The Conspiracy of Fiesco at Genoa
Ein Diadem erkämpfen ist grosz; es wegwerfen ist göttlich. 'Fiesco'.
As we have seen, 'Fiesco' was written during the summer and fall Of 1782. The following winter, having been rejected by the Mannheim stage, it was published as a literary drama. This first edition bore the sub-title: 'A Republican Tragedy.'
There is a very general agreement that 'Fiesco' is upon the whole the weakest of Schiller's plays. As a 'republican tragedy' it is a disappointment, since its political import, though obvious enough to one acquainted with Schiller from other sources, is not brought out distinctly in the play itself. Neither the friend nor the enemy of republicanism, in any historical or human sense of the word, can derive the slightest edification from 'Fiesco.' The political talk is vague and unpractical, and we get no clear idea of the contending forces. When the curtain goes down upon the chaos of intrigue, one is at a loss to know how one is expected to feel. And yet the play is full of powerful scenes, developed with masterly dramatic skill. As a mere spectacle it rivals 'The Robbers', to which as a drama it is decidedly inferior. In general its defects