“King: And can you not establish some new creed to justify the bloody murder of one’s only son

Grand Inquisitor: To appease eternal justice, God’s own son upon the cross.“

–Friedrich Schiller, Don Carlos.

 

Friedrich Schiller was born on November 10, 1759 in Marbach am Nechar, Germany. Schiller had many feathers on his hat. He was a poet, philosopher, historian, dramatist, and playwright. However, he is best known for leaving immense influence on German literature.

Schiller struggled in his early years to establish himself in the literary circles. Nonetheless, the turning point in his development as a dramatist came with Don Carlos published in 1787. The Play is a vicious satire on how Philip II exploited religion for securing his reign against a possible overthrow of his rule in the hands of his own son, Don Carlos. A chance meeting between Schiller and Goethe in 1794 and the ensuing exchange of letters mark the beginning of their friendship, a union of opposites that forms an inspiring chapter in the history of German letter.

He is sometimes referred to as the German Shakespeare; his are still among the most widely produced German plays both in Germany and internationally. One can see the uneasiness of a paranoid monarch who wants to kill his only son to secure his throne; the present times are not much different than those Philip II lived in. Paranoia then clouded the thinking of individuals. The same curse nowadays clouds the senses of the state, which is so keen on censorship, that it is inviting its own destruction.