Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Schiller's Fiesco-A Republican Tragedy?

Reginald H. Phelps
PMLA
Vol. 89, No. 3 (May, 1974), pp. 442-453
DOI: 10.2307/461580
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/461580
Page Count: 12
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($4.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Schiller's Fiesco-A Republican Tragedy?
Preview not available

Abstract

Schiller's subtitle, "Ein republikanisches Trauerspiel," creates serious difficulties of interpretation. His four principal historical sources give little basis for regarding the conspirators or the conspiracy as "republican" in the sense of "antimonarchical." The play itself likewise disregards the republican motif. A study of the vocabulary shows that such politically emotional words as Republik, Freiheit, Bürger, Volk are infrequently used and are likely to bear a neutral or negative-ironic meaning. Schiller's two later versions, the Mannheim stage version and the Leipzig/Dresden manuscript, show no conspicuous change in his use of such terms. The play belongs rather among contemporary dramas generalizing about freedom than to the category of sociopolitical Tendenzdrama, and concerns Republik in the older sense of res publica rather than in the modern meaning. Not Rousseau, but Plutarch as translated by G. B. von Schirach, most strongly influenced Schiller in theme, incidents, traits of character, and perhaps political attitude. The play appears as a conflict among three strong personalities-Fiesco, Verrina, and Andreas Doria-for power within the state; and Doria, representing the essence of the state, may be the real "hero."

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
442
    442
  • Thumbnail: Page 
443
    443
  • Thumbnail: Page 
444
    444
  • Thumbnail: Page 
445
    445
  • Thumbnail: Page 
446
    446
  • Thumbnail: Page 
447
    447
  • Thumbnail: Page 
448
    448
  • Thumbnail: Page 
449
    449
  • Thumbnail: Page 
450
    450
  • Thumbnail: Page 
451
    451
  • Thumbnail: Page 
452
    452
  • Thumbnail: Page 
453
    453