The Unorthodox Nature of Frederick the Unique

Frederick the Great (1712-1786) (also Frederick II and the King of Prussia from 1740 to 1786) perhaps epitomized the 'Great Men' of history, whose force of personality and charisma left lasting impression on the German legacy. Possessed of a mysterious character whose true nature cannot be fully discerned from his writings, Frederick was a loquacious yet mysterious persona. Frederick harbored personal animus toward his militaristic, controlling father (Frederick William), not least because of the trauma he suffered under his care. The conflict between controlling father and wayward son was a recurring theme in the story of succession of the Hohenzollern family. Yet even in light of the perennial tensions between Hohenzollern monarch and Crown Prince, according to the renown historian Christopher Clark, ‘never had the struggle between father and son been waged with such emotional and psychological intensity’.