Schiller's Early Dramas

Schiller's Early Dramas

A Critical History

David V. Pugh


Camden House



A fresh look at the critical reception of Schiller's early dramas such as The Robbers and Don Carlos.
The interpretation of the works of Friedrich Schiller, with Goethe one of the co-founders of German classicism, has long been a central concern of German critics. In a country known as 'the land of poets and thinkers,' the achievements of great writers have been a matter of national pride and identity. But special problems are raised by Schiller, whose dramas address political questions more directly than those of his fellow-classicist Goethe, yet tend to end in a manner that shifts the focus to a general moral or metaphysical level, leaving politically engaged readers dissatisfied. The reception of Schiller's works is thus not only a topic in the history of criticism, but forms a chapter in the history of German political and national consciousness. Given this situation, Professor Pugh's study of the plays' fortunes at the hands of the various schools of German literary scholarship is useful both to literary scholars seeking orientation in the field and also to readers with a wider interest in German intellectual traditions.

David V. Pugh is associate professor in the Department of German, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and is the author of Dialectic of Love: Platonism in Schiller's Aesthetics.


October 2000
261 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571131539
Format: Hardback
Camden House
BISAC LIT013000, LIT004170
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Table of Contents

The Neoclassical Establishment: The Contemporary Reception
Romantics, Liberals, Hegelians, Positivists: The Nineteenth Century
The Age of Geistesgeschichte: 1905-45
Chiller Scholarship since 1945
Die Räuber: A Political Play?
Fiesco: The
Kabale und Liebe: The Domestic Tragedy
Don Carlos: The Drama of Freedom


A very valuable contribution to Schiller scholarship. --Todd Kontje, University of California, San Diego

Full of insight and analysis, fruitful conclusions, and helpful sugestions for future research. CHOICE

[...] good at unmasking the bombast of highfalutin critical appraoches. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES

Pugh has delivered a thoughtful and articulate introduction to the existing scholarship on Schiller's early dramatic oeuvre. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW

Pugh's work offers at the same time a very precise analysis of the reception of Schiller and a study of the evolution of German criticism from end of the 18th to the end of the 20th century. ETUDES GERMANIQUES

... a fine piece of work. Thorough, well-organized, fair-minded, and beautifully written, it offers us an overview of the critical response to four of Schiller's early plays. SEMINAR

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