Stolberg's and Schiller's 'Kassandra': Poems of Political Prophecy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article analyses Friedrich Leopold Stolberg’s (1750-1819) ode ‘Kassandra’ (1796) and compares it to Friedrich Schiller’s ‘Kassandra’ ode of 1802. In German literature, Stolberg was the first to recast this minor mythological figure of the Trojan Wars as a prototype for the prophet of political and social destruction whose predictions are not believed. Stolberg relates the myth to the political crisis in Europe after the French Revolution and emphasises the importance of heeding warnings for political opposition and resistance. Schiller’s Kassandra is an introspective, melancholic figure who suffers because the gift of prophecy has changed her perception of the world and denied her a voice. Schiller emphasises that the political moment of resistance has passed and that knowledge of the future places the individual in a timeless existence between humankind and the gods. Both poems played an important role in the revival of the Kassandra figure whose cries have come to represent in modern German idiom, an unheeded warning of catastrophe.
Translated title of the contributionStolberg's and Schiller's 'Kassandra': Poems of Political Prophecy
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)131-44
Number of pages14
JournalGermanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Stolberg's and Schiller's 'Kassandra': Poems of Political Prophecy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this