Don Carlos (play)

Don Carlos (play)
Don Carlos

Don Karlos, Leipzig, 1787
Written by Friedrich von Schiller
Characters Carlos, Prince of Asturias
Philip II of Spain
Duke of Alba
Elisabeth of Valois
Princess of Eboli
Marquis of Posa
Original language German
Subject conflict between Don Carlos and his father, King Philip II
Genre historical drama
Setting Spanish Court at Aranjuez

Don Carlos (German: Don Karlos, Infante von Spanien[nb 1][1]) is a historical tragedy in five acts by Friedrich Schiller; it was written between 1783 and 1787 and first produced in Hamburg in 1787. The title character is Carlos, Prince of Asturias and the play as a whole is loosely modeled on historical events in the 16th century under the reign of King Philip II of Spain.


Opera adaptations

Several operas have been composed on the basis of the play:

English translations and stage adaptations

Influence on English-language literature and film

Jeffrey High has found influences of Schiller's plays on the screenplays for several Hollywood films, and in particular suggests an close correspondence between Don Carlos and the screenplay for Star Wars (1977).[5]


  1. ^ Schiller replaced the Portuguese spelling "Dom" with the Spanish "Don" in 1801, after Christoph Martin Wieland had made him aware of the difference.


  1. ^ Thiel, Luzia. Freundschafts-Konzeptionen im späten 18. Jahrhundert: Schillers "Don Karlos" und Hölderlins "Hyperion". Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2004, ISBN 978-3-82-602744-4, p. 15.
  2. ^ Highfield, John (4 October 2004). "Don Carlos". The Stage: Reviews. 
  3. ^ Billington, Michael (4 February 2005). "Don Carlos. Gielgud, London". The Guardian. 
  4. ^ McCauley, Mary Carole (January 23, 2001). "`Don Carlos' gets seal of approval". The Baltimore Sun.  Review of the 2001 production in Baltimore.
  5. ^ High, Jeffrey L. (2011). "Introduction: Why is this Schiller [Still] in the United States?". In High, Jeffrey L.; Martin, Nicholas; Oellers, Norbert. Who Is This Schiller Now?: Essays on His Reception and Significance. Camden House. p. 15. ISBN 9781571134882. "Schiller experts unfamiliar with Star Wars could place most of the characters with the corresponding Don Karlos characters at a glance at the movie poster. ... The reader will be hard pressed to distinguish the basic plot and character constellation of Star Wars from that of Don Karlos without reference to the specific period and galaxy in question." 

See also

Further reading