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The Criminal from Lost Honor

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The Criminal from Lost Honor

by Friedrich Schiller

Genre: Suspense
Setting:
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely

EXCERPT:

I had a dim recollection of sword and cord, and the execution of an infanticide which I saw while a school-boy. There was something peculiarly terrible to me in the thought that my life from this moment had become forfeit. More I do not recollect. My first wish was that Robert was still living. I endeavoured forcibly to recall to my mind all the wrong that the deceased had done me during his life,–but strange to say, my memory seemed to have perished. I could recall nothing of that, which a quarter of an hour before had impelled me to madness. I did not understand how I had been induced to commit this murder.

“I was yet standing by the corpse. The crack of some whips, and the noise of carts, which were passing through the wood, brought me to my senses. The deed had been committed scarcely a quarter of a mile from the high road, and I was forced to think of my own safety.

“Unintentionally I strayed deeper into the wood. On the way, it struck me that the deceased once possessed a watch. I needed money to reach the border–and yet I lacked courage to return to the spot, where the dead man lay. A thought of the devil and of an omnipotence of the deity began to terrify me. However, I summoned all my audacity, and resolved to set all hell at defiance. I returned to the place.



COMMENTS:

Christian Wolf is a cross between the tortured devil-possessed soul of a Sweeney Todd and the nobler poacher of Robin Hood. The story is an interesting look at the torture of an individual shunned by society and the fall from mediocrity to evil. While Wolf attempts to repent at the end, the story ends without a true finish and would have to be crafted to have an interesting end. There could be some potential in action taking placing at the “Den of Thieves” and the running of the main character could prove a setting for a high action show.  (GC)

Not much here that would make a good musical. Much pontificating by Schiller sandwiches a story of a murderer who finds redemption only in the confession of his guilt. (LTC)


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