Schiller's "Wallenstein," "Maria Stuart," and "Die Jungfrau von Orleans"

Schiller's "Wallenstein," "Maria Stuart," and "Die Jungfrau von Orleans"

The Critical Legacy

Kathy Saranpa

An overview of the reception of Schiller's late dramas in the context of radical shifts in historical thought.
Changing perceptions about history necessarily color the critical reception of historical plays, not only in terms of expectations regarding historical accuracy, but also in judgments about the value and suitability of historical material for the stage. The German playwright, poet, and philosopher Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805), often called the father of modern German drama, broke new ground with his late historical plays -- the Wallenstein trilogy, Maria Stuart, and Die Jungfrau von Orleans -- and they have thus generated a continuous stream of criticism since their appearance in the early nineteenth century. In this book Kathy Saranpa maps out three related strands: the reception history of Schiller's late historical plays; the changing view of history, from the notion of Universalgeschichte propounded by Herder to the American New Historicism; and the changing status of the genre of the historical drama. The juxtaposition of these three strands will interest scholars of German literature; readers from other fields will appreciate the book's value as an introduction to the work of an often misunderstood but vastly important figure in German belles lettres and philosophy.

Kathy Saranpa received her Ph.D. in German literature from Yale University, and has taught at the universities of Wisconsin and Oregon.

Table of Contents

The Legacy of the Enlightenment: Criticism by Schiller's Contemporaries
Hegel, Herder, and Ranke: Schiller during the Century of Historicism
The Metaphysical Crisis, the First World War, and the Aftermath
Schiller's Late Historical Plays and the Third Reich
Schiller from the Left: Early Leftist Criticism and Criticism in the German Democratic Republic
The Federal Republic of Germany and Post-(re)unification Criticism
Works Cited


Very interesting arguments about the intellectual history of history and the historical readings of Schiller....Thought-provoking. GERMAN QUARTERLY

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