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Friedrich Schiller
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Playwright
    (November 10, 1759-May 9, 1805)
    Born in Marbach am Neckar, Germany
    Birth name was Johann Christoph Friedrich Schiller
    Playwright and poet
    Plays include 'The Robbers' (1781), 'Intrigue and Love' (1784), 'Don Carlos' (1787), 'Mary Stuart' (1800), 'The Maid of Orleans' (1801), 'The Bride of Messina' (1803) and 'William Tell' (1804)
    Poems include 'Ode to Joy,' 'The Diver,' 'Polycrates' Ring,' 'The Hostage,' 'The Bell' and 'Nanie'
    Also wrote 'On the Aesthetic Education of Man' (1794)
    He wrote joint love letters to his future wife and her married sister.
    He went AWOL from his post as an army doctor to attend the premier of 'The Robbers' and was jailed for two weeks.
    He kept rotting apples in a drawer of his writing desk, claiming the smell inspired him.
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge said, 'Schiller's verse is bad. He moves it as a fly in a glue bottle.'
    He was good friends and an occasional collaborator with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
    His 'Ode to Joy' was set to music in Beethoven's 9th Symphony.
    His plays were adapted into several operas including Rossini's 'William Tell,' Donizetti's 'Maria Stuarda' (based on 'Mary Stuart') and Verdi's 'I Masdieri' (based on 'The Robbers'), 'Giovanna d'Arco' (based on 'The Maid of Orleans'), 'Luisa Miller' (based on 'Intrigue and Love') and 'Don Carlos.'
    His play 'William Tell' was banned in Nazi Germany after its anti-tyrant theme inspired a Swiss student to try to assassinate Hitler.
    In a poll conducted by the Franco-German TV station ARTE, he was named the second most important playwright in Europe, after Shakespeare (2008).

Credit: C. Fishel


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