World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Die Bürgschaft

Article Id: WHEBN0009478669
Reproduction Date:

Title: Die Bürgschaft  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Friedrich Schiller, Run, Melos!, Damon and Pythias, Pledge, Peter Josef von Lindpaintner
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Die Bürgschaft

1799 Musen-Almanach, p. 176

The Hostage (}

}}: Die Bürgschaft) is a ballad published by the German poet Friedrich Schiller in his 1799 Musen-Almanach. He took the idea out of the ancient legend of Damon and Pythias issuing from the Latin Fabulae by Gaius Julius Hyginus, as rendered in the medieval collection of the Gesta Romanorum. It magnifies the believe in the love of friendship and fidelity.

Contents

  • Synopsis 1
  • Versions 2
  • Musical settings 3
  • External links 4

Synopsis

Damon and Pythias

The ballad is set in the ancient Greek polis of Syracuse. After a failed attempt by Moerus to kill the gruesome tyrant Dionysius, he is caught and sentenced to death but asks for a delay to marry his sister to her designated husband. Dionysius allows him an extension of three days on condition that his friend remains with him to guarantee Moerus' return. If he would not be back on time, his friend would suffer his punishment, while Moerus would go with impunity.

To Dionysius' astonishment Moerus, despite facing floods, assaults, beating sun and lack of water on the way back to his own execution, at the last minute returns to save his friend. Ashamed by this deed, the tyrant admits the moral value of fidelity and asks to be considered as a friend in their midst.

Versions

Schiller wrote the original version in summer 1798, simultaneously with his poem Der Kampf mit dem Drachen, and published both in 1799. In 1804 he re-worked the ballad and changed the name of the main character Moerus to Damon. It was translated into English in 1902.

In the late 1930s, Bertolt Brecht wrote a verse commentary Über Schillers Gedicht "Die Bürgschaft", a sonnet ironically praising the Golden Age in which contract had such moral force that the tyrant realizes that he is hardly needed. This has been set to music by Hanns Eisler.

In 1940 the Japanese author Osamu Dazai published the short story Run, Melos! reworking Schiller's poem. It is a widely read classic in Japanese schools.

Musical settings

Franz Schubert set it to music twice: first as a song for voice and piano in 1815 (D 246), and then as an opera in 1816 (D 435) but left off work on the latter the middle of the third act.

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.