Reassesses Weber's relationship to Romanticism and Realism. Concludes that his letters, diary entries, and music show that he believed artists should be responsive to the world around them. In Der FREISCHuTZ, the tensions of the early nineteenth century transition to a capitalist and industrial economy are reflected in Max's feeling of powerlessness. The opera, like life in historical periods of transition, reflects the ambiguity and complexity of the human condition. A comparison of the overture to Der Freischutz with the overture to Fidelio demonstrates that Beethoven was the true romantic while Weber was realistic: Beethoven presents a victorious hero while Weber presents the realistic hero who achieves no actual victory but must continue to cope with changing conditions.