The Song of the Bell Summary

Summary (Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

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.

The Song of the Bell Bibliography (Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Garland, H. B. Schiller: The Dramatic Writer. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1969.

Hart, Gail K. Friedrich Schiller: Crime, Aesthetics, and the Poetics of Punishment. Dover: University of Delaware Press, 2005.

Miller, R. D. Schiller and the Ideal of Freedom. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1970.

Nevinson, Henry W. Life of Friedrich Schiller. Whitefish, Mont.: Kessinger, 2007.

Sharpe, Lesley. Schiller and the Historical Character: Presentation and Interpretation in the Historiographical Works and in the Historical Dramas. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.

Simons, John D. Friedrich Schiller. Boston: Twayne, 1981.

Thomas, Calvin. The Life and Works of Friedrich Schiller. Whitefish, Mont.: Kessinger, 2004.

Ugrinsky, Alexej, ed. Friedrich von Schiller and the Drama of Human Existence. New York: Greenwood Press, 1988.