Schiller’s best-known poetic work, “The Song of the Bell,” is in the form of a ballad. The poem’s genesis occurred when Schiller visited a bell foundry at Rudolstadt. The poem has a narrator, the master bell maker, who shows his apprentices how casting a bell is similar to living the various phases of life. Schiller’s bell stands for harmony, peace, and the possibility of creating a better society.
Schiller’s poetry usually coalesced around a central tenet or idea. His aim was to appeal to the ear and the mind. Like the ancient Greek thinkers whom he admired, Schiller posed philosophical questions in his poetry about what is good, beautiful, and true in life and proceeded to answer them. The poet believed fully in humanity and anticipated a better future. Schiller grew as a poet, and his style changed from passionate and lyrical exultations to a classical mastery of simplicity and clarity.