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Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

Marbach 1759 - Weimar 1805


Johann Christoph Friedrich Schiller was born on November 10, 1759 in Marbach as the second child of a lieutenant. He first attended the local village school and after a move to Ludwigsburg went to grammar school. At the tender age of 13, Schiller wrote his first tragedies, which no longer survive today.
In 1773 the duke forced him to attend military school, where he initially studied jurisprudence and later medicine, while secretly reading the works of Lessing and Klopstock.
In 1782 his play "Die Räuber", which he had published anonymously, premiered in Mannheim with great success. Duke Karl Eugen, who disliked Schiller's activities, banned him from writing any further comedies. In 1783 he finished his play 'Kabale und Liebe' and met Charlotte von Kalb, while he was working in Mannheim as a theater writer. When he was abandoned by the director of the Mannheim theater in 1784 and not offered a new contract, Schiller ran into major debt. In dire financial straights, Schiller left Mannheim in 1785 and went on a two year journey to Weimar. In 1788 he first met Goethe. In 1789 Schiller became a professor of philosophy at the university of Jena. One year later he moved to Jena and married Charlotte von Lengefeld. In spite of his poor health and various moves, Schiller worked intensively on his literary work (including 'Wallenstein', 1799, 'Don Juan', 1800, 'Die Jungfrau von Orleans', 1801). During this time Schiller and Goethe became ever closer friends. After Schiller had completed 'Wilhelm Tell' in 1804 and began working on 'Demetrius', he often became seriously ill. In May 1805 Schiller met Goethe one last time on his way to the theater, before he died of pneumonia in Weimar on May 9, 1805.


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