German literature

German authors
  • Angelus Silesius
  • Heinrich Böll
  • Bertolt Brecht
  • Karl Georg Büchner
  • Hans Magnus Enzensberger
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Günter Grass
  • Brothers Grimm
  • Hans von Grimmelshausen
  • Peter Handke
  • Gerhart Hauptmann
  • Heinrich Heine
  • Heinrich der Glïchezäre
  • Johann Gottfried von Herder
  • Hermann Hesse
  • Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann
  • Friedrich Hölderlin
  • Uwe Johnson
  • Siegfried Lenz
  • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
  • Thomas Mann
  • Robert Musil
  • Novalis
  • Jean Paul Richter
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling
  • Friedrich von Schiller
  • Arthur Schnitzler
  • Georg Trakl
  • Frank Wedekind
  • Christa Wolf

Friedrich von Schiller, 1759 - 1805

German poet, playwright, philosopher and historian. Schiller was born on November 10, 1759 in Marbach (Württemberg) and died on May 9, 1805. He was the most important playwright in the history of German theater and one of the most distinguished figures of European literature. Son of an officer in the Prussian Army, he received his education at the military academy of the Duke of Württemberg.

As a doctor in a military regiment, he was arrested in 1781 and banned from all literary activities as punishment form abandoning his post in order to go to the opening of his play The Robbers at the Mannheim National Theater. The following year, he left Stuttgart, going via Frankfurt, Mannheim, Leipzig, and Dresden to Weimar, where he settled in 1787. During this time he published his work under various different pseudonyms.

It is during this period that Schiller finished the tragedies Intrigue and Love (1783) and Don Carlos (1787). He then turned to writing historical and philosophical texts. In 1790 Goethe helps him to find a position as a history professor at Jena University.

In 1979 Schiller moved to Weimar, where he remained until the end of his days. Here he meets with Goethe again, their friendship blossoms until Schiller's death in 1805. Goethe convinces him to return to playwriting; in 1799 he finished what is considered to be his master piece, a trilogy in verse, based on events that took place in the Thirty Years' War, called Wallenstein. It was here that he completed the historic dramas Mary Stuart (1800), The Maid of Orleans (1801), The Bride of Messina (1803) and William Tell (1804), besides translating the works of Shakespeare and Racine into German.