Der Taucher

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"Der Taucher" ("The Diver") is a ballad by Friedrich Schiller, written in 1797, the year of his friendly ballad competition with Goethe.


A king throws a golden beaker into a whirlpool and promises that the one who can recover it can also keep it. However, none of his knights and pages is willing to do so, and the king has to ask three times before an Edelknecht (squire) finds his courage. He deposits his sword and his coat and commends his life to God and jumps into the intimidating sea. Everyone at the shore fears that the boy will not return. After a while, he emerges with the beaker in his hand. His terrifying report intrigues the king. The king wants him to dive again and promises him a precious ring. The king's daughter tries to convince her father to stop with his cruel demands. Yet the king throws the beaker in the sea again and promises now that he will make the Edelknecht a knight and let him marry his daughter if he recovers the beaker again. The boy has a look at the girl and wants her to become his bride, so he jumps into the deep again. This time, he does not return.


Franz Schubert set "Der Taucher" as a song for bass and piano in two versions (1813–1815, D 77 – the second version originally D 111).[1]


  1. ^ *(in German) Otto Erich Deutsch, with revisions by Werner Aderhold and others. Franz Schubert, Thematisches Verzeichnis seiner Werke in chronologischer Folge (New Schubert Edition Series VIII Supplement, Volume 4). Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1978. ISMN 9790006305148 — ISBN 9783761805718 pp. 52–53


  • Reinhard Breymayer: "Der endlich gefundene Autor einer Vorlage von Schillers 'Taucher': Christian Gottlieb Göz (1746–1803), Pfarrer in Plieningen und Hohenheim, Freund von Philipp Matthäus Hahn?" In: Blätter für württembergische Kirchengeschichte, (1983/1984). Stuttgart [1985], pp. 54–96; pp. 83–96.
  • Garland, Mary: "Taucher, Der". In: The Oxford Companion to German Literature by Henry (Burnand Garland) and Mary Garland. Third Edition by Mary Garland. (Oxford; New York; Athen [etc.] 1997), p. 820, col. 2.
  • Heinisch, Klaus J[oachim]: Der Wassermensch. Entwicklungsgeschichte eines Sagenmotivs. (Stuttgart 1981), pp. 313–336: Bibliographie.

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