zondag 25 september 2011

friedrich schiller - don carlos - een essay

‘A family portrait in a royal household’ – this is how the young playwright Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) attempted to sell his new project to the Director of the Mannheim National Theatre in 1784. ‘A family portrait’ sounds cosy but it is a grim scenario that emerges – frustrated and near-incestuous passion, sexual jealousy and intrigue, finally rebellion and murder, all played out within the stifling formalities of court and under the hawk-eyed gaze not only of unscrupulous and self-interested courtiers but also of the Spanish Inquisition. This distinctly un-cosy family portrait is painted in Schiller’s characteristic dramatic style, through swift-moving action, great set-piece encounters, impassioned speeches and boldly drawn characters. But far from being a domestic tragedy, Don Carlos is in fact a wide-ranging historical tragedy that uses a sixteenth-century setting to challenge the political absolutism of the eighteenth. […]

essay geschreven door Lesley Sharpe (University of Exeter)