1775 to 1776

1775 - 1776

Schiller's 1776 change of studies from law to medicine may have been based on Duke Karl Eugen's request, as the Duke may have feared that there was an 'overflow' of law students at the Military Academy.

In his studies at the Karlsschule, Professor Jakob Friedrich Abel who taught medical students philosophy, psychology, esthetics, world history and morals, exercised a great influence over Friedrich Schiller. Through him, Schiller became acquainted with the works of Shakespeare, using in his lectures the example of the play Othello to illustrate human passions.

Schiller's public debut as a writer, however, was made possible through Professor Balthasar Haug who taught logic, philosophy, history, German style, mythology and classical art history. He foresaw and commented that Schiller would one day have a 'mouth, destined to utter great things' ('os magna sonatorum'). Haug, the editor of the Swabian periodical 'Schwaebisches Magazin von gelehrten Sachen', featured Schiller's poem 'Der Abend' (The Evening) in its October 1776 issue.

In this year, Schiller also wrote his drama 'Cosmus von Medici', after the example of the Storm and Stress drama 'Julius von Tarent' by Leisewitz. However, he destroyed this play and only used fragments of it in his later drama 'Robbers'.

On the occasion of the founding ceremony of the Karlsschule, Professor Abel held a speech on the subject of genius, of the right to true passion and of the need for bold action under the title 'Werden grosse Geister geboren oder erzogen, und welches sind die Merkmale derselbigen?' (Are great minds born or are they formed, and what are their characteristics?)