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Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


Born in Frankfurt, Germany in the year 1749, he became a prominent figure as a novelist, playwright, and poet in German Literature. He grew up in a classical education as the child of an imperial counselor. He attended Leipzig University in 1765. Even though he attended classes to study law, Goethe received many accolades for his poems that he wrote in rococo and lyrical styles.

Early Work

Annette was the earliest of love poems in a collection that he completed. Two years after entering into the University, he developed a severe lung infection. For over a year and a half he convalesced. It was in this time frame that he wrote a series of ten melodically written poems called Leipzig Songbook.

The Songs of the Young Werther was one of his most famous books. He joined the Weimar Court in 1775. For over a decade he studied metaphysical and scientific studies. Later he rekindled his love of poetry and song.

The French Revolution

His inspiration came from everything surrounding him. After the French Army attacked Prussia, he lost his home. He was very torn between not giving up his bourgeois lifestyle and his love of democracy he began writing Herman and Dorothea in 1797. This is a poem of epic proportion that shows a deep contrast between the complacent peace and the chaos that goes along with a lifestyle that is decadent.

The Later Years

His poem Faust that he wrote in 1808, is one that he is most well known for. It is based on Christopher Marlow’s own play Dr. Faustus. The poem is about a young scholar. He was frustrated by the limits in his own enjoyment of life, education, and power. Looking for a way to improve things, he enlists the services of the devil and then loses his soul.

He would continue to deliver outstanding works. In the last decade of his life he began working on Faust: II. He also published a full collection of poems that were called West-Eastern Divan. He published Wilhelm Meister’s Years of Travel in 1821. He wrote the Trilogy of Passion. The latter part of the decade he spent completing Faust: II. Goethe died on March 22nd, 1832. Today, his works are still held in the highest regard. He had a profound impact on many literary movements.

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