The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 03 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 414 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 03.

The circumstances are urged that Wallenstein was a prince of the Empire, and had as such the right to negotiate with foreign powers; that his delegated authority from the Emperor gave him the right to do so in the Emperor’s name; that the Emperor had not kept faith with Wallenstein, and had thus justified him in at least frightening the court; that self preservation seemed to indicate rebellion as the only recourse; that Wallenstein’s belief in his destiny and the fatuous devotion of his army led him to reckless action; and finally that he did not originally intend to commit actual treason.

Thus prepared, the reader can easily sympathize with Wallenstein in his downfall; this sympathy is entirely won by the admirable courage with which Wallenstein bears the successive blows of fate, and it is strengthened by consideration of the mean motives of the men who serve as the tools of his execution, and by the remembrance that the fate of Max and Thekla is bound up in his.  Schiller was concerned lest the love episode should detract from the interest due the chief persons of the tragedy; his art has effected the exact opposite.

The influence of Shakespeare is more or less obvious in all of Schiller’s later dramas.  Aside from the splendid rhetoric of the monologues, the character of Countess Terzky, so similar to that of Lady Macheth, suggests this.  But such influence is not so controlling as to be in any respect a reproach to Schiller.  Goethe in his generous admiration considered Wallenstein “so great that nothing could be compared with it.”  “In the imaginative power whereby history is made into drama, in the triumph of artistic genius over a vast and refractory mass of material, and in the skill with which the character of the hero is conceived and denoted, Wallenstein is unrivaled.  Its chief figure is by far the stateliest and most impressive of German tragic heroes.” [22]

* * * * *

THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

WALLENSTEIN, Duke of Friedland,
Generalissimo of the Imperial
Forces in the Thirty Years’ War
.

DUCHESS OF FRIEDLAND, Wife of
Wallenstein
.

THEKLA, her Daughter, Princess of
Friedland
.

The COUNTESS TERZKY, Sister of the Duchess.

LADY NEUBRUNN.

OCTAVIO PICCOLOMINI, Lieutenant-General.

MAX PICCOLOMINI, his son, Colonel
of a regiment of Cuirassiers
.

COUNT TERZKY, the Commander of several Regiments, and Brother-in-law of Wallenstein.

ILLO, Field Marshall, Wallenstein’s
Confident
.

ISOLANI, General of the Croats.

BUTLER, an Irishman, Commander
of a regiment of Dragoons
.

GORDON, Governor Egra.

MAJOR GERALDIN.

CAPTAIN DEVEREUX.

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 03 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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