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41. Politische Reden bei Schiller

Thomas Boyken

Abstract

This article deals with political speeches and political rhetoric in theoretical and dramatic texts by Schiller, with a focus on the plays. After a brief introduction to the relationship between Schiller and politics, the article looks at the aestheticization of politics (‘Asthetisierung des Politischen’) in Schiller’s theoretical texts. After that, the article focuses on selected plays (Die Rauber, Fiesko, Don Karlos, Maria Stuart, Wilhelm Tell). It will be demonstrated that politics and political rhetoric are of high importance for Schiller’s plays, which show a psychologizing of politics (‘Psychologisierung des Politischen’). Two levels of meaning will be highlighted: On the one hand, the political rhetoric of the characters will be analysed. On the other hand, the plays as a whole will be examined as political speeches. Also, the references to contemporary political theory and historical events will be identified. It will become apparent that the political speech of a character within the play often stands against the political content of the play as a whole. A notable exception is certainly Wilhelm Tell.

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