Play by Friedrich Schiller about the title character's struggle to have the woman he loves, his stepmother, Elizabeth of Valois. In doing, he clashes with his father, King Philip II, who is suspicious of his son's ambition to put down a rebellion in the Spanish Netherlands. Don Carlos is aided by his friend, the Marquis of Posa.

As the play is set during the Spanish Inquisition, it evokes themes of liberty, free thought, and the weighing of desire and duty.

I saw it at The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C.. An excellent play, and heartily recommended.

Also a grand opera by Giuseppe Verdi, based on the Schiller play. (Also known as Don Carlo, in its French version.) The play appealed to Verdi's love of liberty, on both individual and national levels.

Because the play has five strong characters -- Don Carlos (tenor), Elizabeth (soprano), Princess Eboli (mezzo, spurned suitor to Carlos), Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa (baritone), and King Phillip II (bass) -- there are some terrific ensemble scenes. Its five acts (in the full version, although it is sometimes performed in only four) form a pyramid structure: Act I shows Carlos and Elizabeth meeting in the forest outside Fontainebleau, then being torn apart by the news that Elizabeth is to marry Phillip instead. The action rises to a climactic auto da fe in Act III, and plunges back down to Elizabeth and Carlos's farewell in the final act.

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