the aid of narrative representation.
But, before writing the final version of Verbrecher aus Infamie, Verbrecher aus verlorener Ehre Criminal Out of Dishonor, , which was based on the life of an actual criminal, Schiller reflected thoroughly on the functions of historical narration and its specific methods. The first printing of the second act of Don Carlos, the most important historical drama of the young Schiller, is the focus of attention of the aforementioned second issue of Thalia. His preparations for writing the play included considerably more study of historical literature than for his earlier pieces.
In the process of studying the literature, Schiller recognized that an appealing, modern literary-historical narration ran parallel to traditional historiography. For some time, Schiller had known Sebastien Mercier, the French dramatic poet who at that time was capturing the stage with his Tableaux historiques. In the second issue of Thalia, Schiller published a translation of a characterization of King Philip II of Spain by Mercier that was associated thematically with Don Carlos, thereby presenting another piece of historical prose.
Even though he borrowed the topos, the verse makes it clear that, next to narrative stories, Schiller also had an overarching concept of universal history. In addition to the many forms of historical narration and reflections on history that Schiller undertook during this period, we point once again to the two historical dramas that originated in these years.
After delving into all of these forms of historical representation that he had been using since , in the fall of Schiller shifted to history. The forms of historical thinking and representation that he had developed previously affected his new practice of critical, referenced, and pragmatic historical portrayals.
It is only at this point that Schiller depicts himself as a historian and is recognized as such by his readership. The transition to scientific historical narration was indeed a leap for Schiller in an existential sense. In his letters of January of that year, Schiller underscores the following points: 1.
Instead, in historical narration, he borrows themes taken from external sources and is able to process them freely. He hopes for a different audience. Schiller does not only want to write for friends of belles-lettres, who are mostly women. He also wishes to reach the politically and economically interested businessman. He needs a higher income. After his previous bad experiences, he now places his bets on historical literature and on collaboration in magazines. In sum, for Schiller, the transition to professional historical writing was tied to a new outline for his life that goes beyond a change of subjects.
He wanted to be better anchored socially and, with the means at his disposal, to be active in public life. In the various states of the Holy Roman Empire, the s were high points for the reform movement and its initiatives, especially in education. His interest in alternative social behavior was visible early on. With his second drama project, Fiesco , he referred back to a national uprising in the city of Genoa. In Kabale und Liebe Intrigue and Love, written —83, published , he staged the social conflicts of his own epoch, and, in Don Carlos , the stage became the world theater of European history.
It was only after these historical dramas that Schiller completed the transition to the writing of history, thematizing the Dutch revolution of the sixteenth century in his Geschichte des Abfalls der vereinigten Niederlande von der spanischen Regierung. In reading the introduction —56 , one can relate even today to the revolutionary expectations that were alive in the educated society of central Europe in the s, that is, long before the revolutionary events of in Paris.
Schiller first became aware of the history of the Dutch revolution of the late sixteenth century in conjunction with the writing of his drama Don Carlos. He began writing in August , after settling in Weimar. At the beginning of October he informed his publisher that he had completed the text. One could almost say that, on that evening, the historian Friedrich Schiller was born. Wieland, the influential editor of the journal Teutscher Merkur, was present, and, as Schiller was to report to Huber in his letter of October 26, , proclaimed that Schiller was born to write histories.
Wieland agreed to publish the text in his journal. It appeared in that publication at the beginning of In an accompanying note, Wieland declared the dramatist and poet to be a historian. His audience, the German educated class, now expected a historical work from him. Motivated by Wieland, as well as by the prospect of a professorship at the University of Jena, Schiller knitted together the next phase in his life by turning decidedly in this direction.
He now concentrated completely on historical work and on source materials with which he had not been familiar, but which provided him with a new self-awareness. Before completing his account of the Union of Utrecht in July of , Schiller had begun to envision continuing this thread of history in a multi-volume project on the topic of the fall of the Netherlands.
He also provided a comprehensive summary of his historical research for the volume. Second, Schiller cited more recent authors, specifically from the fields of statistics and economic history, with whose help he could add a cultural-historical dimension to his manner of representation. Influenced by the then-increasing interest in psychology, Schiller dedicated considerable space to character analyses of his leading dramatic figures. Beginning with Don Carlos Schiller succeeded in helping to bring about a breakthrough in the direction of historical writing in Germany. Schiller wanted to tie these traditions together.
He wanted to go back to the sources themselves in a critical and pragmatic manner. At the same time, he wanted to write in a polished style. With such historical narration Schiller aimed at practicing a philosophical way of thinking about history that places stories into a modern context of development. One may conclude that Schiller followed the events in France with particular attention, sympathy, and expectation. He saw it necessary to create a new discourse concerning the idea and goal of universal history.
Furthermore, new orientations opened up for the methodology and self-understanding of the writing of history. In his inaugural lecture, Schiller juxtaposes two different and fundamental approaches: the recognition of the past by means of facts and events, and the achievement of an overview of the epochs of history that will allow comprehension of their interrelationships — The latter is the philosophical study of history.
However, historical writing since Aristotle had been focused only on actual occurrences; it was the responsibility of philosophy to inquire into the universal and the true. Schiller opposes this traditional limitation of history. He was convinced that universal history could achieve something that had been considered impossible in the Western tradition, namely, the arrival at universally valid truth-claims from a close study of the past.
The individual human being would be liberated from the limitations of his private existence and placed into a larger social context. This programmatic introductory address was followed by a number of lectures that illuminated specific connections between occurrences in human history. Three of these lectures have been preserved. They give us an impression of how Schiller completed his project of universal history. He refers to a biblical tradition, and presents an example that shows the courage and innovative power of his enlightened spirit to interpret the Bible in a new way. In a separate section of the essay, Schiller addresses the origins of social inequality.
He ends with an analysis of the origin of legends concerning monarchical sovereignty in light of the idea of the sovereignty of the people. Yet he also refers back to a report about ancient Egyptian mysteries. Here he highlights the problem of the self-liberation of an oppressed people. Schiller singles out the constitutive role of Moses as the leader of his people, that is, the figure of a ruler. In addition, Schiller deals with the question of what significance religion can play in such a liberating process; on the one hand, for the common people, and, on the other hand, for the educated.
Its central themes stand in the foreground and form the criteria for the comparison: the relationship of the political constitution and culture, of civil and human rights, and of the political constitution and social structure. Eventually, in the discussion about constitutional patriotism in a republic of citizens, he pleads for representative democracy. With that, his writing attains a political relevance achieved by no other universal-historical text. Schiller composed all of these universal-historical texts during the first year of the French Revolution.
With his unswerving republicanism he was even ahead of developments, constitutionally. His vision, which was directed at those nations that were undergoing a process of emancipation, was broadened to a universal one. In these weeks, he considered the ideal of a self-liberating humanity to be the only sensible mode of philosophically-oriented historical thinking.
In light of the democratic revolution, which was now crossing national borders, history had indeed become a history of humanity. He had already publicly posed these questions early in his career. That he asked the question in this way reveals that he had in mind different basic conceptions of the general significance of history and its future role in a middle-class society. Schiller points out that contemporary historiography still considered itself to be part of rhetoric, whose task it is to offer a moral explanation of past histories which, as he put it, warm the heart.
For his part, however, Schiller argues in favor of separating historical writing from rhetoric, to which it had been attached since ancient times. Young Schiller makes his point on the basis of a psychology of the soul Erfahrungsseelenkunde that was then considered to be modern. It is remarkable how clearly he pleads for the emancipation of the writing of history from rhetoric while separating drama from history, even though both merge in his person.
Introduction to German Literature, 1871–1990
The historian has to uncover the motives of human behavior with cold reasoning and has to explain its structural relationships, but not take a moral stand. If he does this, he offends the republican freedom of the reading public, whose task it is to serve as the jury He points out the historiographical significance of police, medical, and prison files , for the discovery of which Michael Foucault was celebrated in the twentieth century.
This call for a clear separation of historical writing and poetry by the young Schiller, which has hardly been recognized, makes his transition two years later from the one discipline, drama, to the other, history, more understandable. As the preface to the Geschichte des Abfalls der vereinigten Niederlande exhibits, Schiller underscores the separation of historical writing from the novel. However, this raises the question of what form historical representation should take. For him, contemporary historiography was on its way to becoming an empirically analytical science.
The reference back to the sources and their critical analysis is of central importance here. By his own admission he did not want to become a professional scholar of history. His primary concern was with problems of historical interpretation, as well as with the transmission and presentation of historical connections. Since the time of his more intensive study of history in Dresden, Schiller was influenced more and more by the historiography of the English-Scottish Enlightenment William Robertson, Robert Watson, Edward Gibbon. They saw it as a new science of humanity, a genus of nature that runs through different stages of progressive development to become, and further cultivate, middle-class society.
Schiller had become familiar with these works as a student at the Karlsschule. Schiller was impressed with this work, and even more so with Kant. He certainly did not overlook the fact that, in his foreword, Kant expressed the hope that the writing of history would have its own Newton. What Kant had in mind was a historian who not only supplied intellectual descriptions of events, but remained focused on the possible goal of a history of enlightenment, namely a world comprised of nation-states in which there was middle-class freedom for all and an internationally secure rule of law.
Schiller himself had in mind a universal history that was to be enacted methodologically and critically. But he held on to history as the central realm of experience that challenged not only the philosophical thinker but also the poet and dramatist. Schiller was no doubt the last historian to adopt the perspective of the Enlightenment before it was shattered by the experience of revolution. But even this he understood to be a challenge to his own thinking about universal history that further motivated him to rethink its own traits and their historical interconnections in the hope of achieving an authoritative standpoint in the present.
The winter semester of to was the first one during which Schiller devoted his full energies to his work at the university. Here he addresses the connection between the writing of history and the drama of history, the relationship between historical and political truth, and offers opinions about sublime events in history. This meant, above all, his critical assessment of the French Revolution. New problems and perspectives emerged from this experience of history. After having moved to Jena, Schiller met a number of women of the court, among whom was Charlotte von Lengefeld, to whom he proposed.
Schiller Drama Thought and Poetics
When the wedding was announced in December , the ruling duke, Carl August of Saxony-Weimar, took a personal interest in the marriage. Schiller was named Hofrat and thereby became worthy of appearing at court and entitled to all attending rights and privileges. At first, he received a modest stipend. His wife could not live without a maidservant, nor Schiller without a servant, and the latter immediately became his scribe. Schiller adopted a new orientation to life. In addition to newspaper reports, the personal accounts of those who had traveled to Paris gained in importance by the end of the year, especially his first conversations with Wilhelm von Humboldt, the skeptical liberal.
To Schiller, Humboldt radiated an enlightened disposition that was realistic and reserved in the face of any idealization of political revolutions, and they became close friends. It was not until May that Schiller was able to turn his attention to the development of this project for the Calender. He began this undertaking in the manner of his previous optimistic view of history, but texts being written at that time were characterized by a different view of political relationships and developments.
They are the subjects of history. People are arranged mainly according to their activities. Since the time of its appearance at the fall book fair of , it was a huge success and enjoyed the most positive reviews. Within a year of the appearance of the first part of the work, Wieland would write in his Neuen Teutschen Merkur: Selten ist in Deutschland eine Schrift mit lebhafterem und allgemeinerem Beifall gelesen worden [.
The unusually high honorarium he would receive for writing the work was not the least of the reasons why Schiller accepted. As he was working on it, from May on, it became clear to him that the project would not be restricted to one essay. His depiction of the war of states begins in Book 2, following a masterfully written overview of political and religious issues in the Holy Roman Empire — according to an outline of political relations in the European states — with an account of the so-called Westphalian War — Schiller interpreted the Bohemian Revolt —20 as an intra-Habsburgian occurrence during which the young emperor Ferdinand II had to prove himself.