Set in 16th-century Germany, The Robbers concerns the rivalry between the brothers Karl and Franz, both of whom operate outside conventional morality. A protest against official corruption, the play condemned a society in which men of high purpose could be driven to live outside the law when justice was denied them. Franz, the younger brother, turns their father against Karl, who then collects a band of outlaws and lives in the forest. Franz imprisons and mistreats their father, who dies when he learns that Karl is a brigand. She convinces Karl to kill her because she cannot live without him.
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A s part of a three-play rep season, The Faction are reviving Friedrich Schiller's first play, which he started writing when he was only It's a bold, brave enterprise and you have to admire the commitment of all concerned.
At the same time I can't help wishing that an already overheated play had been cooled down rather than heated up. His story of sibling hatred starts with the evil Franz von Moor persuading his father to disinherit his elder brother, Karl.
In retaliation the outlawed Karl takes to the Bohemian woods at the head of a band of ruthless brigands. Within the play, which had a galvanising effect on its original Mannheim audience and which is one of the landmarks of European Romanticism, there is a fascinating debate about the conflict between libertarian idealism and lawless anarchy. But Schiller eventually allows the ideas to be subordinated to a plot that echoes the absurdities of Lear: when the disguised Karl returns to his native castle, you wonder why on earth he doesn't declare himself both to his devoted lover, Amalia, and to his captive father.
Mark Leipacher , who has directed the play and co-translated it with Daniel Millar, certainly exploits the Shakespearean echoes. Andrew Chevalier plays the wicked Franz as a snickering demon who uses physical disability to justify moral defectiveness, and Tom Radford as Karl has more than a touch of Hamlet's mix of dither and danger — he even greets his imprisoned father as if he were a ghost. But the production, which is full of guns, noise and rhetoric, also has Karl at one point frenziedly beating his head against a wall, and his followers advancing towards a bloodbath in the stylised, slow-motion manner of Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch.
I was grateful for the calming presence of Jeryl Burgess, who, in two roles transposed to the female gender, spoke Schiller's lines with rapt quietness rather than shouting them from the rooftops. Tell us about it using gdnreview. Topics Theatre. Friedrich Schiller reviews. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Loading comments… Trouble loading? Most popular.
These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. As a result of his actions, the Old Moor is informed that his son is wanted by the police. The Old Moor is affected by what his dear son has done and Francis suggests that his father disown Charles as a way to protect his name and protect himself from pain. After much persuasion, the Old Moor agrees to withdraw his protection and only offer it again if his son repents.
The Robbers Summary
The work, which was initially conceived not as a stage play but as a reading drama was written during the Enlightenment and can be attributed to the Sturm und Drang movement in German literature. Around , he read some passages at first so some friends to see their impact. He was at first unlucky in finding the right publisher and had to come up with the money himself. The very first volume was published anonymously with only copies. Until the first quarter of the 19th century, robber gangs were nothing unusual in Germany. Freiherr von Dalberg was back then responsible for the theater in Mannheim and asked Schiller for a theater-version, which he finished by On January 13 , , the scandalous play was finally premiered in Mannheim.