Friedrich Schiller: Maria Stuart [Mary Stuart]

(2572 words)

Friedrich Schiller expressed interest in the story of Mary Stuart in 1783, when he was twenty-four years old, but put off dramatizing it until 1799. He would treat it in the Euripidean manner, as he told Goethe, starting with the death sentence. About Schiller's plan to include a fictitious encounter between Mary and Queen Elizabeth, Goethe mused, “I wonder what the public will say when the two whores get together and reproach each other their adventures.” The five-act tragedy, in iambic meter, was first performed on 14 June 1800 in Weimar, and a book version was subsequently published in 1801.

Act I finds Mary in prison, accused of abetting Sir Anthony Babington's plot against the life of the English Queen. Mary's …

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Dye, Ellis. "Maria Stuart". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 October 2006
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]