Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805) is best known for his immense influence on German literature. In his relatively short life, he authored an extraordinary series of dramas, including The Robbers , Maria Stuart, and the trilogy Wallenstein.

He was also a prodigious poet, composing perhaps most famously the “Ode to Joy” featured in the culmination of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and enshrined, some two centuries later, in the European Hymn. In part through his celebrated friendship with Goethe, he edited epoch-defining literary journals and exerted lasting influence on German stage production. He is sometimes referred to as the German Shakespeare; his books are still among the most widely produced German plays both in Germany and internationally.

In addition to his literary accomplishments, Schiller was a formidable philosophical thinker. Between 1791 and 1796, he authored a range of theoretical works that are both sophisticated and original. These writings primarily concern aesthetics, but they stake out notable positions on ethics, metaphysics, ontology, and political theory as well. Together, his essays helped shape one of the most prolific periods of German philosophizing; since then, they have served as a significant source of philosophical insight from an aesthetic practitioner of the highest standing.

He is known for keeping rotten apples in his desk claiming the scent of their decay helps him to write.

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