Updated: May 13, 2021
Although celebrated as one of the greatest playwrights, Schiller is first a poet. Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet of the eighteenth century whose work continues to inspire millions. Many of his plays were written in verse and his influence on German literature is significant. Schiller's work — his poems, essays and plays — explored questions pertaining to human freedom.
"Schiller's place in the humanist tradition was emphasised, and the qualities that had made him less acceptable to the Third Reich — his cosmopolitanism, his concern for human totality and moral self-determination, his belief in the centrality of art as human activity — were brought again to the fore," says Lesley Sharpe in Schiller's Aesthetic Essays: Two Centuries of Criticism.
Schiller's essays in a series of letters On the Aesthetic Education of Man although in prose is one of his most crucial works among his many plays and poems. His poem Ode to Joy, which is most likely to resonate with Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, is an Ode written in the summer of 1785.
A problem Let none resemble another; let each resemble the highest! How can that happen? Let each be all complete in itself. — — Friedrich Schiller
You can listen to Schiller's words in German read by Stefke Puttemans on O's podcast