Wilhelm Tell was written in 1805. This tragic/comedy caused a stir when it was first produced and has remained very popular. The play is based on a 14th century Swiss liberation movement event. Wilhelm Tell is an historical figure whose existence has never been proven. Tell was a skilled archer who always helped his friends and sought solitude. His non political nature found him in the middle of political conflict. The classic tale of the man who had to shoot an apple comes alive with these words: "Then, Tell, since at a hundred yards thou canst Bring down the apple from the tree, thou shalt Approve thy skill before me. Take thy bow-- Thou hast it there at hand--make ready, then, To shoot an apple from the stripling's head! But take this counsel,--look well to thine aim, See, that thou hit'st the apple at the first, For, shouldst thou miss, thy head shall pay the forfeit."
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