on 10 August 2012
Schiller's Mary Stuart is a classic in continental Europe that enjoys similar status to Shakespeare's plays in the United Kingdom. My introduction to the play was at second hand via Donizetti's splendid opera Maria Stuarda. This aroused my curiosity so while on holiday recently I downloaded this Penguin edition of the play to my Kindle.
The play is set during Mary Stuart's last days at Fotheringay. Schiller played fast and loose with history using some real characters from history, inventing one major character and imagining the confrontation between Mary, deposed Queen of Scotland and former Queen of France with her cousin Elizabeth Queen of England, a meeting which never happened. Despite, or perhaps because of this dramatic license it is a powerful and effective play which must make great impact on the stage.
The translator F. J. Lamport has reproduced Schiller's use of blank verse with occasional use of rhyme very successfully and the play reads like an original work rather than as a translation.
I am glad that I have filled a gap in my literary education.