Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, physician, historian, and playwright. During the last 17 years of his life, Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with the already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Take a look below for 30 more fun and interesting facts about Friedrich Schiller.
1. Schiller and Goethe frequently discussed issues concerning aesthetics, and Schiller encouraged Goethe to finish works that he left as sketches.
2. Schiller and Goethe’s relationship and their discussions led to a period now referred to as Weimar Classicism.
3. They worked together on Xenien, a collection of short satirical poems in which both Schiller and Goethe challenge opponents to their philosophical vision.
4. He was born in Neckar, Holy Roman Empire.
5. His parents were Johann Kaspar Schiller, a military doctor, and Elisabeth Dorothea Kodwei.
6. In 1763, Schiller’s father was appointed as a recruiting officer at Schwabisch Gmund, Germany. The family relocated to Germany and settled down in the small town of Lorch.
7. In Lorch, Schiller attended primary school but was rather unhappy with the quality of education and often missed classes.
8. Since his parents wanted him to become a pastor, he was instructed in Latin and Greek by the village pastor.
9. In 1766, the family resettled in Ludwigsburg, where his father took up an assignment.
10. In Ludwigsburg, Schiller came under the notice of Karl Eugene, Duke of Wurttemberg.
11. He later graduated with a degree in medicine from the Karlsschule Stuttgart.
12. His first play, “The Robbers,” was written while he was still in school. It was published in the year 1781, and the following year, it opened in Germany. The play was primarily about a conflict between two brothers.
13. In 1780, he was appointed as a regimental doctor in Stuttgart, Germany.
14. Schiller wasn’t very happy with his job and quit the same day without permission. The day he quit, he went to watch the opening of his play, “The Robbers.”
15. Since he left his regiment without any prior permission, he was later arrested and was penalized with a sentence of 14 days.
16. Due to his arrest and penalization, he was prohibited from publishing any of his works in the future.
17. In 1782, he escaped to Weimar, through Frankfurt, Mannheim, Leipzig and Dresden.
18. In 1783, his full length drama, “Fiesco,” premiered at Bonn, Germany.
19. In 1787, his five act tragic play “Don Carlos” opened in Hamburg. The play revolved around the clash between Don Carlos and his father, King Philip II of Spain.
20. In 1789, Schiller became a professor of History and Philosophy in Jena. Here, he began writing historical works, one of which includes The Revolt of the Netherlands.
21. In 1794, his work of prose titled “On the Aesthetic Education of Man in a series of Letters” was published. This work was written by taking the French Revolution as a frame of reference.
22. In 1797, he wrote the balled “Polycrates Ring”, which was published the next year.
23. In 1799, he completed his drama trilogy titled “Wallenstein.” The trilogy consisted of the plays, “Wallenstein’s Camp,” “The Piccolomini,” and “Wallenstein’s Death.”
24. In 1800, he came out with the plays “Mary Stuart” and “The Maid of Orleans.”
25. In 1801, he came out with the work of translation “Carlo Gozzi, Turandot” and the play, “Turandot, Prinzessin von China.”
26. In 1803, his tragic play titled “The Bride of Messina” premiered at Weimar, Germany.
27. In 1804, he wrote the work of drama titled “William Tell,” based on the Swiss marksman of the same name.
28. In 1802, he was ennobled by the Duke of Weimar, who granted him the title of “von,” which was added to his name, signifying nobility.
29. In 1790, he married Charlotte von Lengefeld. The couple had four children.
30. In 1839, a statue of him was built in the city of Stuttgart. It was later renamed Schillerplatz.