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Friedrich Schiller on Beauty and Aesthetics – Philosopher of the Month

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German poet and playwright, Friedrich Schiller is considered a profound and influential philosopher. His philosophical-aesthetic writing played an important role in shaping the development of German idealism and Romanticism in one of the most prolific periods of German philosophy and literature. They are primarily concerned with the redemptive value of the arts and beauty in human existence. He was immensely well-known for his literary accomplishments, and his influence on German literature, having written a number of successful historical dramas, such as The Robbers, Maria Stuart, and the trilogy Wallenstein. His poem, “Ode to Joy” was set in the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and later enshrined in the European Hymn.Born in 1759, in Marbach in the state of Württemberg in southwest Germany, son of an army surgeon, Schiller attended the military academy of Karl Eugen, Duke of Württemberg and emerged as an army doctor in 1780. He however rebelled against military disciplines and developed interests in the arts and humanities, reading and writing, “Sturm and Drang,” a German literary and artistic movement of the late 18th century that rejected the prevailing neo-classicism in favour of subjectivity, emotional turmoil, artistic creativity, and the beauty of nature. His first play The Robbers (1781), the story about a nobleman turned robber on theme of freedom and rebellion, caused a sensation on its first performance. Forbidden by Karl Eugen to pursue his literary ambitions, Schiller fled in 1782 to Manheim in Palatinate and became a resident playwright at the Manheim National Theatre from 1783-1784. From this period on, he authored many Sturm and Drang plays such as Don Carlos (1787), and two major histories, a history of the conflict between Spain and the Netherlands in the 16th century and a popular history of the Thirty Years War. In 1787, he settled in Weimar, then German’s literary capital, and was appointed, thanks to the Goethe’s recommendation,. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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