Talk:Friedrich Schiller

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"Schiller Institute"[edit]

I might point out that the "Schiller Institute" under external links is one of the many front organizations for the Lyndon LaRouche network, the radical (and I might add, a highly dubious) political figure. Not only does the "Schiller Institute" have little to do with Schiller (and a lot to do with unrelated "physical economy" theories) but also many of the ethical and aesthetic ideas suggested by this institution seem to misunderstand or flatly ignore those espoused by its namesake. I suggest that this link be removed if for no other reason than to avoid anachronistically misrepresenting Schiller as a proponent of the view that so-called Producerism is metaphysically significant under some kind of neo-Hegelian system. Any argument along these lines would be polemical at best.

Old messages[edit]

Schiller was only married once, and that to Charlotte von Lengefeld. People did not respect him a lot more for being ennobled. On the contrary, he was uncomfortable with it.

I am planning to merge this article Friedrich Schiller with this shorter but valuable and interesting article Schiller and also weave in some material from the 1911 encyclopedia. Hope that's okay. Ortolan88 17:36 Jul 27, 2002 (PDT)

Oops, I already did it before seeing your note. Below is the original short-Schiller article. -- Marj Tiefert 03:07 Sep 8, 2002 (UTC)

Friedrich Schiller, dubbed Germany's "poet of freedom" for his revolutionary writings, attempted to bring Classical culture to semi-feudal Germany in the late eighteenth century. The profound impact of his poetry and plays has inspired operas of Verdi's and the ninth symphony of Beethoven's (Schiller's "An Die Freude" are the lyrics sung in the fourth movement).

In his early life, he and his poor family intended him to be a clergyman. But the Duke of Württemberg asked him to enroll at his new military college. Schiller's father could not refuse, as the dukes had tyrannical power at the time. And Schiller was trained as a military doctor. While in 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."

Later, he would flee from his military position to pursue a career as a playwright and champion the Classical ideals which he recognized were lost in Germany. He befriended Goethe, and wrote many more plays including "Fiesco" and "Love and Intrigue," the latter for commission from a theater owner. Then he would write "Don Carlos" and the unfinished "Demetrius," which occuppied his thoughts until his death. 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.

I'm not quite sure what the "Credits" part at the end of the article (inserted by is supposed to be. It links to a page that does not exist. Just delete? --KF 17:26, 31 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Unless someone can clarify this mysterious item, I vote to delete it. --Jose Ramos 01:49, 1 Sep 2003 (UTC)
After seeing Andrew Fuller mentioned in Votes for Deletion, I went ahead and excised the nonsense. --Jose Ramos 02:05, 1 Sep 2003 (UTC)

>>attempted to bring Classical culture to semi-feudal Germany<<

Huh ? That is easily the biggest B.S. I have read in a long time.

>>champion the Classical ideals which he recognized were lost in Germany<<

??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:49, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

"Stuttgart region"[edit]

Wouldn't it make sense to refer to Baden Wŭrttenberg (or however it's spellled!) rather than 'Stuttgart region'? Vanky 18:49, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Baden-Württemberg would be an anachronism. We should say "in the Duchy of Württemberg", as it was at the time. john k 21:45, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for the correct spelling(!) and the historical info. Vanky 00:25, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Unintelligible Statement[edit]

To say that "beauty must be conceived in the mind by applying reason to the senses and emotions" is to say nothing. I would like to see an example of someone using syllogistic arguments about what they experience through smell, sound, etc., and, as a result, finding some object to be beautiful. Lestrade 12:33, 28 September 2005 (UTC)Lestrade

I agree that that formulation was murky at best. I have re-written and expanded that section, in hopes of making Schiller's ideas a bit more accessible. --HK 22:09, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

Kant & Reason[edit]

I understand that Schiller did not know Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. He only made references to Kant's other critiques, those of practical reason and judgment. These dealt with morality and beauty. He may have been given an explanation of Kant's writings by Karl Reinhold. Schiller seemed to have been searching for an absolute basis for his art. By choosing reason, he may have been in error. Since reason is merely arriving at a conclusion through the use of syllogism, it is foreign and alien to the creation of art. Lestrade 12:31, 29 September 2005 (UTC)Lestrade

You seem to be confusing reason with logic. Schiller's conception of reason would have been informed by Plato, who made an explicit distinction between reason and logic, considering logic to be a decidedly inferior mode of mental activity. --HK 14:47, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

Please define "reason" so that I do not confuse it with the process of forming a conclusion through syllogism. Lestrade 12:51, 30 September 2005 (UTC)Lestrade

Plato and his followers make a distinction between logic, i.e. reasoning that proceeds via Syllogism from a premise {which Plato calls understanding,) and reason. This passage, part of what is sometimes referred to as the divided line appears in Book VI of Plato's Republic:
And when I speak of the other division of the intelligible, you will understand me to speak of that other sort of knowledge which reason herself attains by the power of dialectic, using the hypotheses not as first principles, but only as hypotheses -- that is to say, as steps and points of departure into a world which is above hypotheses, in order that she may soar beyond them to the first principle of the whole; and clinging to this and then to that which depends on this, by successive steps she descends again without the aid of any sensible object, from ideas, through ideas, and in ideas she ends.
I understand you, he replied; not perfectly, for you seem to me to be describing a task which is really tremendous; but, at any rate, I understand you to say that knowledge and being, which the science of dialectic contemplates, are clearer than the notions of the arts, as they are termed, which proceed from hypotheses only: these are also contemplated by the understanding, and not by the senses: yet, because they start from hypotheses and do not ascend to a principle, those who contemplate them appear to you not to exercise the higher reason upon them, although when a first principle is added to them they are cognizable by the higher reason. And the habit which is concerned with geometry and the cognate sciences I suppose that you would term understanding and not reason, as being intermediate between opinion and reason.
You have quite conceived my meaning, I said; and now, corresponding to these four divisions, let there be four faculties in the soul-reason answering to the highest, understanding to the second, faith (or conviction) to the third, and perception of shadows to the last-and let there be a scale of them, and let us suppose that the several faculties have clearness in the same degree that their objects have truth.[1]
Edgar Allen Poe makes a similar point in his humorous story, Mellonta Tauta. Here, "creeping" and "crawling" refer to induction and deduction:
Now I do not complain of these ancients so much because their logic is, by their own showing, utterly baseless, worthless and fantastic altogether, as because of their pompous and imbecile proscription of all other roads of Truth, of all other means for its attainment than the two preposterous paths - the one of creeping and the one of crawling - to which they have dared to confine the Soul that loves nothing so well as to soar. [2]
--HK 14:17, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

To prove what Schiller is saying, why not quote from the horse's mouth? Logic is deductive. Poe attacked deduction in many of his works. his detective Dupin is a brilliant example of this. Schiller quotes will soon be inserted. --Ibykus prometheus 22:30, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Now, be careful. According to HK, Reason is not mere, poor, lowly logic. After all, with Reason, a person has a high, exalted mental power that allows him to directly see with intuition. It seems to be an occult ability to know the world in a special, true, and beautiful way. Reason is a direct, immediate, non–logical knowledge of truth. It is something like Female Intuition, but for guys, also. You must know this, because every human is endowed with this amazing capability.Lestrade 14:21, 12 September 2007 (UTC)Lestrade

Vandalism?[edit] added this article and several others to the Pantheists category. I suspect vandalism. Anyone agree? Charivari 08:08, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Seems likely. I propose that it be removed until the anonymous user returns to offer some documentation. --HK 15:37, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I note now that User:Grye has declared Schiller to be both a pantheist and a freemason, awarding him membership in both categories. There is no documentation offered to this effect, and I propose that this documentation be added to the article before those categories are re-inserted. For, now, I am reverting. --HK 07:56, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
How now brown cow? I just moved his cat:Pantheists to reflect an alphabetical order to the catagories, as seems to be the norm. I in no way said anything about him being one, as is distinctly evident from the edit history. As far as Freemasonry goes, here's cite and source: Talk:List of Freemasons. main article edited accordingly. Grye 08:54, 25 January 2006 (UTC)


Deleted the last link in list, not only because it was broken, but also because -after having found the updated link (, it led to a commercial website that sold "The Ghost-Seer", which is not so hard to find.

i would like to see a bit more discussion of the plays. after all, schiller is considered to be germany's most important playwright. i'll add some content and you all can see what you think. --Smithgrrl 02:04, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

i've made some more changes to the article, and will try to fill in the blanks as time permits. eventually, i'll try to re-structure it so it's a bit less repetitive, but he's an awfully important author and so worth the time, i think. thanks -- --Smithgrrl 03:45, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

One more quote[edit]

In the list of famous quotes from the plays, I think that you should include King Philip's boast in DON CARLO: "The sun never sets upon my empire", which ironically became associated with the BRITISH realm instead of the Spanish. It's not as idealisitic as the others, but it did play a role in history. CharlesTheBold 21:33, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

In general, quotations shuold be placed in our sister project, Wikiquote. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:15, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Non-functional links[edit]

User: says in the edit history that I left links non-functional. Not guilty, m'lud. Didn't go near those links. DionysosProteus 15:16, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

What is the source on "Ode to Happiness" versus "Ode to Joy"?[edit]

I have three questions about the following portion of footnote 10:

"...Schiller's heavily censored 'Declaration of Independence' poem, “Ode to Happiness” (The correct translation is "Happiness", not "Joy", since it refers to the concept expressed in “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”)...."

First, what is the source on the poem being "heavily censored"? Where, by whom, when, and for how long was it censored?

Second, what is the source of this alleged connection between the U.S. Declaration of Independance and the poem?

Third, what is the source of the translation being to "happiness" rather than to "joy"?

Regarding my third question, I do not know any German, but translated "freude" into English as "joy". While "happiness" and "joy" might be synonyms in English, they also differ in some contexts, at least to my thinking. To me, "joy" suggests an INTERNAL state of feeling or being IN THE MOMENT that might readily shift or be ephemeral. One might feel joy now, and then five minutes later feel angry (and not joyful). In contrast, "happiness" to me seems to suggest not only an internal state of joy, but a prolonged one (or a prolonged state where joy is common or predominant) that is supported by an EXTERNAL state of affairs conducive thereto. Thus, one must work INTERNALLY to establish joy, but EXTRENALLY to create life circumstances that are conducive to joy (e.g. a good marriage, prosperity, a good home, cleanliness, etc.). With this distinction in mind, Jefferson's use of "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" seems far more appropriate than "life, liberty and pursuit of joy" because the Declaration is referring to list of unalienable RIGHTS which are necessarily EXTERNAL. Anyone has the right to pursue whatever they wish internally, and no tyrant can take that away from them... i.e. we all have freedom of thought and feeling. Tyrants can only touch our PHYSICAL bodies and the PHYSICAL circumstances around us, which can certainly make joy unlikely but not necessarily impossible. A fully enlightened saint can readily "pursue joy" within a prison cell, or while standing on the gallows awaiting execution, and such a "right" is certainly NOT what is meant in the Declaration. Those are my thoughts, anyway.

MegaHeart 01:26, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Can't illuminate you on that, but I seem to recall that there's a debate on the poem's own article page. You might check that out. DionysosProteus 02:00, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Maybe I can shed some light on this happiness and joy debate. It made me pause when I read the article. Joy translates to freude, happiness translates to Glück (also meaning luck, joy etc.). The English and German words are not completely congruent, therefor the confusion I think. But I really don't see anything wrong with the generally used translation 'Ode to Joy'. I certainly would not call it a mistranslation (I'm a German native speaker). --Feuerrabe (talk) 14:25, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Agreed with the above; the German word "Freude" comfortably translates to "Joy". The source of the connection between the Declaration of Independence and the poem seems to be dubious, and I believe the side-note should be eliminated. It's an inappropriate place for such an argument anyway - a new piece of information as to the etymology of the poem in a footnote? I vote to change it. Tancrisism (talk) 04:40, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Ode to Joy[edit]

I am questioning the lack of substance on the importance of Ode to Joy in Schiller's life. I am curious as to its long term affects as well as its implications during the time that Schiller lived. I believe that several other composers used the lyrics, and Friedrich Nietchze referenced it in its "Apollonianism and Dionysianism" essays. The legacy of the "Ode to Joy" is far superior to that than the article gives credit for.

SwordSerenity 22:28, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Are you aware that we have an article on "Ode to Joy"? Are there sources that talk about the poem's importance to the life of Schiller? If so a line or two on the topic would be great. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:09, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Sashamacc (talk) 17:45, 11 July 2012 (UTC)"Joy" is the correct translation of "Freude."

As far as I know, the importance of "An die Freude" is really due to Beethoven's use of the poem at the end of the 9th Symphony, but I'll cast about for any more info.

Small Mistake - can't correct?[edit]

There's a little error in the list of Enlightenment figures at the bottom of the page; Schiller's name is blue, so a link, while it should be black and unlinking. Instead, Gian Rinaldo Carli's name is blacked, as though it were his page. I can't figure out how to fix this, though. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Schiller's name is blue because it's in a template. "Gian Rinaldo Carli" is unlinked, hence black, to avoid having a red link in the template. If you'd like to create an article on Carli then we can make it into a blue link. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 20:52, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

"greatly discussed"?[edit]

From the article:

Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang Goethe, with whom he greatly discussed issues concerning aesthetics

"Greatly discussed" doesn't make sense in English, so I'm guessing that it is a literal translation of the German. I haven't edited because I'm not sure whether it should be "...with whom he often discussed..." or perhaps "...with whom he discussed in detail..." or even "...with whom he had deep discussions...", all of which seem possible. Loganberry (Talk) 14:07, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Sashamacc (talk) 17:47, 11 July 2012 (UTC) sounds like a translation. It should read per the suggestion "frequently discussed" as the two lived in the same town (Weimar) and talked and wrote to each other all the time.

File:Schiller edit1.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Schiller edit1.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on November 10, 2011. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2011-11-10. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :) Thanks! howcheng {chat} 17:48, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Friedrich Schiller

Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805) was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright. He and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe were influential in the period known as Weimar Classicism. Together, they helped lead to a renaissance of drama in Germany and the Weimar Theater, which they co-founded, became the country's leading theater. This lithograph portrait is captioned "Friedrich von Schiller", in recognition of his 1802 elevation to the nobility by the Duke of Weimar (as indicated by the addition of the nobiliary particle "von" to his name).

Image: Unknown; Restoration: Lise Broer
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

Why no "von" in the article title?[edit]

As per header. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:55, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Because that's how he is generally called – he acquired the "von" only very late in his short life. The German colleagues discussed this matter and no consensus for "von" could be found. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 05:52, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

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