Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Schiller, Friedrich (1759–1805)
Steven D. Martinson
Friedrich Schiller was a key figure of the late Enlightenment; he made significant contributions to philosophy, poetry, drama, and the study of history. This entry considers three major aspects of Schiller's works—history, philosophy, and drama—as they relate to the politics and political ideas of his time. Schiller's first historical works focus on the Dutch rebellion against Spain in the sixteenth century and reveal a strong sympathy toward the Netherlands' battle for emancipation from the despotism of Philip II. While, on the one hand, Schiller heralds the victory of freedom over oppression as a product of the people and not of individual heroic leaders, on the other hand, he suggests that there was a lack of unity of purpose among the people that, in part, contributed to their defeat. One of the main topics of these early histories is the question and problem of middle-class freedom. It is an indication of ...