Friedrich Schiller

Friedrich SchillerJohann Christopher Friedrich von Schiller was born on November 10, 1750 in Marbach, Germany. When he was 13 years old, he entered the Duke’s Military Academy. He studied law and later medicine. When he was 21, he was appointed to the Stuttgart regiment. He went on to become one of Germany’s foremost dramatists, along with Goethe, a major figure in German literature’s Storm and Stress period. Both physical and spiritual freedoms were ongoing themes in his work. His first major poetic drama, Don Carelos, was published in 1787.

Schiller also wrote essays and poetry, including ‘Ode to Joys’ which was later famously used by Ludwig van Beethoven in his Ninth Symphony. Influenced by the philosophy of Kant, Schiller developed his aesthetic theories, stressing the sublime and creative powers of humanity. He maintained a long correspondence with Goethe, and, beginning in 1798, produced his masterpiece, the Wallenstein cycle. Partly to be near Goethe, Schiller moved to Weimar in 1799.

His health gradually failed and he died in Weimar on May 9, 1805.