The Robbers

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For the 1962 Spanish film, see The Robbers (film). The Robbers_sentence_0

For other uses, see Robber (disambiguation). The Robbers_sentence_1

"Die Räuber" redirects here. The Robbers_sentence_2

For the opera, see Die Räuber (opera). The Robbers_sentence_3

The Robbers (Die Räuber) is the first drama by German playwright Friedrich Schiller. The Robbers_sentence_4

The play was published in 1781 and premiered on 13 January 1782 in Mannheim, Germany, and was inspired by Leisewitz' earlier play Julius of Taranto. The Robbers_sentence_5

It was written towards the end of the German Sturm und Drang ("Storm and Stress") movement, and many critics, such as Peter Brooks, consider it very influential in the development of European melodrama. The Robbers_sentence_6

The play astounded its Mannheim audience and made Schiller an overnight sensation. The Robbers_sentence_7

It later became the basis for Verdi's opera of the same name, I masnadieri. The Robbers_sentence_8

Plot and description The Robbers_section_0

The plot revolves around the conflict between two aristocratic brothers, Karl and Franz Moor. The Robbers_sentence_9

The charismatic but rebellious student Karl is deeply loved by his father. The Robbers_sentence_10

The younger brother, Franz, who appears as a cold, calculating villain, plots to wrest away Karl's inheritance. The Robbers_sentence_11

As the play unfolds, both Franz's motives and Karl's innocence and heroism are revealed to be complex. The Robbers_sentence_12

Schiller's highly emotional language and his depiction of physical violence mark the play as a quintessential Sturm und Drang work. The Robbers_sentence_13

At the same time, the play utilizes a traditional five-act structure, with each act containing two to five scenes. The Robbers_sentence_14

The play uses alternating scenes to pit the brothers against each other, as one quests for money and power, while the other attempts to create a revolutionary anarchy in the Bohemian Forest. The Robbers_sentence_15

Schiller raises many disturbing issues in the play. The Robbers_sentence_16

For instance, he questions the dividing lines between personal liberty and the law and probes the psychology of power, the nature of masculinity and the essential differences between good and evil. The Robbers_sentence_17

He strongly criticizes both the hypocrisies of class and religion and the economic inequities of German society. The Robbers_sentence_18

He also conducts a complicated inquiry into the nature of evil. The Robbers_sentence_19

Schiller was inspired by the play Julius of Taranto (1774) by Johann Anton Leisewitz, a play Friedrich Schiller considered a favourite. The Robbers_sentence_20

Content The Robbers_section_1

Summary of Events The Robbers_section_2

Count Maximilian of Moor has two very different sons, Karl and Franz. The Robbers_sentence_21

Karl is the elder son, and the Count's favourite. The Robbers_sentence_22

In comparison, Franz is described as ugly, and was neglected during his childhood. The Robbers_sentence_23

As the younger son he has no claim to his father's inheritance. The Robbers_sentence_24

Franz spends his time in the play enacting a scheme of his that will not only get Karl out of the way, but also the Old Count. The Robbers_sentence_25

Karl begins the play as a student in Leipzig, where he lives a relatively carefree life, spending freely. The Robbers_sentence_26

This results in him accruing large amounts of debt and he writes to his father in hopes of reconciliation. The Robbers_sentence_27

This starts the plot, as Franz uses the letter as an opportunity to push his own false narrative of Karl's life on his father. The Robbers_sentence_28

Throwing away the original, Franz writes a new letter, that claims to be from a friend, describing in the barest terms the types of activities Karl is claimed to be doing in Leipzig. The Robbers_sentence_29

The letter describes Karl as a womanizer, murderer, and thief. The Robbers_sentence_30

The letter shocks the old Count deeply, causing him to declare -with the help of Franz's suggestions- Karl as disinherited. The Robbers_sentence_31

Karl, having hoped for a reconciliation, becomes demotivated at the news. The Robbers_sentence_32

He agrees to become the head of a robbers band that his friends created, in the idealistic hopes of protecting the weaker and being an "honourable" robber. The Robbers_sentence_33

There are tensions in the band, as Moritz Spiegelberg tries to sow discord among them. The Robbers_sentence_34

Spiegelberg hopes to be the leader of the group and tries to encourage the rest to replace Karl. The Robbers_sentence_35

Karl falls into a cycle of violence and injustice, which prevents him from returning to his normal life. The Robbers_sentence_36

He eventually swears to stay forever with his band of robbers. The Robbers_sentence_37

Shortly after, the band receives a newcomer, Kosinsky, who tells them the tale of how his bride-to-be, importantly named Amalia, was stolen from him by a greedy count. The Robbers_sentence_38

This reminds Karl of his own Amalia, and he decides to return to his father's home, disguised. The Robbers_sentence_39

In this time, Franz has been busy. The Robbers_sentence_40

Using lies and exaggerations about Karl, he manages to break the Count's heart, and assumes the mantle of the new Count of Moor. The Robbers_sentence_41

Bolstered by his new title and jealous of Karl's relationship with Amalia, he attempts to convince her to join him as his wife. The Robbers_sentence_42

Amalia however stays true to Karl and denies his advances. The Robbers_sentence_43

She is able to see through his lies and exaggerations about Karl. The Robbers_sentence_44

Karl returns home, disguised and finds the castle very different from how he left it. The Robbers_sentence_45

Franz introduces himself as the Count, and with some careful questions, Karl learns that his father has died, and Franz has taken his place. The Robbers_sentence_46

Despite Karl's carefulness, Franz has his suspicions. The Robbers_sentence_47

In a moment with Amalia -who doesn't recognize him- he learns that Amalia still loves him. The Robbers_sentence_48

Franz explores his suspicions about the identity of his guest and Karl leaves the castle. The Robbers_sentence_49

He runs into an old man, who turns out to be his father -he is alive. The Robbers_sentence_50

The old count was left to starve in an old ruin and in his weakness is unable to recognize Karl. The Robbers_sentence_51

Incensed by the treatment of his loved ones, Karl sends his robbers band to storm the castle and capture Franz. The Robbers_sentence_52

Franz observes the robbers approaching and takes his own life before he can be captured. The Robbers_sentence_53

The robbers take Amalia from the castle and bring her to Karl. The Robbers_sentence_54

Seeing that her Karl is alive, Amalia is initially happy. The Robbers_sentence_55

Once the old Count realizes that Karl is the robber's leader, he in his weakened state dies from the shock. The Robbers_sentence_56

Karl tries to leave the robber band but is then reminded of his promise to stay. The Robbers_sentence_57

He cannot break this promise and therefore cannot be with Amalia. The Robbers_sentence_58

Upon realizing that Karl cannot leave, Amalia begs for someone to kill her, she cannot live without her Karl. The Robbers_sentence_59

With a heavy heart, Karl fulfills her wish. The Robbers_sentence_60

As the play ends Karl decides to turn himself over to the authorities. The Robbers_sentence_61

First Act The Robbers_section_3

The first act takes place in the Castle of the Count of Moor. The Robbers_sentence_62

The key characters are the Count of Moor and his younger son Franz. The Robbers_sentence_63

Not in scene, but mentioned, is the Count's older son, Karl. The Robbers_sentence_64

Karl is a student in Leipzig, who lives freely but irresponsibly. The Robbers_sentence_65

First Scene The Robbers_section_4

The old Count Maximilian of Moor receives a letter from Leipzig, containing news about his older son Karl.The content, however, as read by his younger son, is nothing good. The Robbers_sentence_66

Supposedly written by a friend of Karl's, it describes how Karl accrued massive debts, seduced the daughter of a rich Banker -whose fiance he killed in a duel, and then ran from the authorities. The Robbers_sentence_67

Unknown to the Count, the letter was written by Franz himself -the content entirely false- with Karl's actual letter destroyed. The Robbers_sentence_68

Greatly disturbed by the news, the Count takes some supposedly "friendly advice" from Franz and disowns Karl. The Robbers_sentence_69

The Count hopes that such a drastic measure would encourage Karl to change his behavior, and upon his doing so, the Count would be glad to have Karl back. The Robbers_sentence_70

The Count has Franz write the letter and impresses upon him to break the news gently. The Robbers_sentence_71

Franz, however, writes an especially blunt letter as a way of driving a deeper wedge between Karl and his father. The Robbers_sentence_72

Second Scene The Robbers_section_5

At the same time as Scene 1, Karl and a friend of his, Spiegelberg, are drinking at a pub. The Robbers_sentence_73

With the arrival of a few more friends comes the arrival of Franz's letter to Karl. The Robbers_sentence_74

Upon reading the message, Karl lets the letter fall to the ground and leaves the room speechless. The Robbers_sentence_75

His friends pick it up and read it. The Robbers_sentence_76

In Karl's absence, Spiegelberg suggests that the group become a robber's band. The Robbers_sentence_77

Karl returns, and is obviously disillusioned from the bluntness of his father's letter. The Robbers_sentence_78

His friends ask that he become the leader of their robber's band, and Karl agrees. The Robbers_sentence_79

They formulate a pact, swearing to be true to each other and the band. The Robbers_sentence_80

The only discontent comes from Spiegelberg, who had hoped to be the leader. The Robbers_sentence_81

Third Scene The Robbers_section_6

In this scene Franz visits Amalia. The Robbers_sentence_82

Amalia is engaged to Karl. The Robbers_sentence_83

Franz lies to her, hoping to make her disgusted with Karl and to win her for himself. The Robbers_sentence_84

He tells her Karl gave away the engagement ring she gave him so that he could pay a prostitute. The Robbers_sentence_85

This extreme character change, as presented in Franz's story, causes Amalia to doubt the truth of it, and she remains true to Karl. The Robbers_sentence_86

She sees through Franz's lies and realizes his true intentions. The Robbers_sentence_87

She calls him out, and he lets his "polite" mask fall and swears revenge. The Robbers_sentence_88

Second Act The Robbers_section_7

First Scene The Robbers_section_8

Franz begins setting the foundations of his greater plan of removing both Karl and the Count. The Robbers_sentence_89

He hopes to shock the old Count so greatly that he dies. The Robbers_sentence_90

He encourages Herman, a bastard, to tell the old Count a story about Karl. The Robbers_sentence_91

He promises that Herman will receive Amalia in return for his help. The Robbers_sentence_92

Herman leaves the room to carry out the plan, and just as he's left, Franz reveals that he has no intention of holding up his end of the promise. The Robbers_sentence_93

Franz wants Amalia for himself. The Robbers_sentence_94

Second Scene The Robbers_section_9

Herman arrives to the castle in disguise. The Robbers_sentence_95

He tells the old Count that he and Karl were both soldiers, and that Karl died in battle. The Robbers_sentence_96

He follows with Karl's supposed last words, placing the blame on the old Count's shoulders. The Robbers_sentence_97

The old man is shocked and receives only harsh words from Franz. The Robbers_sentence_98

He cannot stand it, and falls to the floor, apparently dead. The Robbers_sentence_99

Franz takes up the title and warns of a darker time to come for the people on his land. The Robbers_sentence_100

Third Scene The Robbers_section_10

During this time, Karl is living life as the Leader of the robber's band. The Robbers_sentence_101

They are camped in the Bohemian forests. The Robbers_sentence_102

The band is growing, with new members coming in. The Robbers_sentence_103

The loyalty of the robbers to Karl grows too, Karl has just rescued one of their own, Roller, from being hanged. The Robbers_sentence_104

The escape plan is carried out by setting the town ablaze which ultimately destroys the town and kills 83 people. The Robbers_sentence_105

In the forest, they are surrounded by a large number of soldiers, and a priest is sent to give an ultimatum -give up Karl and the robbers live, or everyone dies. The Robbers_sentence_106

The robbers, however, stay true to their leader and with the cry "Death or Freedom!" The Robbers_sentence_107

the fight breaks out, ending the second Act. The Robbers_sentence_108

Third Act The Robbers_section_11

First Scene The Robbers_section_12

Franz seeks again to force Amalia to join him. The Robbers_sentence_109

He tells her that her only other option would be to be placed at a convent. The Robbers_sentence_110

This hardly bothers Amalia, she would rather be in a convent than be Franz's wife. The Robbers_sentence_111

This angers Franz and he threatens to take her forcefully, menacing her with a knife. The Robbers_sentence_112

Amalia feigns a change of heart, embracing Franz, and uses it as an opportunity to take the weapon. The Robbers_sentence_113

She turns it on Franz, promising the union of the two, knife and Franz, if he threatens her again. The Robbers_sentence_114

Second Scene The Robbers_section_13

After a long and exhausting battle, the robbers are victorious. The Robbers_sentence_115

Karl takes a moment to reflect on his childhood, and his recent actions. The Robbers_sentence_116

In this moment, Kosinsky, a newcomer, arrives in scene. The Robbers_sentence_117

He wishes to join the robbers, but Karl encourages him not to. The Robbers_sentence_118

Karl tells him to return to normal life, that becoming a robber would be damaging. The Robbers_sentence_119

Kosinsky presses the matter, and describes what caused him to want to be a robber. The Robbers_sentence_120

His story shares many points with Karl's, especially that Kosinsky also had a fiancee by the name of Amalia. The Robbers_sentence_121

Kosinsky's story ends with the loss of his Amalia to his Count. The Robbers_sentence_122

Karl, seeing perhaps a sliver of his upcoming fate, decides to return home. The Robbers_sentence_123

His robbers, now including Kosinsky, follow him. The Robbers_sentence_124

Fourth Act The Robbers_section_14

First Scene The Robbers_section_15

Karl arrives to his homeland, and tells Kosinsky to ride to the castle and introduce Karl as the Count of Brand. The Robbers_sentence_125

Karl shares some memories of his childhood and youth, brought forth by the familiar scenery, but his monologue becomes progressively darker. The Robbers_sentence_126

He feels a moment of doubt regarding the sensibility of his return, but he gathers his courage and enters the castle. The Robbers_sentence_127

Second Scene The Robbers_section_16

The disguised Karl is led by Amalia through the castle halls. The Robbers_sentence_128

She is unaware of his true identity. The Robbers_sentence_129

Franz, however, is suspicious of the strange Count of Brand. The Robbers_sentence_130

He attempts to get one of his servants, Daniel, to poison the stranger, but Daniel refuses on account of his conscience. The Robbers_sentence_131

Third Scene The Robbers_section_17

Daniel recognizes Karl from an old scar of his. The Robbers_sentence_132

They discuss the goings-on of the castle and Karl learns of the plot that Franz has carried out against Karl and his father. The Robbers_sentence_133

Karl wishes to visit Amalia once more before he leaves. The Robbers_sentence_134

He isn't concerned with vengeance at this point. The Robbers_sentence_135

Fourth Scene The Robbers_section_18

In a last meeting with Amalia, who still does not recognize Karl, the two discuss their lost loves. The Robbers_sentence_136

Karl discusses the reality of his actions, in their violence, and explains that he cannot return to his love because of them. The Robbers_sentence_137

Amalia is happy that her Karl is alive, despite his distance, and describes him as a purely good person. The Robbers_sentence_138

Karl breaks character at Amalia's faith in him, and flees the castle, returning to his robbers nearby. The Robbers_sentence_139

Fifth Scene The Robbers_section_19

In Karl's absence, Spiegelberg makes another attempt to rally the robbers against Karl so he can be their leader. The Robbers_sentence_140

The robbers remain loyal to Karl and Schweizer, one of his close friends, kills Spiegelberg for this attempt. The Robbers_sentence_141

Karl returns to the band, and is asked what they should do. The Robbers_sentence_142

He tells them to rest, and in this time he sings a song about a confrontation between the dead Caesar and his murderer Brutus. The Robbers_sentence_143

The song discusses patricide, this coming from a legend in which Brutus was possible Caesar's son. The Robbers_sentence_144

This topic reminds Karl of his own situation, and he falls into depressive thoughts. The Robbers_sentence_145

He considers suicide, but ultimately decides against it. The Robbers_sentence_146

In the same night, Herman enters the forest, delivering food to an old and ruined tower. The Robbers_sentence_147

In the tower, the old Count of Moor is left to starve following the unsuccessful attempt on his life. The Robbers_sentence_148

Karl notices this, and frees the old man and recognizes him as his father. The Robbers_sentence_149

His father does not recognize him. The Robbers_sentence_150

The old man tells Karl what happened to him, how Franz treated him. The Robbers_sentence_151

Karl becomes full of rage upon hearing the story, and calls his robbers to storm the castle and drag out Franz. The Robbers_sentence_152

Fifth Act The Robbers_section_20

First Scene The Robbers_section_21

That same night, Franz is plagued by nightmares. The Robbers_sentence_153

Disturbed and full of fear, he hurries about the castle, meeting Daniel whom he orders to fetch the pastor. The Robbers_sentence_154

The pastor arrives, and the two have a long dispute over belief and guilt, in which the pastor's opinions are explained. The Robbers_sentence_155

Franz asks the pastor what he believes the worst sin is, and the pastor explains that patricide and fratricide are the two worst, in his opinion. The Robbers_sentence_156

But of course, Franz has no need to worry, since he has neither a living father or brother to kill. The Robbers_sentence_157

Franz, aware of his guilt, sends the pastor away and is disturbed by the conversation. The Robbers_sentence_158

He hears the robber's approach and knows, from what he hears, that they are there for him. The Robbers_sentence_159

He attempts to pray, but is unable to, and begs Daniel to kill him. The Robbers_sentence_160

Daniel refuses to do so, so Franz takes the matter into his own hands and kills himself. The Robbers_sentence_161

Second Scene The Robbers_section_22

The old count, still unaware of Karl's identity, laments the fates of his sons. The Robbers_sentence_162

Karl asks for the blessing of his father. The Robbers_sentence_163

The robbers bring Amalia to their camp, and Karl announces his identity as Karl of Moor and the robber's leader. The Robbers_sentence_164

This news is the final straw for the weakened old Count, and he finally dies. The Robbers_sentence_165

Amalia forgives Karl and expresses that she still wants to be with him. The Robbers_sentence_166

Karl is bound by his promise to the robber band, and cannot leave. The Robbers_sentence_167

Amalia will not live without Karl, so she begs that someone kill her. The Robbers_sentence_168

One of the robbers offers to do so, but Karl insists that he do it. The Robbers_sentence_169

Karl kills her, and regrets his promise to the band. The Robbers_sentence_170

He decides to do something good by turning himself in to a farmer he met whose family was starving. The Robbers_sentence_171

The farmer would receive the reward money and be able to support his family. The Robbers_sentence_172

Dramatis personae The Robbers_section_23

The Robbers_unordered_list_0

  • Maximilian, Count von Moor (also called "Old Moor") is the beloved father of Karl and Franz. He is a good person at heart, but also weak, and has failed to raise his two sons properly. He bears responsibility for the perversion of the Moor family, which has caused the family's values to become invalidated. The Moor family acts as an analogy of state, a typical political criticism of Schiller's.The Robbers_item_0_0
  • Karl (Charles) Moor, his older son, is a self-confident idealist. He is good-looking and well liked by all. He holds feelings of deep love for Amalia. After his father, misled by brother Franz, curses Karl and banishes him from his home, Karl becomes a disgraceful criminal and murderous arsonist. While he exudes a general spirit of melancholy about the promising life he has left behind, Karl, together with his gang of robbers, fights against the unfairness and corruption of the feudal authorities. His despair leads him to express and discover new goals and directions, and to realize his ideals and dreams of heroism. He does not shrink from breaking the law, for, as he says, "the end justifies the means". He develops a close connection with his robbers, especially Roller and Schweizer, but he recognizes the unscrupulousness and dishonor of Spiegelberg and his other associates. Amalia creates a deep internal twist in the plot and in Karl's persona. He swore allegiance to the robbers after Schweizer and Roller died for his sake, and he promised that he would never separate from his men, so cannot return to Amalia. In deep desperation due to the death of his father, he eventually kills his true love and decides to turn himself in to the law.The Robbers_item_0_1
  • Franz Moor, the count's younger son, is an egoistic rationalist and materialist. He is cold-hearted and callous. He is rather ugly and unpopular, in contrast to his brother Karl, but quite intelligent and cunning. However, since his father loved only his brother and not him, he developed a lack of feeling, which made the "sinful world" intolerable for his passions. Consequently, he fixed himself to a rationalistic way of thinking. In the character of Franz, Schiller demonstrates what could happen if the moral way of thinking were replaced by pure rationalization. Franz strives for power in order to be able to implement his interests.The Robbers_item_0_2
  • Amalia von Edelreich, the count's niece, is Karl's love, and a faithful and reliable person (to learn more of their relationship see "Hektorlied" ()). She spends most of the play avoiding the advances of the jealous Franz and hopes to be rejoined with her beloved Karl.The Robbers_item_0_3
  • Spiegelberg acts as an opponent of Karl Moor and is driven by crime. Additionally, he self-nominated himself to be captain in Karl's robber band, yet was passed up in favor of Karl. Spiegelberg tries to portray Karl negatively among the robbers in order to become the captain, but does not succeed.The Robbers_item_0_4

Other characters The Robbers_sentence_173

Legacy The Robbers_section_24

The play is referred to in Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. The Robbers_sentence_174

Fyodor Karamazov compares himself to Count von Moor, whilst comparing his eldest son, Dmitri, to Franz Moor, and Ivan Karamazov to Karl Moor. The Robbers_sentence_175

It is also referred to in the first chapter of Ivan Turgenev's First Love and in chapter 28 of Charlotte Brontë's . The Robbers_sentence_176

G.W.F. The Robbers_sentence_177 Hegel in his The Phenomenology of Spirit is thought to model the 'law of the heart' after Karl Moor. The Robbers_sentence_178

This was first suggested by Jean Hyppolite and by others more recently. The Robbers_sentence_179

English translations The Robbers_section_25

Peter Newmark notes three translations in the Encyclopedia of Literary Translation: The Robbers_sentence_180

The Robbers_unordered_list_1

Klaus van den Berg has compared the Lamport and MacDonald translations, "The two most prominent translations from the latter part of the twentieth century take very different approaches to this style: F.J. Lamport’s 1979 translation, published in the Penguin edition, follows Schiller’s first epic-sized version and remains close to the original language, observing sentence structures, finding literal translations that emphasize the melodramatic aspect of Schiller’s work. The Robbers_sentence_181

In contrast, Robert MacDonald’s 1995 translation, written for a performance by the Citizen’s Company at the Edinburgh Festival, includes some of Schiller’s own revisions, modernizes the language trying to find equivalences to reach his British target audiences. The Robbers_sentence_182

While Lamport directs his translation toward an audience expecting classics as authentic as possible modeled on the original, McDonald opts for a performance translation cutting the text and interpreting many of the emotional moments that are left less clear in a more literal translation." The Robbers_sentence_183

Michael Billington wrote in 2005 that Robert MacDonald "did more than anyone to rescue Schiller from British neglect." The Robbers_sentence_184

Adaptations The Robbers_section_26

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Lieder The Robbers_section_27

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Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Robbers.