Includes the plays Joan of Arc and William Tell
Two plays about historical characters whose fame has also raised them to the level of myth. In Joan of Arc (1801), Schiller allows his heroine a more glorious death than her historical execution at the stake, and imbues her with more passion, and compassion, than is usually ascribed to the actual Joan.
In William Tell (1805), often regarded as his greatest play, Schiller creates a vivid sense of time and place - medieval Switzerland - and in his troubled hero, the accidental revolutionary Tell, create a complex and fascinating figure.
One of the great figures in German literature, Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) was in some ways the most significant playwright of his day, numbering among his devotees Coleridge and Carlyle. His plays are known for their originality of form, vivid stage imagery and powerful language, faithfully rendered in Robert David MacDonald's acclaimed translations