The Robbers Background

The Robbers Background

The Robbers is a play published in 1781 by the German playwright Friedrich Schiller. It is considered as being a very important play because it embodies the principles of the Sturm und Drang movement in Germany. The play became popular very fast and made Friedrich popular in a short span of time.

Schiller's work was inspired by another German play written at the beginning of the Sturm und Drang, and that is the dramatic tragedy by Johann Anton Leisewitz published in 1778 and entitled Julius of Tarent. In both cases, the plays have as protagonists and antagonist two brothers who are aristocrats. The brothers start fighting because of different reasons and the conflict between them becomes the base for the plays.

The play is complex, discussing subjects such as personal liberty and law and the differences between good and evil. Religion and society is also strongly criticized in the play. The robbers also became the inspiration for Verdi’s opera and references towards certain characters in the play are made in novels well known today.

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