William Tell


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Related to William Tell: Robin Hood

Tell, William,

legendary Swiss patriot. According to legend, Tell was a native of Uri, one of the Swiss forest cantons. Gessler, the canton's Austrian bailiff, decreed that Swiss citizens must remove their hats before his hat, which he had posted on a stake in the canton's largest town. Tell refused and as punishment was ordered to shoot an apple off his small son's head. Although he succeeded, he was held prisoner by Gessler when he revealed that had he failed, he planned to kill Gessler with an arrow he had hidden on his person. Tell escaped and eventually shot Gessler from ambush at Küssnacht, thus setting off the revolt that ousted the bailiff on Jan. 1, 1308. While there is no valid proof of Tell's existence, the legend represents a distorted account of events that resulted (1291) in the formation of the Everlasting League between the cantons of SchwyzSchwyz
, canton (1993 pop. 116,100), 351 sq mi (909 sq km), central Switzerland, one of the Four Forest Cantons. Bordering on the Lake of Zürich in the north and the Lake of Lucerne in the southwest, Schwyz is a mountainous and forested region, with meadows supporting
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, UriUri
, canton (1993 pop. 35,500), 415 sq mi (1,075 sq km), central Switzerland, one of the Four Forest Cantons. Altdorf is the capital. The most sparsely populated of the Swiss cantons, Uri is an Alpine region of glaciers and pastures, with forests and meadows in the Reuss River
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, and UnterwaldenUnterwalden
, canton, central Switzerland, one of the Four Forest Cantons. A mountainous, forested, and chiefly pastoral region, Unterwalden is divided into the half cantons of Obwalden (1993 pop.
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. SchillerSchiller, Friedrich von,
1759–1805, German dramatist, poet, and historian, one of the greatest of German literary figures, b. Marbach, Württemberg. The poets of German romanticism were strongly influenced by Schiller, and he ranks as one of the founders of modern
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's popular drama Wilhelm Tell is based on the legend; RossiniRossini, Gioacchino Antonio
, 1792–1868, Italian operatic composer, one of the great masters of the Italian opera buffa. His parents were both musicians, and he began his career in childhood as a singer.
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's opera William Tell is based on Schiller's drama.

Tell, William

 

a legendary Swiss folk hero. The Tell legend reflects the struggle of the Swiss people against the Hapsburgs in the 14th century. Tell was from the village of Bürglen in the canton of Uri. A skilled bowman, he was ordered by the Hapsburg governor, Gessler, to shoot an apple from his young son’s head. Tell successfully fulfilled this cruel requirement, but he later ambushed the governor in rocky terrain and killed him with an arrow. This was the signal for a popular uprising.

The authenticity of the Tell story was questioned by 19th-century historians, who used comparative data to prove that similar legends existed among other peoples. More recent studies have uncovered a kernel of historical truth in the story. The legend of Tell served as the basis for J. F. Schiller’s drama Wilhelm Tell (1804).

Tell, William

Swiss folk hero condemned to shoot apple from atop son’s head. [Swiss Folklore: EB, IX: 872]
See: Apple

Tell, William

Swiss patriot refused to salute the Austrian governor’s cap. [Swiss Legend: Brewer Dictionary, 885]

Tell, William

shot apple off son’s head with arrow. [Swiss Legend: Brewer Dictionary, 1066; Ital. Opera: Rossini, William Tell]

Tell, William

ordered to shoot apple placed on son’s head for refusing to salute governor’s hat. [Ger. Lit.: William Tell; Ital. Opera: Rossini, William Tell; Westerman, 121–122]
References in periodicals archive ?
But most schoolboys thought that William Tell was at least as good as Robin Hood, with crossbows instead of longbows.
This competition has left its roots as an air intercept event to become an air superiority event," said Lt Col Edward Nagler, William Tell director.
Tyndall Airmen cheer as one of their F-15s takes off for a night mission during William Tell 2004 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.
Honda arranged for grooves to be cut in the road which played the tune of the William Tell Overture when a Honda Civic car drove along at 88kph.
Add to that the cello quintet at the start of Rossini's William Tell Overture and that gallop which felt more like a sedate canter.
Guilt and regret were the impetus of his art, especially guilt over the accidental killing of his wife in what's usually described as a "drunken William Tell experiment.
As in the past, the works are all in some sense self-portraits, showing the artist consecutively as Plato, William Tell, Gertrude Stein, Jackson Pollock, and a list of others; in the photographs he appears as allegories of Fortune, Oblivion, Melancholy, and Purity.
John Prince, a principal in Utah BBQ, also operates 23 Applebee's, one Hooters, 12 Sonic Drive Ins and five independent restaurants through William Tell, Inc.
The five ringing tones tried out on people were the standard ring-ring tone, the William Tell Overture (that's the Lone Ranger TV theme tune), Samba, Persuasion and Kick.
Other TV movies include The Adventures of William Tell, Bush Doctor, Peking Encounter, and Robin Hood: The Movie.
Mick Channon's continued his rich vein of form with a 32-1 double thanks to William Tell and Mahmjra at Southwell yesterday, both of them ridden with great dash by Ted Durcan.
The pieces chosen for the evening were ``Parade of the Charioteers'' from ``Ben Hur''; ``Also Sprach Zarathustra,'' better known as the theme to ``2001''; Wagner's ``The Ride of the Valkyries'' featured prominently in ``Apocalypse Now''; and ``The William Tell Overture,'' which was the theme to ``The Lone Ranger.