The Maid of Orleans (play)

The Maid of Orleans (play)

The Maid of Orleans (German: Die Jungfrau von Orleans) is a tragedy by Friedrich Schiller, written in 1801 in Leipzig. During his lifetime, it was one of Schiller's most frequently-performed pieces.


The play loosely follows the life of Joan of Arc. It contains a prologue introducing the important characters, followed by five acts. Each dramatizes a significant event in Joan's life. The play, however, departs from history by having Joan breaking her chains after being sentenced to be burned at the stake. She rushes into the battle that is taking place just outside her prison cell, and is mortally wounded while fighting.

The line "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens" (III, 6; Talbot) is the origin of the English expression "Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain."

Operatic adaptations

External links