Carlos awaits his execution stocially. Elisabeth begs Philip for help, Philip begs the Grand Inquisitor. Elisabeth goes into the dungeon where Carlos awaits. They have a few seconds to embrace before the guards come and take him away. The Grand Inquisitor allows the guards to do this, then hands Elisabeth the pardon for Carlos. She must take it to the King. Elisabeth does so, but the King refuses to see her. ''Later.'' he tells his servant. Finally Elisabeth breaks in and shows him the pardon - but it's too late. Elisabeth and Philip die of grief and their six year old son, crying uncontrollably, is sat on the throne and crown placed on his head.
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1. Conrad Veidt, From Caligari to Casablanca. By Jerry C. Allen. Page 85. Wilhelm Dieterle (Posa) looking on while Conrad Veidt (Don Carlos) begs Princess Eboli (Egede Nissen) to talk to the Queen for him.
2. The Haunted Screen, by Lotte Eisner. Page 53. Conrad Veidt as Don Carlos pointing towards the door behind which is his love Elisabeth, while Posa (Wilhelm Dieterle), tries to draw him away. 3. Conrad Veidt, Lebensbilder Edited by Wolfgang Jacobsen. Pg 53. (1) Veidt as Don Carlos glares at Posa (Wilhelm Dieterle). (2) Martin Helzberg as a young Don Carlos, gazing at his deposed and distraught grandfather, Charles V (Veidt).
Don Karlos was a popular Max Reinhardt production at the Deutsches Theater, and many of the 'effects' are straight from the stage. All of the male characters are dressed in dark clothing, so that their faces seem to float out of the darkness, while the two women are dressed in white. The sets dwarf the actors, with doors twice as tall as a man. On occasion light pours from these doors, illuminating the actors standing before them, while the rest of the set is in virtual darkness. According to Lotte Eisner: ''As in Reinhardt, the characters suddenly surge out of the darkness, lit by invisible sources of light; in a room, a flood of light falls from a high central window, piercing the darkness without destroying it. The rich costumes and trimmings glitter and glow - lam&eeml;, gilt dentelles, velvets. The Hamlet-like sadness of the pallid face of Veidt as the Spanish Infanta leaps from the darnkess. But these extremely evocative images contrast unfavorably with others who which lack this magic, and the mediocrity of the mise-en-scene and the indifferent direction of the actors (though they all belonged to Reinhardt's troupe) becomes immediately all too apparent.''
Information from the Don Carlos study guide copyright 1974 by Salem Press:
Friedrich von Schiller has always been considered among the greatest of German dramatists. Although poetic in form, his last plays are by no means lyrical, their force lying in their sonorous, sometimes rhetorical language, and in the intense sincerity of the playwright's idealism. His characteristic themes are those of persecution and tyranny, for Schiller, writing at the height of German Romanticism, was in both philosophy and politics the representative dramatist of his age.
His source for Don Carlos was a historical biography, but as he was writing the play he found his sympathies were more with the Marquise de Posa, the 'man of action' of the piece.
(Johann Christoph) Friedrich von Schiller, born on November 10, 1759, at Marbach, Germany, was the son of an officer in the army of the Duke of Wurttemberg. His parents intended him to enter the ministry of the Lutheran Church, and to this end sent him to the Latin school at Ludwigsburg, then the ducal residence. Duke Karl Eugen of Wurttemberg, in common with other semi-independent German princelings, had delusions of grandeur, and he tried to imitate the ''grand style'' of the Bourbons by making his court into a kind of Bavarian Versailles. He lived lavishly, if crudely, ruling largely through sycophants and irresponsible adventurers. At Ludwigsburg young Schiller saw much of the ways of the world and learned early to hate social and political tyranny.
Among the duke's many projects was a military school, established to train the sons of his officers for the public service. When he was fourteen Schiller was offered a scholarship at the academy, a princely favor not to be rejected by his parents, even though it meant giving up their plans for his future. He began as a student of law, but did badly, and when the school was moved to Stuttgart two years later, he transferred to the study of medicine. But in spite of his formal education, young Schiller's true interests did not seem to lie in divinity or law or medicine, but in literature. Although the strict discipline of the academy prevented easy access to contemporary writing, contraband works of the revolutionary ''Sturm und Drang'' authors found their way into his hands and were avidly read. Under the influence of this reading, and possibly of his own reaction to the world of Ludwigsburg, Schiller began his first play, THE ROBBERS, a wild, romantic melodrama of social injustice and rebellion.