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Demetrius   By: (1759-1805)

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Demetrius by Friedrich Schiller is a compelling historical drama that delves into the intricacies of power, intrigue, and identity. Set in 16th-century Russia, the play follows the story of a young man named Demetrius, who claims to be the rightful heir to the Russian throne. This tale of political upheaval and personal ambition captivates from the very first page.

Schiller's writing is evocative and lyrical, with poetic language that adds depth and beauty to the storyline. His characters are complex and well-developed, each with their own motivations and conflicts. Demetrius, in particular, is a fascinating protagonist whose internal struggle between his desire for power and his need for authenticity drives the narrative forward.

The play's themes of identity and legitimacy are explored through the character of Demetrius, whose claim to the throne raises profound questions about the nature of power and the responsibility that comes with it. As the plot unfolds, the reader is left pondering the impact of deception on personal and political relationships, as well as the blurred lines between truth and illusion.

Schiller's thoughtful exploration of historical events and figures lends an air of authenticity to the narrative. The backdrop of political turmoil in 16th-century Russia is meticulously researched and richly depicted, immersing readers in a world of royalty, treason, and alliances.

What truly sets Demetrius apart is Schiller's ability to craft a story that balances the political and personal with equal skill. The play is not only a sweeping historical epic but also an intimate examination of the human psyche and the choices we make in pursuit of power, love, and self-discovery.

Despite its historical setting, Demetrius delves into universal themes that resonate with readers today. The exploration of identity, the struggle for power, and the consequences of deception are themes that continue to transcend time and place. Schiller's work is a testament to the enduring power of theater as a medium for illuminating the complexity of the human experience.

In conclusion, Demetrius by Friedrich Schiller is a masterfully crafted play that combines history, politics, and personal introspection with deft skill. Schiller's poetic writing style, well-drawn characters, and thought-provoking themes make this a must-read for anyone interested in historical drama or the complexities of the human condition.

First Page:


By Frederich Schiller




On the rising of the curtain the Polish Diet is discovered, seated in the great senate hall. On a raised platform, elevated by three steps, and surmounted by a canopy, is the imperial throne, the escutcheons of Poland and Lithuania suspended on each side. The KING seated upon the throne; on his right and left hand his ten royal officers standing on the platform. Below the platform the BISHOPS, PALATINES, and CASTELLANS seated on each side of the stage. Opposite to these stand the Provincial DEPUTIES, in a double line, uncovered. All armed. The ARCHBISHOP OF GNESEN, as the primate of the kingdom, is seated next the proscenium; his chaplain behind him, bearing a golden cross.

ARCHBISHOP OF GNESEN. Thus then hath this tempestuous Diet been Conducted safely to a prosperous close; And king and commons part as cordial friends. The nobles have consented to disarm, And straight disband the dangerous Rocoss [1]; Whilst our good king his sacred word has pledged, That every just complaint shall have redress. And now that all is peace at home, we may Look to the things that claim our care abroad... Continue reading book >>

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