Friedrich von Schiller

Friedrich von Schiller

Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805), German poet, dramatist, philosopher, and historian, who is regarded as the greatest dramatist in the history of the German theater and one of the greatest in European literature.

Schiller was born November 10, 1759, in Marbach, Württemberg, the son of an army officer and estate manager for the duke of Württemberg. He was educated at the duke's military school and then studied law and medicine. In 1780 he was appointed physician to a military regiment stationed in Stuttgart. As a student, Schiller wrote poetry and finished his first play, The Robbers (1781; trans. 1800), which was successfully presented in 1782 at the National Theater in Mannheim. Arrested by the duke for leaving Württemberg without permission in order to witness the production, Schiller was forbidden to publish further dramatic works, but in September 1782, he escaped from prison.

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