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Don Carlos was written by Schiller between 1782 and 1787. Set at the country estate of Philip II, the play deals with the beginning of the Dutch Independence Wars. However, this play, which Schiller called a "family portrait of a princely household," is less interested in concrete historical events than in exploring the emergence of political idealism. How do idealism and politics challenge the relationship between the stern and remote Philip II to his estranged son Carlos, and the relationship between Philip II's wife, Elizabeth, toward Carlos, her stepson, who also used to be her fiancé. What are the limits of trust, what is the potential for self-sacrifice, and how can political idealism turn into the manipulation of the people we love? Carlos's and his friend the Marquis Posa's, sympathy with the struggle for freedom in the Netherlands is kindled by the terrifying role of the inquisition under Philip II. When Carlos demands from his father to be sent to the Netherlands, his request is denied. However, when the cosmopolitan nobleman, the Marquis Posa, who argues for freedom of conscience and freedom of expression, refuses to play the role of the subservient courtier, it is exactly through this behavior that he becomes the king's most attractive confidant and desired friend. What does this mean for the friendship between Carlos and Posa?

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