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Exploring the Interior

Karl S. Guthke

III. The universe within

9. A Saint With Blood on her Hands: Schiller’s Joan of Arc

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Approaching an Elusive Play

1In his last two completed plays (not counting the “fate tragedy” Die Braut von Messina, whose shortcomings seem to multiply with every new critic turning his attention to it), Schiller, the German Shakespeare as he was known in the 1780s, seems to have taken a leaf from the master’s book: in Die Jungfrau von Orleans (1801) and Wilhelm Tell (1804), tragedy yields to a more conciliatory, indeed redemptive mood, culminating in the triumph of Romantic patriotism and a wide rage of noble sentiments. Not surprisingly, both plays rank highest among Schiller’s plays in popularity. Longstanding favorites of open-air theatres and amateur productions, their “Romantic” pageantry, miraculous events, grandiose scenic effects, and musical intermezzi have the broad appeal of opera. Arguably, there is even a touch of kitsch in them, and to this day they are an inexhaustible reservoir of familiar quotations without which no newspaper or cocktail party would be quite the same.

  • 1 Michael Hofmann in his postscript to Norbert Oellers, Friedrich Schiller: Zur Modernität eines Kla (...)

2Yet both are also serious, philosophically charged historical dramas. Wilhelm Tell glorifies the political liberation movement of the Swiss cantons; Die Jungfrau von Orleans leads up to the apotheosis of the patriotic heroine at the moment when she has turned the tide of the Hundred Years’War in favor of her country and a victorious outcome of the struggle for national autonomy is in sight. In each play, the course of history confirms or validates the high-minded aspirations of the protagonist, even suggesting a near-utopian future. This is strange if we remember that in the mid-nineties, Schiller had rejected his idealistic, teleological conception of history with its lofty confidence that justice would ultimately prevail (“die Weltgeschichte ist das Weltgericht”) in favor of a thoroughly skeptical, indeed disillusioned view of history – history as a jumble of random events without ulterior meaning and certainly without the seeds of progress of any kind.1

  • 2 “Publikum und Popularität,” Gesammelte Schriften und Dichtungen, 2nd ed., X (Leipzig, 1888), 88 (“ (...)
  • 3 Dieter Borchmeyer, “‘Altes Recht’und Revolution: Schillers Wilhelm Tell,” Friedrich Schiller, ed. (...)

3But this apparent contradiction between the historical plays and their author’s view of history becomes irrelevant once one realizes that in all of his historical plays, Schiller focuses not so much on the course of history and its ulterior meaning as on the prominent man or woman caught up in it. He did so in Fiesko and Don Karlos, before his supposed disillusion with history, and again in Wallenstein and Maria Stuart after it. Being a born dramatist, and one who did not need to be told that the proper study of mankind is man, Schiller was always fascinated, above all else, by individuals whose inner conflicts are activated by their conflicts with their historical situation and the world around them, which plunge them into guilt and error, and ultimately tragedy. But, then, aren’t Jungfrau and Tell about saints of sorts? Richard Wagner spoke of Schiller’s “poetic sanctification” of Joan of Arc,2 and wasn’t Tell, who was honored in the 1798 Helvetic Republic as a patriotic hero in a secularized Lord’s prayer: “Your name be held sacred,”3 the “savior” of the Swiss cantons? Saints and saviors are not usually psychologically interesting, at least on stage. Yet in Jungfrau and Tell Schiller is not deserted by his genius for the portrayal of problematic characters – even as the larger-than-life political liberators are showered with well-deserved praise by a chorus of lesser figures. Schiller’s keen eye for tragedy perceives them as human, all too human for all that: as suffering and erring, struggling to come to terms with their failings and their guilt. As such, they are no less tragic than Schiller’s other dramatic heroes and heroines. Joan of Arc and Wilhelm Tell join ranks with them by presenting the dramatist’s original insights into what he would have called “the history of the human heart.”

Traditional Perspectives and Their Problems

4Yet there is something strange not only about the tragic quality but also about the present-day popularity of Die Jungfrau von Orleans, which theatre programs tend to bill as a “noble-minded wondrous play.” These are the words of none other than Thomas Mann, whose “Essay on Schiller” (1955) was a landmark not only in the author’s career but also in the history of the appreciation of Schiller. The strangeness of the play derives from the fact that its featured character problems and conflicts are undeniably associated with saintliness or “holiness.” How meaningful are such concepts – not to mention “pure maiden,” “divine command,” “holy mission,” “redemption” and similar terms – to the modern theatergoer? Not only are these terms sprinkled all over Schiller’s text, they have also been indispensible to interpreters of the “Romantic Tragedy” (as it was subtitled) ever since Schiller’s time, as though there were nothing baffling or disturbing about them. What is the interest in a drama that has virtually nothing in common with the significant historical figure it foregrounds – nor with “any mortal woman that ever walked this earth” as G. B. Shaw noted in the preface to his own Saint Joan? Why should present-day audiences care for a play about a rabidly militant Amazon with a savior complex, traditionally taken to be admirable, who is given the lines: “What is good, innocent, and holy/If not the struggle for the fatherland?” (1782– 1783). What accounts for the enduring fascination of this play?

  • 4 Gerhard Sauder, “Die Jungfrau von Orleans,” Interpretationen (n. 3), 336–349; Martin Luserke in We (...)
  • 5 Gerhard Storz, Der Dichter Friedrich Schiller (Stuttgart, 1959), 345– 366; Ilse Graham, Schiller: (...)
  • 6 Emil Staiger, Friedrich Schiller (Zürich, 1967).

5Finding Shaw’s diagnosis of nonsense unacceptable, scholars have given the reader all manner of first aid; but for their part, many of them cannot deny that the work remains, here and there at least, confusing and inaccessible. Not infrequently, they are at a loss (“ratlos”) about the “contradictions” and “enigmas” in the text.4 Some critics, to be sure, are encouraged by such findings to jump to the conclusion, made partly plausible by the operatic elements of the text, that the distinguishing feature of Schiller’s plays, or at any rate of this one, is that, instead of ideological constructs, they are essentially nothing but arrangements of highly poetical motifs.5 There is certainly something to this. For no doubt it is such an arrangement of poetical highlights that creates the richly modulated fairy-tale world of Die Jungfrau von Orleans, with its profusion of colorful figures and events of great sensual presence. And why not remember in this context the widespread conviction that Schiller, much more so than Goethe, was first and foremost a man of the theater, obsessed with creating stirring scenes, sensuous moments, and theatrical effects rather than with the demonstration of a cogent intellectual thesis through coherent dramatic action, or through philosophically charged character portrayal or psychological plausibility, for that matter.6 If one looks at the play from such a purely aesthetic or theatrical vantage point, the transformation of the gentle shepherdess Johanna into the bloodthirsty Amazon is simply the transition from one poetical or stagey motif to another, requiring no further reflexion or analysis. Indeed, the transformation could just as well have been the other way round, if the play were really nothing more than a kaleidoscope of such vivid scenes and effects. In this kaleidoscope, the poetical or fairy-tale motifs may arrange themselves into a coherent whole that is aesthetically pleasing, but not into one that incorporates some “meaning.” But is such an aesthetic arrangement of motifs really all that makes Die Jungfrau von Orleans a remarkable play? This is the question on the mind of all those other critics who expect a certain intellectual content or substance – and stumble over thematic contradictions.

  • 7 Werke und Briefe, V, 620–623, 626–627.

6It is not hard to imagine, of course, that after finishing the intellectually and formally demanding Maria Stuart, Schiller let himself go a bit in the play he took up immediately afterwards. His letters written at the time confirm this: they reveal nothing about his philosophical struggle with the historical subject matter (such as had exercised him while he was working on Maria Stuart). Instead of philosophical and historical concerns, it is the interest in “poetical motifs” and “stoffartig” impact that dominate Schiller’s letters written during the genesis of Jungfrau. By “stoffartig” he meant “pertaining to the senses,” having in mind the multisensual appeal of opera or of a composition of words and scenes designed for maximum stage effect.7

7However, Schiller’s well-documented fascination with “poetical motifs” does not necessarily imply that the resulting work (to appropriate Goethe’s remark on his Märchen) may be meaningful but uninterpretable (“bedeutend, aber deutungslos”), that is to say: a pattern of motifs whose wealth of optically and acoustically pleasing impressions is entirely self-referential. But that is exactly how critics of the aesthetic persuasion read the play. Any interpretation of its intellectual substance, they believe, will lead the reader astray – any interpretation, in other words, pointing to some graspable meaning in the sense of a position concerning a philosophical or anthropological problem or issue implied in the literary fashioning of a theme. If one looks at the play with such limited expectations, one cannot help isolating a single aspect, if a prominent one, at the expense of others at least equally significant. For example, what about the play as a text for the stage as a “moralische Anstalt” which Schiller was very much concerned with – and which, properly understood, is not an institution of moral instruction but a school purveying knowledge of, or insight into, the complexities of human nature?

8All the same, something is to be said for the l’art pour l’art style of reading Die Jungfrau von Orleans. Such a reading can be appreciated as a reaction against an enduringly influential school of Schiller interpretation that we might call “ideological.” This attempts (often with beguiling rhetoric, sometimes with sophistication bordering on clairvoyance) to view the play as a consistent literary transformation or even application of Schiller’s “theory.” More often than not, to be sure, this is not done explicitly but implicitly. One way or the other, familiarity with Schiller’s theoretical positions blinds these critics to those features of the drama which, from their point of view, are less striking. More specifically, we need to distinguish two such ideological interpretive approaches. They rely on two different points of Schiller’s thought about human nature and history; one is fundamentally Christian, the other essentially humanist.

  • 8 Benno vonWiese, FriedrichSchiller (Stuttgart, 1959), 734– 735; cp. Friedrich Oberkogler, “Die Jung (...)

9The first takes its cue from Schiller’s understanding of the mind-body problem in his treatise “On the Sublime” (1801). The roots of this line of interpretation in Christian thinking are undeniable. For it takes Johanna’s proclamations about her patriotic mission, her carrying out of a “divine command,” her frequently proclaimed “Sendung,” at face value – as a theologically authentic statement, or at the very least as an allegorical reference to the world of “ideas” (beyond the physical world) as man’s true home. As a result, Johanna’s “divine mission” becomes the key to her “fate” – which is that of a Christian martyr: Saint Joan, after all. Ordained by “divine command” to be a saint (or an idealist heroine), Johanna wages her war against the English invaders and occupiers not out of patriotism, let alone out of a personal will to power, but as God’s chosen tool (“Werkzeug”) for the sake of “eternal order” to be established on earth – clearly beyond reproach (NA, IX, 393). Triumphing over all trials and tribulations, she completes her mission as the paradigm of the Christian God’s witness and indeed as his representative on earth or, to choose a less specifically Christian, more idealistic formulation, as the presence of “the eternal in the realm of history,” in fact, as an incarnation of the divine (“Gefäß des Göttlichen,” NA, IX, 435). Accordingly, the ending of the play – the death of a saint, rather than a witch – places a seal of approval on an exemplary life. “The earthly, heroically striving human being, after suffering, guilt, repentance, and purification enters into the world of eternity” (NA, IX, 436). Johanna, in this view, is “the stranger sent from a transmundane realm, a ‘blind’ instrument of God accomplishing its mission in the world of history”; the play accordingly becomes “a parabolic, legend-like drama about the alien nature of the transcendental in the midst of a vain, impure, and debasing world,” as an influential critic put it, speaking for a host of others.8

10Amounting to a religious perspective, this line of interpretation is hard to take at a time when all belief systems come under suspicion. But let us first look at the second, the humanistic, rather than Christian or idealist-crypto-Christian, ideological interpretation. Its vantage point is not “On the Sublime” but Schiller’s treatise on “Naive and Sentimental Poetry” (1795– 1796). In its perspective, Die Jungfrau von Orleans is seen to exemplify a particular concept of the development of mankind and of the individual. This development proceeds from the initial stage of a putative naive union of the self with nature and with itself, via the conflict between the self and the world and the conflict within the self (the stage of “culture”) all the way to the ultimate utopian condition in which all faculties of the senses and the mind are reunited in an ideal harmony: from Arcadia to Elysium. Applied to the play, this speculation (which was shared by others at the time) implies an understanding of Johanna’s final moments as the realization of the highest perfection possible, in spite of the imperfections of the world and the vulnerability of the individual.

  • 9 Heinz Ide, “Zur Problematik der Schiller-Interpretation: Übungen zur Jungfrau von Orleans,” Jahrbu (...)

11In effect, the first-mentioned ideological interpretation could readily agree with this line of thought, except that it would see this perfection as one of human nature participating in the realm of the transcendent; in other words, this perfection would be that of man bearing witness to God by living up to his “mission” on earth – until, at the end of his time, he fully “enters into the divine” as Schiller envisaged the conclusion of his uncompleted Heracles idyll (XII, 102). The humanistic interpretation, on the other hand, views that ultimate perfection of human nature in pointedly this-worldly terms: as that ideal secular humanity that can be realized through human determination and responsibility alone.9 The final scene of the play is the touchstone of either way of understanding the heroine: Johanna’s death on the battlefield (invented by Schiller with supreme disregard for history: St. Joan was burned as a witch) is seen either as self-abandonment to the will of a transcendent God (entry into the world of the “ideas,” in the more secularized idealistic view) or, in the humanistic interpretation, as the regeneration of the autonomous self reaching its ultimate authenticity.

  • 10 “Gottgesendet” (989 – 990); cp. “die Gottgesandte” (1764).
  • 11 v. Wiese, 738.
  • 12 Oellers, 259.

12This very contradiction of the two ideological lines of interpretation (which have little more in common than their unrelenting abstractness) makes one wonder what image of human nature (exemplified by Johanna) would come into view if one were to look at the play without casting glances sideways at Schiller’s “theory.” One wonders all the more as the analyses proceeding from philosophical concepts tend to marginalize the specific character traits of a given dramatis persona as at best incidental to the overall conceptual scheme they try to uncover, no matter whether this is articulated in quasi-religious or in humanistic terms. Both, then, ignore a lot – but what, precisely? Aspects of Johanna that fit neither the concept of the saint sent to earth by God nor the vision of human perfection, Weimar-style, include, first of all, the fanatic brutality, indeed the power-hungry, self-serving vitality of the rather bloodthirsty St. Joan of the battlefields and, second, the narrow-minded, definitely un-Schillerian chauvinism of a savior who advocates humane behavior only in the company of the French, not in encounters with what we now call the “other,” the English in this case. Both of these unsettling aspects of Johanna are marginalized as harmless or irrelevant in the conventional ideological interpretations of the play (whereas the l’art pour l’art approach does not take account of character portrayal at all). But doesn’t the unbridled savagery of a “saint” or “pure maiden” who cheerfully goes about her business of “making widows” (1666), sword in hand, give us pause? Don’t critics all too routinely reel off those awe-inspiring key designations of Johanna, taking them either literally (documenting Christian values or verities) or metaphorically (as referring to idealist or humanist values or verities)? And don’t they explain Johanna’s bloodthirsty conquistador mentality away too easily when they say that such thirst for blood is sufficiently excused by Johanna’s exalted mission10 and by the “eternal order” that is to be preserved? Does Johanna really remain a beautiful and noble (“erhabene”) soul” for all her savagery (NA, IX, 392– 394), “terrifying […] but never impure”?11 Her killing orgy (“Tötungsrausch”), we read as late as 1996, is no problem in (or of) the play (“Problem des Stückes”):12 as Johanna acts under the coercion of her divine “mission,” she is not responsible for her gratuitous atrocities in the battlefield. Really?

  • 13 Kaiser, 136.
  • 14 NA, IX, 431; R. D. Miller, Interpreting Schiller: A Study of Four Plays (Harrowgate, 1986), 39– 41
  • 15 That Johanna is “ein mit allen Schwächen behafteter Mensch” is rather too gallant a formulation (L (...)

13Oddly enough, Johanna herself is a better critic. Confronted with the enemy, Montgomery first and Lionel later, she by no means ignores this question, nor does she minimize it. And just as Johanna finds no pat answer to her moral dilemma, neither does the thoughtful critic (or should one say the critic cursed with common sense, who fails to see the empress’s new clothes?). For such a critic wonders how Johanna’s killing spree and her refusal to love (both, she tells us, ordained by God and both, we know, invented by Schiller, in contradiction to the historical facts known to him) are compatible with the statement that Johanna’s calling is one to achieve ideal humanity (“Idealität des Menschen).”13 Or such a critic wonders how the cold-blooded murder of Montgomery can be seen as Johanna’s ultimate elevation to the state of pure spirituality (“die höchste Steigerung Johannas zum reinen Geistwesen”) and as a sublime triumph of idealism.14 Isn’t she rather, throughout much of the play, the power-hungry, sword-wielding chauvinist, convinced of her divinely ordained mission of which there is not a shred of independent “proof” in the whole drama?15

14An answer may be given by a close look, unencumbered by Schiller’s own theorizing, at character portrayal in this play: how is the undeniable ensemble of missionary zeal, brutal will to power, and bloodthirsty chauvinism integrated into the image of the “saint” – or is it integrated? Isn’t Johanna’s sense of mission, which glorifies herself as it glorifies God, a not-so-distant relative of megalomania and of the delusion of the “chosen” – which, ever since Die Räuber, Schiller had critically diagnosed in his protagonists who seemed to be so blamelessly idealistic? And doesn’t Johanna herself point to this failing when she indicts herself as vain (“eitel,” 2938)? Schiller’s deviation from historical fact as he knew it points in the same direction: in her trial, Jeanne d’Arc insisted, and the prosecution did not deny, that she had not spilled blood in battle. Also, is it not strange that the so-called redemption play (in which there is indeed much talk of divine calling with specifically Christian connotations) should be published, in accordance with the author’s express wish, with an engraved title vignette featuring Minerva, the pagan goddess of war? (NA, IX, 405, 435). Strange – or telling? How are such contradictory traits accommodated in Johanna’s ample soul?

15Clearly, a psychologically close reading seems to be indicated. Why not take a cue from Schiller’s – Dr. Schiller’s – own diagnostic method, practiced ever since his heavily psychological medical dissertation and his earliest critical writings? Why not trace how the dramatist goes about his project, announced in Wallenstein, of letting us see the human quality of his dramatis personae (“menschlich näherbringen”). Appropriating Schiller’s own realistic and slightly skeptical knowledge of human nature, one might do worse than try to gain insight into how the contradictory traits accommodate themselves in the personality of the saint he chose as his protagonist. They might constitute an amalgam which, in Schiller’s view, would amount to the signet of the condition humaine – not a particularly edifying condition, but an interesting one, and certainly not a categorically contemptible one. In Die Jungfrau von Orleans, Schiller does indeed go out of his way to throw into relief the protagonist’s conflicted plurality of motivations, which includes, along with the religious ones, rather inhumane ones as well. As a result, the much-acclaimed idealism or saintliness of the protagonist becomes ambiguous, to say the least. The self-proclaimed envoy from heaven (which is commonly taken to be supra-national and well-disposed toward humans) becomes questionable through her chauvinism that acknowledges only the French as worthy of humane treatment (2085– 2090), not to mention her frenzied mass slaughter (“Ein Schlachten war’s,” [981]). Slaughter authorized by the Virgin Mary (featured in Johanna’s banner) or by Minerva (on the title page) – or by both? Such plurality of motivation need not be a shortcoming of the play. On the contrary, it may reveal consistency of thought and of artistic shaping. What obviously fascinates Schiller is the panorama of the soul with all its conflicts and contradictions. A closer look at the development of the protagonist should leave no doubt about that.

The Saint with Blood on her Hands

  • 16 Miller, 41; v. Wiese, ch. 24, section 2.
  • 17 Robin Harrison, “Heilige oder Hexe?: Schillers Jungfrau von Orleans im Lichte der biblischen und g (...)

16The play opens with a “Prologue.” Its function is the “artistic presentation of [Johanna’s] ‘ mission,’” her religious “Sendung” (NA, IX, 422). All the same, it fails to answer the question whether this mission or “divine command” is to be understood as “objective truth” as some critics see it,16 that is to say, whether (as it would be in a didactic martyr play) it is a fact of the dramatic world that is to be taken at face value (as the interference of transcendence in the life of an otherwise solidly this-worldly human being) – or a fact of subjective consciousness (so that one could at best speak of Johanna’s perception or sense of a mission, not “Sendung” but “Sendungsbewußtsein”). Indeed, this is not the only respect in which the prologue is ambiguous about the self-proclaimed mission of the uneducated shepherdess. The very place where she claims to have had the vision that commanded her to wield the sword of God and liberate France from the English, invites ambiguity: between a chapel featuring the image of a saint (or of the Virgin Mary as Johanna will say later) and an oak tree, indeed a “sacred oak” (2585). Why an oak, rather than the beech of Schiller’s source (NA, IX, 423)? The oak was the sacred tree of the Celts, appropriately called “Druidenbaum” in the play. As a consequence, the vision occurring between an oak and a chapel is a priori questionable: is it a Christian calling to the service of God or a call from the depths of the heathen past of a warlike people?17 Our uncertainty is confirmed on almost every page of the text as Johanna, who features the Virgin Mary on her banner but acts like a heathen goddess of war on the battlefield, is seen by the dramatis personae surrounding her either as an envoy of Jesus Christ or of Satan (who held the fallen world of the heathens in thrall with evil spirits such as those worshipped in the “Druidenbaum”). Interestingly, as Johanna herself, after a long silence, begins to speak, she defines herself neither as “pious” (“fromm”) as her admirer Raimund does nor as the devotee of an infernal spirit of the “pagan age” (“Heidenzeit”) that her father thinks she is; she does not define herself in religious terms at all. Instead, she grabs a bystander’s helmet: “Mine is the helmet, it belongs to me” (193). In other words: the “lion-hearted” young woman who, we hear, thought nothing of strangling a “Tigerwolf” with her bare hands (196– 197), breaks out into enthusiasm (“Begeisterung”) for the national cause of France:

The virgin with her sickle shall approach.
And she shall mow down the grain of his [the enemy’s] pride.

Mit ihrer Sichel wird die Jungfrau kommen
Und seines [des Feindes] Stolzes Saaten niedermähn. (306– 307)

17What is not said here is just as important: not a word about her calling from on high. Instead, “it is/The helmet that makes her so warrior-like” (328– 29). This is not a commentary that, like others in the play, can be brushed aside as a matter of the limited perspective of the speaker. For in this case the audience has just witnessed its veracity: it has seen how emphatically Johanna grabbed the “warlike ornament” (195). This is the spontaneous expression of her patriotic urge – which is less fittingly symbolized by the image of the mother of God than by the heathen oak under which Johanna sits for hours, deep in thought. True, the France she loves and sees threatened is the land of Christians, the land of the crusades against the heathens. But how does Johanna herself refer to the realm of Christian transcendence? The Old Testament God, the God of the battlefield (“der Schlachten Gott”) will choose her, she says (324– 325). It is not a case of man pressed into service by the Divine; the Divine is pressed into service by man: it serves as confirmation or guarantee of Johanna’s own wishes, of her patriotic commitment to the “land of fame” (332– 333); against this country’s enemies she will wield the scythe, following her own drive, as the helmet-grabbing scene made clear. On balance, then, it is God who is “called,” not Johanna.

18We do not hear about Johanna’s calling until the following scene, the fourth of the prologue: shouldn’t that be a hint from the playwright, so well-versed in the tricks of his trade, that what matters most in Johanna’s psychological makeup is the patriotic urge or drive? It is not until this scene, a monologue, that Johanna interprets her chauvinistic enthusiasm for an immediate departure for bloody battlefields as a calling. The role of the metaphysical, subjectively embraced with fervor, remains secondary in a precise sense demonstrated on stage by the course of events. Moreover, even at this point, in Scene Four, the identity of the metaphysical power that “calls” Johanna remains unclear: does the calling come from the evil “spirit” (a “Geist,” as in “Begeisterung”) worshipped in the druids’tree, or from Jahweh? Both are mentioned in this scene – the Virgin Mary is not. Of her, Johanna does not speak until Act One, when she appears before King Charles, who is about to give up the fight against the English invaders. But even then the patriotic urge remains paramount. Not for nothing, after all, is Johanna (who has just worked “a strange miracle” in the battle of Vermanton, leaving two thousand enemy warriors dead) introduced to the king in a typically syncretist manner: as the (obviously heathen) goddess of war (“Kriegsgöttin”) whose banner boasts the Virgin Mary as her sponsor (953–966). The Minerva of the title page vignette comes to mind. And indeed, the military predicament of the country is what Johanna speaks of first in the presence of the king. Only later, again – secondarily, as in the prologue – does she bring up her calling, her mission, and here too this is a self-willed, self-created “Sendung,” rather than one that “calls” her, overwhelming her contre cœur:

Then I implored God’s holy Mother to
Avert from us the shame of alien chains
And to preserve for us our native King.

Da rief ich flehend Gottes Mutter an,
Von uns zu wenden fremder Ketten Schmach,
Uns den einheimschen König zu bewahren. (1059– 1061)

19It is only after this plea that, as she reports to the king, the mother of God appeared to her under the druids’oak and commanded her “to vanquish my people’s enemies.” But now, as she reports this, that command is surprisingly represented not as the will of Mary, but of the Lord (“Herr”) – who, in context, is clearly Jesus, not, as earlier, Jahweh or the spirit (“Geist”) in the druids’tree (1062– 1105). The mission therefore becomes even murkier than it was to begin with, and it becomes more so almost immediately afterwards when Johanna says that it was the “Geist” that gave her the command to fight for her country. In other words: the religious mission (“Sendung”) and its nature become more ambiguous and therefore less convincing as Johanna’s patriotic spontaneity gains conviction. What is Schiller driving at here? No doubt he wants to show that Johanna invests her primary patriotic and amazonian drive, vaguely enough, with some supernatural, religious authority, thereby validating it in a way that is plausible in the historical setting. She believes in France; she also believes in her “mission” (which, it should be remembered, but usually is not, does not in any way function as a thematic given of the play, as distinguished from Johanna’s subjective fantasy world). To Johanna, liberating the land of the king is liberating the land of the earthly, or rather French, representative of a God who ordained its national boundary when he created the watery barrier between the English and the French (1208– 1221; 1647– 1651). In the military conflict, it is therefore Heaven that favors France: “Der Himmel ist für Frankreich” (1767). It is as simple as that: patriotism comes first, the sense of a mission (which is not the same as a mission objectively validated in terms of the play) follows, and the audience is a witness to this development in Johanna’s image of herself.

20Up to this point in the play, Johanna’s conflicted personality has been presented in the manner of program notes. In the subsequent acts, the audience sees her in action, in military conflict, and there the ambiguity of the impression conveyed so far is demonstrated ad oculos. Three scenes in particular map out the stages of the protagonist’s progress, and each of them consistently confronts us with the question: a saint sent by God (“gottgesendet,” 989– 990) or a self-appointed “Kriegsgöttin” endowed with rabid chauvinism and brutal violence? These stages are Johanna’s encounters with Montgomery, with the Black Knight, and with Lionel.

21The military situation is favorable as Johanna confronts Montgomery on the battlefield. The English have been defeated, Orleans has been retaken by the virgin with the Virgin’s banner. But as Johanna appears in person, she seems to be not so much an envoy of the Queen of Heaven as a terrifyingly warlike Fury. She herself speaks of her horrifying presence (“Schreckensnähe”), continuing:

Bring torches here! Cast fire into their tents!
The frenzy of the flames shall multiply
Their fear and death close menacingly round them!
Jetzt Fackeln her! Werft Feuer in die Zelte!
Der Flammen Wut vermehre das Entsetzen,
Und drohend rings umfange sie der Tod! (1503–1505)

22Her fellow combatants Dunois and La Hire urge moderation: “Do not take the deadly sword yourself” but her (unhistorical) reply is: “Who here presumes to bid me halt!” And as an afterthought (once again only as an afterthought), she refers to the powers authorizing her actions – and they appear once again in their typical ambiguity, not to say duplicity: heathenish spirit (“Geist”) and “Gott” (1516– 1523). Against the background of such ambiguity, Johanna’s own motivation is all the clearer, and it is dramatically, palpably present as the bloodlust of the “tender virgin” (325). The woman who compares herself with Noah’s white dove (315), is “die Schreckliche” who confronts Montgomery in the battlefield, sanctifying her murderous aggression only afterwards with references to her “Sendung” (which, to be sure, did not include a word about atrocious brutality and killing sprees beyond the bland command to “vanquish” [“vertilgen”] her enemies). What we see on stage is a fit of chauvinistic frenzy that welcomes any and all bloody means to achieve its ends: a crocodile, a tiger, or a lion might show “pity” and “mercy,”

But it is fatal to have come upon the Maiden
For a dread and binding compact obligates me to
The Spirit Realm, the Realm severe, inviolable,
To slaughter with my sword all living things despatched
To me death-consecrated by the god of battles.
Now England’s mothers also may learn of despair
And come to know the tears that have been shed
By sorrow-stricken wives throughout the realm of France.
I must here, I must – the voice of gods compels me, not
My own desires – with bitter woe to you, and with
No joy in me, a phantom of sheer terror,
Spread death abroad […].
To many of your people I shall yet bring death,
Make many widows yet [.]
Doch tödlich ists, der Jungfrau zu begegnen.
Denn dem Geisterreich, dem strengen, unverletzlichen,
Verpflichtet mich der furchtbar bindende Vertrag,
Mit dem Schwert zu töten alles Lebende, das mir
Der Schlachten Gott verhängnisvoll entgegen schickt.
Auch Englands Mütter mögen die Verzweiflung nun
Erfahren, und die Tränen kennen lernen,
Die Frankreichs jammervolle Gattinnen geweint.
Ich muß – mich treibt die Götterstimme, nicht
Eignes Gelüsten, – euch zu bitterm Harm, mir nicht
Zur Freude ein Gespenst des Schreckens würgend gehn,
Den Tod verbreiten […].
Noch vielen von den Euren werd ich tödlich sein,
Noch viele Witwen machen [.] (1598– 1602; 1632– 1634; 1660– 1666)

23In the brief combat that follows she slays Montgomery.

  • 18 Pierre Grappin, “La Jeanne d’Arc de Schiller,” Études Germaniques, X (1955), 119– 127; Miller, 42.

24Obviously, Schiller, with his intuitive knowledge of human nature enhanced by his professional schooling in the medically-based psychology of his time, is not bent upon demonstrating, in this scene, that Johanna’s purity and divinity are strangely alien in an impure world, nor that Johanna’s heinous brutality can be excused by her “dread and binding compact” with the Spirit Realm as the National Edition assures us (IX, 430). Hardly does Schiller’s Jeanne d’Arc act in this scene with exemplary idealism (as has been said, not only in French but also in English).18 On the contrary, Schiller is fascinated by Noah’s dove turned predator, by a human soul which has room for many contradictory elements at close quarters: for her “own desires” (although she denies them) in the form of bloodthirsty barbarity and blindly fanatical patriotism and for the belief, not implausible in the medieval world, in having been “sent by God.” Note a telling detail: why does Johanna in this context invoke the authority of the “Götterstimme” (“voice of gods”) commanding her to do battle, rather than the “Gottesstimme” (“voice of God”) which would fit the metrical pattern equally well? Is it, then, a voice from the polytheistic heathenish realm of the druids’tree, rather than from the aura of the chapel that, Johanna claims, presses her into service? Is the god of battle she refers to a terrifying Jahweh, or is it an equally fearsome Celtic equivalent of Wotan? Or is it Johanna herself interpreting whatever voice she claims to have heard as a command to kill and burn, as a brief to make English blood flow? (“No French blood must be shed,” 1719). Clearly, Schiller intends to suggest such questions, rather than answers.

25As if to discourage any doubts about this, he has Johanna turn her thoughts in the same direction in the next scene, even before the Black Knight appears to her, who will stir her self-doubt even more. Having killed Montgomery, she feels no longer comfortable in her warlike role. In retrospect she speaks of her pity (“Mitleid”) with the adversary just murdered ad majorem dei gloriam and of her wrongdoing, and her reflection is couched in religious terms: “My hand shrinks back,/As though it forced an entry to a sacred shrine” (1680– 1681). She shudders at the sight of the bloodied sword – if only to reassure herself somewhat spuriously with the thought: “But when it is required, strength straightway comes to me” (“Not tut,” 1684). No doubt about it: this self-assurance is Johanna’s escape from the voice of her conscience into the safety of heteronomy; it is here that she begins to have doubts about herself – about the conflict in her soul and, between the lines, about her “Sendung” itself, or at least about her feeling that she had been “sent” and “commanded” by God to do what she has been doing (1764, 1523).

  • 19 John R. Frey, “Schillers Schwarzer Ritter,” The German Quarterly, XXXII (1959), 302– 315; Gernot H (...)
  • 20 Pfaff, 416 – 417.

26If one pays close attention to Johanna’s own reflection about her savagery on the battlefield, the controversial encounter with the Black Knight that follows in Act Three becomes virtually self-explanatory. To be sure, there may never be an incontrovertible answer to the question of the identity of the unnamed figure rising up before Johanna’s eyes in that scene.19 Beyond quibbling, however, is the function of the apparition of the Black Knight: Johanna is confronted, dramatically and almost palpably, with her own doubts that dawn on her, not coincidentally so soon after her murder of Montgomery. Confronted with the Black Knight, she arrives at an unprecedented stage of the development of her consciousness: how will she master the growing conflict in her soul, she asks herself, quite at a loss. The Black Knight warns her (not without ambiguity) against continuing her mission as she understands it. To Johanna, this must sound like a warning against her success, against the warlike atrocities that she has so amply demonstrated. In other words, the Black Knight verbalizes her own doubts, previously at least hinted at, about the uncomfortable ensemble of contradictory motivations in her soul. That is why the words of the stranger shatter her and confuse her so much: it is her own conscience speaking.20 Is the “Spirit [“Geist”] that through me speaks,” which she also associates with the “stars,” an evil spirit (1721– 1723)? Isn’t the Virgin Mary in whose name the bloody deeds are committed uncomfortably similar to a pagan deity? What sort of “Heaven” is it that “is for France” in such an atrocious fashion (1767)? Of course, what transpires on the stage amounts to Johanna’s rejection of the voice of her conscience: “I shall not let this sword out of my hand/Until proud England has been overcome” (2432– 2433); she sticks to her mission. But it is equally clear that the “Romantic” apparition of the Black Knight has confirmed Johanna’s self-doubt about her patriotic brutality that had arisen in the Montgomery scene.

  • 21 Sauder, 354.

27This is borne out by the Lionel scene which follows immediately. Like the Montgomery scene, it is one of Schiller’s “inventions,” as was the order to kill and not to love (in the wording of Johanna’s mission [1089]) that is the subtext of both of these scenes.21 It follows from this subtext that, just as before the onset of her self-doubt Johanna considered the killing of Montgomery a triumph of her god-willed mission, she now interprets her erotic attraction to Lionel and her subsequent failure to slay him as a betrayal of her mission and therefore as her “guilt” (2612), a transgression against the divine. “My vow is broken now” (2482). When Lionel escapes unharmed, Johanna is in despair, wishing to atone with her own death: “Let [my blood] with my life/Stream forth” (2516– 2517) – words echoing the dying words of Talbot the nihilist a little earlier! But is Johanna right when she identifies the reason for her despair as her failure to live up to the mission that required her not to love but to slaughter (English) men? Generations of critics, from Schiller’s contemporaries to ours, and including the editors of the National Edition, have agreed: what happens in the confrontation with Lionel is Johanna’s abandonment of her mission, the breach of her vow of chastity, which was one of its conditions. Does the text sustain this reading?

  • 22 Pfaff, 416.

28Or does Johanna’s despair following the Lionel scene, in Act Four, point to her doubt about the “Sendung” itself – the divine mission that amounts to an obligation to murdering an individual point-blank rather than to wholesale military campaigning, as she had come to realize in the confrontation with Montgomery and with the Black Knight – and as she realizes again in her encounter with Lionel? As God’s “instrument unseeing” and “goddess of war,” it now dawns on her, she was not human until she encountered Lionel (2578, 2567) – not “menschlich” in the twofold sense of not noble, obliging, and kind (“edel, hilfreich und gut,” the qualities that define humans in the proverbial line of Goethe’s poem “The Divine”) and not “whole” and in harmony with herself in terms of Schiller’s treatise on The Aesthetic Education of Man. To be sure, her thoughts, habitually almost, return to the “dread and binding compact” (1600), to her mission which she claims was divinely ordained, when she repeats: “My choice it was not to give/Myself to sin and guilty fall” (2612– 2613). And with this in mind, she reiterates that her guilt (“Schuld”) – sparing Lionel’s life – was the breach of the “compact” allegedly forced on her that called for killing and forbade love or mercy. But it is hard to disagree with a modern critic who diagnoses Johanna’s rationale as self-delusion.22 In reality, Johanna, far from suffering from a breach of what she considers her contract, labors under the enormity of her role, all too eagerly embraced, of an avenging angel in the French cause and in the name of the Virgin Mary whom she addresses:

Did you have to lay upon me
This dread call without appeal?
Could this heart of mine be hardened
Which was formed by Heaven to feel?
Mußtest du ihn auf mich laden
Diesen furchtbaren Beruf,
Konnt ich dieses Herz verhärten,
Das der Himmel fühlend schuf! (2594– 2597)

29Remembering these lines, one can indeed easily read Johanna’s guilt-ridden words about her lapse from her mission, in Act Four, as self-delusion, either active or passive – “dialectical psychology” (Pfaff) is hardly required, common sense will do. After all, it was Johanna herself who pressed God or the Virgin into service, as guarantors of her self-appointed mission, not the other way round. Not surprisingly, Johanna holds it against herself that she “vainly raised” herself over her sisters when she plunged into her military adventure, with what her father called “sinful pride,” and on her own initiative (2938, 130). Now she says she will “atone with the severest penance” for such vanity (2937) – atone for patriotic excess, presumption, and regressive brutality. It is these urges, she now realizes, that have flourished, with disastrous consequences, in the shadow of her sense of a mission, her Sendungsbewußtsein, the supposed calling that is now seen for what it is: “dread” (“furchtbar”), inhumane, and wrongful.

30To repeat: it is not the abandonment of the mission that is the target of Johanna’s self-questioning and doubt, but the mission itself, or more accurately – her belief in a mission. The tumult in her soul is the alarm about the conflicted ensemble of very different feelings in her own self. One of them may be regret about her failure to live up to her “Sendung.” But what remains decisive is her realization that her brutal frenzy of activity in the cause of France has deprived her of her “Menschlichkeit” – that her sense of a mission was not above question.

31However, she overcomes the “conflict in my heart” (3172). Regenerated, rising out of the shock that had literally dumbfounded her, Johanna reaffirms her mission at the outset of the final act. But hardly has she regained her emotional balance when it is upset again in the following scene. Once again she is in the grip of what she calls her weakness (3179): despair about her mission, her sense of being abandoned by God, her death wish even. Why? Because she is to meet Lionel again, thus repeating the encounter that, in a shock of recognition, made her see her inhumanity.

32As the “conflict” (“Streit”) of contradictory emotions is rekindled right after Johanna’s lengthy articulation of her new-found balance, we see the familiar sight of the Fury once again. In captivity now, she proudly speaks of the “whole rivers of English blood” she has shed (3234). That is indeed a cue for her barbaric will to power, coupled with rabid patriotism, to reassert itself, this time in yet another encounter with Lionel and in what follows it. Far from giving in to any erotic appeal, she addresses Lionel, who approaches his prisoner with warm words of kindness, as the hated enemy of her people. With “raving defiance” (“Trotz der Rasenden,” 3368) she directs the dialogue toward the chauvinism that animated her every word up until her earlier encounter with Lionel on the battlefield. And in the scenes subsequent to this second confrontation with the enemy, the tenor remains the same: furiously single-minded warmongering, swearing “ruin to England!” (3410). Johanna is in chains, it is true, “but from her prison her soul swings up free/Upon the pinions of [the] martial song” of the French army, she exults (3414– 3415), all but parodying the sublime: the liberation of the soul from the chains of this world is accompanied by patriotic martial music.

  • 23 William F. Mainland, Schiller and the Changing Past (London, 1957), 100.

33In the famous teichoscopy that follows these words, it is once again the truculent patriot foaming at the mouth that is foregrounded, as well as the ferocious doer of manly deeds (with a strangled “Tigerwolf” in her past). It is interesting to see how the divinity (whose tool Johanna often claimed to be) is brought into play here: merely as support for her own will, just as in the Prologue and in the first act. “Hear me, my God, in my supreme distress! […]/If You but will it, these chains will fall off” (3463, 3470). Whereupon she breaks her “heavy bonds” (“zentnerschwere Bande”) and rushes into battle without a word of thanks for her heavenly helper – thus giving a cue to at least one Anglo-Saxon critic who pointed out that her escape was not a matter of divine intervention at all but of willpower and strong muscle.23 Be that as it may: wielding her sword (rather than the Virgin Mary’s banner), Johanna, like a veritable goddess of war, storms into the heavily armed enemy lines and wrests “sure victory” from the English (3492).

  • 24 Luserke in Werke und Briefe, V, 663.

34Her demise is equally victorious, if differently so. Dying on the battlefield, rather than at the stake like the historical Jeanne d’Arc, and on the point of being, like Schiller’s Mary Stuart, a transfigured spirit (“ein verklärter Geist”), Johanna once again affirms her divinely ordained mission (“I am not a sorceress”) or rather her subjective belief in such a mission, believing, indeed “seeing” that “Heaven” (or is it “the skies” as the translation has it?) is now opening its gates to her, with the Virgin welcoming her (3515, 3522, 3536– 3540). But equally important to her, in her last words, is that she is “really back among my people,” freed not only from the bonds of this world but also from the English occupation forces: with dimming eyes she recognizes: “Those are the flags of France” (3525, 3529, italics added). And the same amalgam of religious and national liberation is repeated in her final apotheosis (which the editor of the Deutsche Klassiker edition has suspected of being a self-apotheosis):24 the last lines are Johanna’s “Upwards – upwards. – Earth is rushing back. – /Brief is the pain and joy is everlasting.” This sounds like that purification and redemption that traditional scholarship makes out to be the ultimate meaning of the action from beginning to end, thus validating Johanna’s words in terms of theology or idealism. However, not only does Schiller point out in a stage direction that as Johanna sees herself surging to heaven (“Himmel”), leaving the earth behind her, she in fact sinks dead (“sinkt tot”) to the ground, to earth. Even more important is Schiller’s reminder in the final stage direction that the heaven Johanna now believes she enters is viewed as no less francophile than it had always been in Johanna’s view: her dead body falls on her flag and it is “completely” (“ganz”) submerged by a sea of French flags.

  • 25 Miller, 41.
  • 26 “Das leibhaftige Ideal ist ohne bluttriefende Hände nicht vorstellbar,” says Gert Mattenklott, ref (...)

35Isn’t this to be taken as the dramatist’s final hint that we should not see, as we commonly do, Die Jungfrau von Orleans as a tragedy of a “Sendung” but rather as one of “Sendungsbewußtsein” – a sense of a religious mission that shares Johanna’s ample soul with bloodthirsty chauvinism and with that personal, compulsive conquistadorial will to power that had fascinated Schiller ever since his early poem “Der Eroberer” – “The Conqueror”? The stereotypical phrase describing Johanna as the “saint sent into the world” (above and beyond “natural-psychological explanation” and representing “the heavenly on earth”) who at the conclusion of the play enters “heaven” or “the world of the ideal” (NA, IX, 391) is hardly the last word – no more than the equally conventional cliché of the non-religious perfection of a human being achieved on a triumphal progress from Arcadia to Elysium. What Schiller makes come alive in the final scene is clearly not (or not only) a self that is beyond all earthly, all too earthly entanglements (or, at any rate, claims to be). First and foremost, Johanna is a creature of “this world,” a frail, and indeed barbarically flawed human being: the shepherdess from the village of Domrémy making her way through patriotic gore, the enthusiastic “widow-maker” stepping over dead bodies, the slayer of the “Tigerwolf” acting out of her over-abundant energies and impulses. Whether there is really, “objectively”,25 a divine command corresponding to the sense of a mission that Johanna uses to validate her actions – that is a question which is often answered in the affirmative, with enviable clairvoyance, but one that a dramatist who does not aspire to religious insight cannot answer. What he presents on the stage is not the “divine” and its “fate” on earth, in human incarnation (thus the view held by several generations of readers until the late twentieth century) but a human being believing in such transcendent entities. Schiller concentrates all his creative energies on showing how this human being, being human, is in a quandary about this belief and troubles herself with severe self-doubt and moreover, how she is a religious believer to the point of imitatio Christi but also given to “this world” in a manner that is presented as less than admirable, a manner which is especially problematic from the perspective of humanist Weimar. Johanna is an idealist with blood on her hands.26


1 Michael Hofmann in his postscript to Norbert Oellers, Friedrich Schiller: Zur Modernität eines Klassikers (Frankfurt, 1996), 371– 379. See also Guthke, “Die Vorsehung in Mißkredit: Schiller in ‘ des Lebens Fremde,’” in Guthke, Die Reise ans Ende der Welt: Erkundungen zur Kulturgeschichte der Literatur (Tübingen, 2011), 378– 403.

2 “Publikum und Popularität,” Gesammelte Schriften und Dichtungen, 2nd ed., X (Leipzig, 1888), 88 (“dichterische Heiligsprechung”). Quotations from Die Jungfrau von Orleans are identified by line number; the text is that of the Deutsche Klassiker Verlag of Werke und Briefe, ed. Otto Damm et al., V (Frankfurt, 1996). Source references not preceded by a quotation from the play are to volume V of this edition, unless a different volume number is given. Translations are those of Mary Stuart, The Maid of Orleans, trans. Charles E. Passage (New York, 1961). References preceded by NA are to the commentary in vol. IX of the Nationalausgabe (1948).

3 Dieter Borchmeyer, “‘Altes Recht’und Revolution: Schillers Wilhelm Tell,” Friedrich Schiller, ed. Wolfgang Wittkowski (Tübingen, 1982), 70 (“Dein Name werde geheiligt”). Gerhard Kaiser calls both Tell and Johanna “Heilige der Natur” (“Idylle und Revolution: Schiller’s Wilhelm Tell,” in Kaiser, Von Arkadien nach Elysium: Schiller-Studien (Götttingen, 1978), 201; Gert Ueding sees Tell as a “säkularisierten Heiligen und Märtyrer” in “Wilhelm Tell,” Schillers Dramen, ed. Walter Hinderer (Stuttgart, 1992), 395, quoting Max Kommerell, Geist und Buchstabe der Dichtung, 3rd ed. (Frankfurt, 1944), 188.

4 Gerhard Sauder, “Die Jungfrau von Orleans,” Interpretationen (n. 3), 336–349; Martin Luserke in Werke und Briefe, V, 659.

5 Gerhard Storz, Der Dichter Friedrich Schiller (Stuttgart, 1959), 345– 366; Ilse Graham, Schiller: A Master of Tragic Form (Pittsburgh, PA, 1975).

6 Emil Staiger, Friedrich Schiller (Zürich, 1967).

7 Werke und Briefe, V, 620–623, 626–627.

8 Benno vonWiese, FriedrichSchiller (Stuttgart, 1959), 734– 735; cp. Friedrich Oberkogler, “Die Jungfrau von Orleans”: Eine Werkinterpretation auf geistesgeschichtlicher Grundlage (Schaffhausen, 1986), 58– 59, 76– 77, 90– 91; Oellers, 262– 268.

9 Heinz Ide, “Zur Problematik der Schiller-Interpretation: Übungen zur Jungfrau von Orleans,” Jahrbuch der Wittheit zu Bremen, VIII (1964), 41– 49; Gerhard Kaiser, “Johannas Sendung: Eine These zu Schillers Jungfrau von Orleans,” in Kaiser, 104– 136.

10 “Gottgesendet” (989 – 990); cp. “die Gottgesandte” (1764).

11 v. Wiese, 738.

12 Oellers, 259.

13 Kaiser, 136.

14 NA, IX, 431; R. D. Miller, Interpreting Schiller: A Study of Four Plays (Harrowgate, 1986), 39– 41.

15 That Johanna is “ein mit allen Schwächen behafteter Mensch” is rather too gallant a formulation (Luserke in Werke und Briefe, V, 660). However, I note with pleasure that my general view of the play, first formulated in my book Schillers Dramen: Idealismus und Skepsis (Tübingen, 1994), has been accepted by Luserke in his commentary in this edition (V, 660– 661).

16 Miller, 41; v. Wiese, ch. 24, section 2.

17 Robin Harrison, “Heilige oder Hexe?: Schillers Jungfrau von Orleans im Lichte der biblischen und griechischen Anspielungen,” Jahrbuch der Deutschen Schillergesellschaft, XXX (1986), 265– 305; Peter Pfaff, “König René oder die Geschichte: Zu Schillers Jungfrau von Orleans,” Schiller und die höfische Welt, eds. Achim Aurnhammer et al. (Tübingen, 1990), 414.

18 Pierre Grappin, “La Jeanne d’Arc de Schiller,” Études Germaniques, X (1955), 119– 127; Miller, 42.

19 John R. Frey, “Schillers Schwarzer Ritter,” The German Quarterly, XXXII (1959), 302– 315; Gernot Herrmann, “Schillers Kritik der Verstandesaufklärung in der Jungfrau von Orleans: Eine Interpretation der Figuren des Talbot und des Schwarzen Ritters,” Euphorion, LXXXIV (1990), 163– 186.

20 Pfaff, 416 – 417.

21 Sauder, 354.

22 Pfaff, 416.

23 William F. Mainland, Schiller and the Changing Past (London, 1957), 100.

24 Luserke in Werke und Briefe, V, 663.

25 Miller, 41.

26 “Das leibhaftige Ideal ist ohne bluttriefende Hände nicht vorstellbar,” says Gert Mattenklott, referring primarily to the early plays of Schiller (“Schillers Räuber in der Frühgeschichte des Anarchismus,” Text & Kontext, IX (1981), 307. Grappin (n. 18) in 1955 still managed to see Die Jungfrau von Orleans as an exemplary illustration of the idealism of Weimar classicism.


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