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German Classics Prize

A German Classic: Schiller's Maria Stuart 

An Essay Prize for Sixth-Formers

1st Prize: £500    2nd Prize: £300   3rd Prize: £100


This competition is now closed for 2018-19. Results of this year's round can be found here. Details of the next round of the competition will be published in spring 2019.

The Oxford German Network is delighted to announce the launch of the second round of the essay prize competition 'A German Classic'. This is aimed at sixth-form students and involves engaging with one of the most fascinating plays in German literature and one that is often considered to be the epitome of Weimar Classicism: Friedrich Schiller's Maria Stuart. Schiller's historical drama explores how Elizabeth I came to have Mary, Queen of Scots executed. The centrepiece of the play is a thrilling confrontation between Elisabeth and Maria (one that never actually took place). Schiller portrays the complexity of political intrigues at court, and the problems faced by women in power who have to navigate a male-dominated world. Elisabeth and Maria reflect each other: cousins by blood, but of different religious identities, and who both have competing (and legitimate) claims to the throne of England. Why one succeeds over the other may appear to be a historical certainty, but Schiller's play is a piece of tense drama because it portrays how fragile the reign of the Tudors was. 

The competition is aimed at students with a GCSE or equivalent in German who are in Lower Sixth, for submission in mid-September of Upper Sixth (equivalent to Years 12 and 13 or S5 and S6 in Scotland). Participants are not expected to have prior experience of studying German literature.


Interested in Goethe's Faust or Schiller's Maria Stuart? Click here for details and further resources from the past two rounds of the German Classic competition. Results of the competition from 2017 available here.