JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE (1749-1832) ,German poet, dramatist and philosopher, was
See also:born at
See also:Main on the 28th of
See also:August 1749 . He came, on his
See also:father's side, of Thuringian stock, his
See also:great-grandfather, Hans Christian Goethe, having been a
See also:farrier at
See also:Artern-on-the-Unstrut, about the
See also:middle of the 17th century . Hans Christian's son,
See also:Friedrich Georg, was brought up to the
See also:trade of a tailor, and in this capacity settled in Frankfort in 1686 . A second
See also:marriage, however, brought him into possession of the Frankfort
See also:inn, " Zum Weidenhof," and he ended his days as a well-to-do inn-keeper . His son, Johann Kaspar, the poet's father (1710-1782), studied
See also:law at
See also:Leipzig, and, after going through the prescribed courses of
See also:practical training at
See also:Wetzlar, travelled in Italy . He hoped, on his return to Frankfort, to obtain an official position in the
See also:government of the
See also:free city, but his
See also:personal influence with the authorities was not sufficiently strong . In his disappointment he resolved never again to offer his services to his native
See also:town, and retired into private
See also:life, a course which his ample means facilitated . In 1i42 he acquired, as a
See also:consolation for the public career he had missed, the title of kaiserlicher
See also:Rat, and in 1748 married Katharina Elisabeth (1731-1808), daughter of the Schultheiss or Burgermeister of Frankfort, Johann Wolfgang Textor.' The poet was the eldest son of this union . Of the later
See also:children only one,
See also:Cornelia, born in 1750, survived the years of childhood; she died as the wife of Goethe's friend, J . G . Schlosser, in 1777 . The best elements in Goethe's
See also:genius came from his
See also:mother's side; of a lively, impulsive disposition, and gifted with remarkable imaginative power, Fran Rat was the ideal mother of a poet; moreover, being hardly eighteen at the
See also:time of her son's
See also:birth, she was herself able to be the
See also:companion of his childhood .
From his father, whose stern, somewhat pedantic nature repelled warmer feelings on the
See also:part of the children, Goethe inherited that "
See also:holy earnestness " and stability of character which brought him unscathed through temptations and passions, and held the
See also:balance to his all too powerful
See also:imagination . Unforgettable is the picture which the poet subsequently drew of his childhood spent in the large
See also:house with its many nooks and crannies, in the
See also:Grosse Hirschgraben at Frankfort . Books, pictures,
See also:objects of
See also:art, antiquities, reminiscences of Rat Goethe's visit to Italy, above all a marionette theatre, kindled the
See also:quick intellect and imagination . His training was conducted in its early stages by his father, and was later supplemented by tutors . Meanwhile the varied and picturesque life of Frankfort was in itself an
See also:education . In 1759, during the Seven Years' War, the French, as Maria
See also:allies, occupied the town, and, much to the irritation of Goethe's father, who was a stanch
See also:partisan of
See also:Frederick the Great, a French lieu-
See also:tenant, Count Thoranc, was quartered on the Goethe
See also:household . The
See also:foreign occupation also led to the
See also:establishment of a French troupe of actors, and to their performances the boy, through his grandfather's influence, had free
See also:access . Goethe has also recorded his memories of another picturesque event, the
See also:coronation of the emperor
See also:Joseph II. in the Frankfort Romer or town
See also:hall in 1764; but these memories were darkened by being associated in his mind with the tragic denouement of his first love affair . The
See also:object of this passion was a certain Gretchen, who seems to have taken
See also:advantage of the boy's
See also:interest in her to further the dishonest ends of one of her friends . The
See also:discovery of the affair and the investigation that followed cooled Goethe's ardour and caused him to turn his
See also:attention seriously to the studies which were to prepare him for the university .. Meanwhile the
See also:instinct had begun to show itself; we hear of a novel in letters—a kind of linguistic exercise, in which the characters carried on the
See also:correspondence in different languages—of a
See also:prose epic on the subject of Joseph, and various religious poems of which one, Die Hollenfahrt Christi, found its way in a revised
See also:form into the poet's
See also:works . In
See also:October 17657 Goethe, then a little over sixteen,
See also:Frank-fort for Leipzig, where a wider and, in many respects, less provincial life awaited him .
He entered upon his university studies with zeal, but his own education in Frankfort had notbeen the best preparation for the scholastic methods which still dominated the German
See also:universities; of his professors, only Gellert seems to have won his interest, and that interest was soon exhausted . The literary beginnings he had made in Frankfort now seemed to him amateurish and trivial; he
See also:felt that he had to turn over a new
See also:leaf, and, under the guidance of E . W . Behrisch, a genial,
See also:original comrade, he learned the art of writing those
See also:light Anacreontic lyrics which harmonized with the
See also:tone of polite Leipzig society . Artificial as this
See also:poetry is, Goethe was, nevertheless, inspired by a real passion in Leipzig, namely, for Anna Katharina Schonkopf, the daughter of a
See also:merchant at whose house he dined . She is the " Annette " after whom the recently discovered collection of lyrics was named, although it must be added that neither these lyrics nor the Neue Lieder, published in 1770,
See also:express very directly Goethe's feelings for Kathchen Schonkopf . To his Leipzig student-days belong also two small plays in Alexandrines, Die Laune
See also:des Verliebten, a pastoral
See also:comedy in one
See also:act, which reflects the lighter side of the poet's love affair, and Die Mitschuldigen (published in a revised form, 1769), a more sombre picture, in which comedy is incongruously mingled with tragedy . In Leipzig Goethe also had time for what remained one of the abiding interests of his life, for art; he regarded A . F . Oeser (1717-1799), the director of the academy of
See also:painting in the Pleissenburg, who had given him lessons in
See also:drawing, as the teacher who in Leipzig had influenced him most . His art studies were also furthered by a
See also:short visit to
See also:Dresden . His stay in Leipzig came, however, to an abrupt conclusion; the distractions of student life proved too much for his strength; a sudden haemorrhage supervened, and he
See also:lay long
See also:ill, first in Leipzig, and, after it was possible to remove him, at home in Frankfort .
These months of slow recovery were a time of seriousintrospection for Goethe . He still corresponded with his Leipzig friends, but the tone of his letters changed ; life had become graver and more
See also:earnest for him . He pored over books on occult philosophy; he busied himself with
See also:alchemy and
See also:astrology . A friend of his mother's, Susanne Katharina von Klettenberg, who belonged to pietist circles in Frankfort, turned the boy's thoughts to religious mysticism . On his recovery his father resolved that he should complete his legal studies at Strassburg, a city which, although then outside the German
See also:empire, was, in respect of language and culture, wholly German . From the first moment Goethe set
See also:foot in the narrow streets of the Alsatian capital, in
See also:April 1770, the whole current of his thought seemed to
See also:change . The
See also:Gothic architecture of the Strassburg minster became to him the
See also:symbol of a
See also:national and German ideal, directly antagonistic to the French tastes and the classical and rationalistic atmosphere that prevailed in Leipzig . The second moment of importance in Goethe's Strassburg
See also:period was his
See also:meeting with Herder, who spent some
See also:weeks in Strassburg undergoing an operation of the
See also:eye . In this thinker, who was his
See also:senior by five years, Goethe found the
See also:master he sought; Herder taught him the significance of Gothic architecture, revealed to him the charm of nature's simplicity, and inspired him with
See also:enthusiasm for
See also:Shakespeare and the Volkslied . Meanwhile Goethe's legal studies were not neglected, and he found time to add to knowledge of other subjects, notably that of
See also:medicine . Another factor of importance in Goethe's Strassburg life was his love for Friederike Brion, the daughter of an Alsatian
See also:village pastor in Sesenheim . Even more than Herder's
See also:precept and example, this passion showed Goethe how trivial and artificial had been the Anacreontic and pastoral poetry with which he had occupied himself in Leipzig ; and the lyrics inspired by Friederike, such as Kleine Blumen, kleine Blatter and Wie herrlich leuchtet mirdie Natur1 mark the beginning of a new epoch in German lyric poetry .
The idyll of Sesenheim, as described in Dichtung and Wahrheit, is one of the most beautiful love-stories in the literature of the
See also:world . From the first, however, it was clear that Friederike Brion could never become the wife of the Frankfort patrician's son; an unhappy ending to the
See also:romance was unavoidable, and, as is to be seen in passionate outpourings like the Wanderers Sturmlied, and in the bitter self-accusations of Clavigo, it left deep wounds on the poet's sensitive soul . To Strassburg we owe Goethe's first important drama, Gotz von
See also:Berlichingen, or, as it was called in its earliest form, Geschichte Gottfriedens von Berlichingen dramatisiert (not published until 1831) . Revised under the now
See also:familiar title, it appeared in 1793, after Goethe's return to Frankfort . In estimating this drama we must bear in mind Goethe's own Strassburg life, and the turbulent spirit of his own age, rather than the
See also:historical facts, which the poet found in the autobiography of his hero published in 1731 . The latter supplied only the rough materials; the Gotz von Berlichingen whom Goethe drew, with his lofty ideals of right and wrong, and his enthusiasm for freedom, is a very different personage from the unscrupulous robber-knight of the 16th century, the rough friend of
See also:Franz von
See also:Sickingen and of the revolting peasants . Still less historical
See also:justification is to be found for the vacillating Weisslingen in whom Goethe executed poetic
See also:justice on himself as the
See also:lover of Friederike, or in the
See also:women of the
See also:play, the gentle Maria, the.heartless Adelheid . But there is genial, creative power in the very subjectivity of these characters, and a vigorous dramatic life, which is irresistible in its
See also:appeal . With Gotz von Berlichingen, Shakespeare's art first triumphed on the German stage, and the literary
See also:movement known as Sturm and Drang was inaugurated . Having received his degree in Strassburg, Goethe returned home in August 1771, and began his initiation into the routine of an
See also:advocate's profession . In the following
See also:year, in
See also:order to gain insight into another side of his calling, he spent four months at Wetzlar, where the imperial law-courts were established . But Goethe's professional duties had only a small
See also:share in the eventful years which lay between his return from Strassburg and that visit to
See also:Weimar at the end of 1775, which turned the whole course of his career, and resulted in his permanent
See also:attachment to the Weimar
See also:court .
Goethe's life in Frankfort was a
See also:round of stimulating literary intercourse; in J . H .
See also:Merck (1741-1191), an army official in the neighbouring town of
See also:Darmstadt, he found a friend and
See also:mentor, whose irony and
See also:common-sense served as a corrective to his own exuberance of
See also:spirits . Wetzlar brought new friends and another passion, that for
See also:Buff, the daughter of the Amtmann there—a love-
See also:story which has been immortalized in Werthers Leiden—and again the
See also:young poet's nature was obsessed by a love which was this time strong enough to bring him to the brink of that suicide with which the novel ends . A visit to the Rhine, where new interests and the attractions of Maximiliane von Laroche, a daughter of Wieland's friend, the novelist Sophie von Laroche, brought partial healing; his intense preoccupation with literary
See also:work on his return to Frankfort did the
See also:rest . In 1775 Goethe was attracted by still another type of woman, Lill Schonemann, whose mother was the widow of a wealthy Frankfort banker . A formal
See also:betrothal took place, and the beauty of the lyrics which Lill inspired leaves no
See also:room for doubt that here was a passion no less genuine than that for Friederike or Charlotte . But Goethe—more worldly wise than on former occasions—felt instinctively that the gay, social world in which Lill moved was not really congenial to him . A visit to
See also:Switzerland in the summer of 1775 may not have weakened his interest in her, but it at least allowed him to regard her objectively; and, without tragic consequences on either side, the passion was ultimately allowed to yield to the dictates of common-sense . Goethe's departure for Weimar in
See also:November made the final break less difficult . The period from 1971 to 1775 was, in literary respects, the most productive of the poet's life . It had been inaugurated with Gotz von Berlichingen, and a few months later this tragedy was followed by another, Clavigo, hardly less convincing in its character-drawing, and reflecting even more faithfully than the former the experiences Goethe had gone through in Strassburg .
Again poetic justice is effected on the unfortunate hero who has chosen his own personal
See also:advancement in preference to his '
See also:duty to the woman he loves; more pointedly than in Gotz is the moral enforced by Clavigo's worldly friend
See also:Carlos, that the ground of Clavigo's tragic end lies not so much in the
See also:defiance of a moral law as in the hero's vacillation and want of character . With Die
See also:Leiden des jungen Werthers (1794), the literary precipitate of the author's own experiences in Wetzlar, Goethesucceeded in attracting, as no German had done before him, the attention of
See also:Europe . Once more it was the
See also:gospel that the world belongs to the strong, which lay beneath the
See also:surface of this romance . This, however, was not the lesson which was
See also:drawn from it by Goethe's contemporaries; they
See also:shed tears of sympathy over the lovelorn youth whose
See also:burden becomes too great for him to bear . While Gotz inaugurated the manlier side of the Sturm and Drang literature, Werther was responsible for its sentimental excesses . And to the sentimental rather than to the heroic side belongs also Stella, " a drama for lovers," in which the poet again reproduced, if with less fidelity than in Werther, certain aspects of his own love troubles . A lighter vein is to be observed in various dramatic satires written at this time, such as Gotter, Heiden and Wieland (1774), Hanswursts Hochzeit, Fastnachtsspiel vom Paler Brey, Satyros, and in the Singspiele, Erwin and Elmire (1775) and Claudine von
See also:Villa Bella (1776); while in the Frankfurter Gelehrte Anzeiger (1772-1773), Goethe drove home the principles of the new movement of Sturm and Drang in terse and pointed
See also:criticism . The exuberance of the young poet's genius is also to be seen in the many unfinished fragments of this period; at one time we find him occupied with dramas on Caesar and Mahomet, at another with an epic on Der ewige
See also:Jude, and again with a tragedy on
See also:Prometheus, of which a magnificent fragment has passed into his works . Greatest of all the torsos of this period, however, was the dramatization of
See also:Faust . Thanks to a
See also:manuscript copy of the play in its earliest form—discovered as recently as 1887—we are now able to distinguish how much of this tragedy was the immediate product of the Sturm and Drang, and to understand the intentions with which the young poet began his masterpiece . Goethe's hero changed with the author's riper experience and with his new conceptions of man's place and duties in the world, but the Gretchen tragedy was taken over into the finished poem, practically unaltered, from the earliest Faust of the Sturm and Drang . With these wonderful scenes, the most intensely tragic in all German literature, Goethe's poetry in this period reaches its
See also:climax .
Still another important work, however, was conceived, and in large measure written at this time, the drama ofEgmont, which was not published until 1788 . This work may, to some extent, be regarded as supplementary to Faust; it presents the lighter, more cheerful and optimistic side of Goethe's philosophy in these years; Graf Egmont, the most winning and fascinating of the poet's heroes, is endowed with that " demonic " power over the sympathies of men and women, which Goethe himself possessed in so high a degree . But Egmont depends for its interest almost solely on two characters, Egmont himself and Klarchen, Gretchen's counterpart; regarded as a drama, it demonstrates the futility of that defiance of
See also:convention and rules with which the Sturm and Drang set out . It remained for Goethe, in the next period of his life, to construct on classic
See also:models a new vehicle for German dramatic poetry . In
See also:December 1774 the young " hereditary
See also:prince " of Weimar,
See also:Augustus, passing through Frankfort on his way to
See also:Paris, came into personal
See also:touch with Goethe, and invited the poet to visit Weimar when, in the following year, he took up the reins of government . In October 1975 the invitation was repeated, and on the 7th of November of that year Goethe arrived in the little Saxon capital which was to remain his home for the rest of his life . During the first few months in Weimar the poet gave himself up to the pleasures of the moment as unreservedly as his
See also:patron; indeed, the Weimar court even looked upon him for a time as a tempter who led the young duke astray . But the latter, although himself a mere stripling, had implicit faith in Goethe, and a
See also:firm conviction that his genius could be utilized in other
See also:fields besides literature . Goethe was not long in Weimar before he was entrusted with responsible state duties, and events soon justified the duke's confidence . Goethe proved the soul of the Weimar government, and a
See also:minister of state of energy and foresight . He interested himself in
See also:agriculture, horticulture and
See also:mining, which were of paramount importance to the welfare of the duchy, and out of these interests sprang his own love for the natural sciences, which took up so much of his time in later years . The inevitable love-interest was also not wanting .
As Friederike had fitted into the background of Goethe's Strassburg life, Lotte into that of Wetzlar, and Lili into the gaieties of Frankfort, so now Charlotte vonStein, the wife of a Weimar official, was the personification of the more aristocratic ideals of Weimar society . We possess only the poet's share of his correspondence with Frau von Stein, but it is possible to infer from it that, of all Goethe's loves, this was intellectually the most worthy of him . Frau von Stein was a woman of refined literary taste and culture, seven years older than he and the mother of seven children . There was something more spiritual, something that partook rather of the passionate friendships of the 18th century than of love in Goethe's relations with her . Frau von Stein dominated the poet's life for twelve years, until his
See also:journey to Italy in 1786-1788 . Of other events of this period the most notable were two winter journeys, the first in 1777, to the Harz Mountains, the second, two years later, to Switzerland—journeys which gave Goethe
See also:scope for that introspection and reflection for which his Weimar life left him little time . On the second of these journeys he revisited Friederike in Sesenheim, saw Lili, who had married and settled in Strassburg, and made the personal acquaintance of
See also:Lavater in Zurich . The literary results of these years cannot be compared with those of the preceding period; they are virtually limited to a few wonderful lyrics, such as Wanderers Nachtlied, An den
See also:Mond, Gesang der Geister fiber den Wassern, or
See also:ballads, such as Der
See also:Erlkonig, a charming little drama, Die Geschwister (1776), in which the poet's relations to both Lili and Frau von Stein seem to be reflected, a dramatic satire, Der
See also:Triumph der Entpfindsamkeit (1778), and a number of Singspiele, Lila (1777), Die Fischerin, Scherz,
See also:List and Rache, and Jery and Bately (178o) . But greater works were in preparation . A religious epic, DieGeheimnisse,and a tragedy Elpenor, did not, it is true, advance much further than plans; but in 1777, under the influence of the theatrical experiments at the Weimar court, Goethe conceived and in great measure wrote a novel of the theatre, which was to have
See also:borne the title Wilhelm Meisters theatralische Sendung; and in 1779 himself took part in a
See also:representation before the court at Ettersburg, of his drama Iphigenie auf Tauris . This Iphigenie was, however, in prose; in the following year Goethe remoulded it in iambics, but it was not until he went to Rome that the drama finally received the form in which we know it . In
See also:September, 1786 Goethe set out from Karlsbad—secretly and stealthily, his plan known only to his servant—on that memorable journey to Italy, to which he had looked forward with such intense longing; he could not
See also:cross the
See also:Alps quickly enough, so impatient was he to set foot in Italy .
He travelled by way of
See also:Munich, the
See also:Brenner and Lago di Garda to Verona and Venice, and from thence to Rome, where he arrived on the 29th of October 1786 . Here he gave himself up unreservedly to the new impressions which crowded on him, and he was soon at home among the German artists in Rome, who welcomed him warmly . In the
See also:spring of 1787 he extended his journey as far as Naples and
See also:Sicily, returning to Rome in
See also:June 1787, where he remained until his final departure for Germany on the 2nd of April 1788 . It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of Goethe's
See also:Italian journey . He himself regarded it as a kind of climax to his life; never before had he attained such complete understanding of his genius and
See also:mission in the world; it afforded him a vantage-ground from which he could renew the past and make plans for the future . In Weimar he had felt that he was no longer in sympathy with the Sturm and Drang, but it was Italy which first taught him clearly what might take the place of that movement in German poetry . To the
See also:modern reader, who may well be impressed by Goethe's extraordinary receptivity, it may seem
See also:strange that his interests in Italy were so limited; for, after all, he saw comparatively little of the art treasures of Italy . He went to Rome in Winckelmann's footsteps; it was the
See also:antique he sought, and his interest in the artists of the
See also:Renaissance was virtually restricted to their imitation of classic models . This
See also:search for the classic ideal is reflected in the works he completed or wrote under the Italian
See also:sky . The
See also:calm beautyof Greek tragedy is seen in the new
See also:iambic version of Iphigenie auf Tauris (1787); the classicism of the Renaissance gives the ground-tone to the wonderful drama of Torquato
See also:Tasso (1790), in which the conflict of poetic genius with the prosaic world is transmuted into imperishable poetry . Classic, too, in this sense, were the plans of a drama on Iphigenie auf Delphos and of an epic, Nausikaa . Most interesting of all, however, is the reflection of the classic spirit in works already begun in earlier days, such as Egmont and Faust .
The former drama was finished in Italy and appeared in 1788, the latter was brought a step further forward, part of it being published as a Fragment in 1790 . Disappointment in more senses than one awaited Goethe on his return to Weimar . He came back from Italy with a new philosophy of life, a philosophy at once classic and
See also:pagan, and with very definite ideas of what constituted literary excellence . But Germany had not advanced; in 1788 his countrymen were still under the influence of that Sturnt and Drang from which the poet had fled . The times seemed to him more out of joint than ever, and he withdrew into himself . Even his relations to the old friends were changed . Frau von Stein had not known of his
See also:flight to Italy until she received a
See also:letter from Rome; but he looked forward to her welcome on his return . The months of
See also:absence, however, the change he had undergone, and doubtless those lighter loves of which the Romische Elegien bear evidence, weakened the Weimar memories; if he left Weimar as Frau von Stein's lover he returned only as her friend; and she naturally resented the change . Goethe, meanwhile, satisfied to continue the freer customs to which he had adapted himself in Rome, found a new
See also:mistress in Christiane Vulpius (1765-1816), the least interesting of all the women who attracted him . But Christiane gradually filled up a
See also:gap in the poet's life; she gave him, quietly, unobtrusively, without making demands on him, the comforts la home . She was not accepted by court society; it did not
See also:matter to her that even Goethe's intimate friends ignored her; and she, who had suited the poet's whim when he desired to shut himself off from all that might dim the recollection of Italy, became with the years an indispensable helpmate to him . On the birth in 1789 of his son, Goethe had some thought of legalizing his relations with Christiane, but this intention was not realized until 18o6, when the invasion of Weimar by the French made him fear for both life and
See also:property .
The period of Goethe's life which succeeded his return from Italy was restless and unsettled; relieved of his state duties, he returned in 1790 to Venice, only to be disenchanted with the Italy he had loved so intensely a year or two before . A journey with the duke of Weimar to
See also:Breslau followed, and in 1792 he accompanied his master on that
See also:campaign against France which ended so ingloriously for the German arms at Valmy . In later years Goethe published his account both of this Campagne in Frankreich and of the Belagerung von
See also:Mainz, at which he was also
See also:present in 1793 . His literary work naturally suffered.under these distractions . Tasso, and the edition of the Schriften in which it was to appear, had still to be completed on his return from Italy; the Romische Elegien, perhaps the most Latin of all his works, were published in 1795, and the Venetianische Epigramme, the result of the second visit to Italy, in 1796 . The French Revolution, in which all Europe was engrossed, was in Goethe's eyes only another
See also:proof that the passing of the old regime meant the
See also:abrogation of all law and order, and he gave
See also:voice to his antagonism to the new democratic principles in the dramas Der Grosskophta (1792), Der Burgergeneral (1793), and in the unfinished fragments Die Aufgeregten and Das Mddchen von Oberkirch . The spirited
See also:translation of the epic of Reinecke Fuchs (1794) he took up as a
See also:relief and an antidote to the social disruption of the time . Two new interests, however, strengthened the ties between Goethe and Weimar,—ties which the Italian journey had threatened to sever : his
See also:appointment in 1791 as director of the ducal theatre, a
See also:post which he occupied for twenty-two years, and his absorption in scientific studies . In 1990 he published his important Versuch, die Metamorphose der Pflanzen zu erklaren, which was an even more fundamental achievement for the new science of
See also:morphology than his discovery some six years earlier of the existence of a formation in the human
See also:bone analogous to the intermaxillary bone in apes; and in 1991 and 1792 appeared two parts of his Beitrage zur Optik . Meanwhile, however, Goethe had again taken up the novel of the theatre which he had begun years before, with a view to
See also:finishing it and including it in the edition of his Neue Schriften (1792–1800) . Wilhelm Meisters tlzeatralische Sendung became Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre; the novel of purely theatrical interests was widened out to embrace the
See also:history of a young man's apprenticeship to life . The change of plan explains, although it may not exculpate, the formlessness and loose construction of the work, its extremes of realistic detail and poetic allegory .
A hero, who was probably originally intended to demonstrate the failure of the vacillating temperament when brought
See also:face to face with the problems of art, proved ill-adapted to demonstrate those precepts for the guidance of life with which the Lehrjahre closes; unstable of purpose, Wilhelm Meister is not so much an
See also:illustration of the author's life-philosophy as a lay-figure on which he demonstrates his views . Wilhelm Meister is a work of extraordinary variety, ranging from the
See also:realism of the troupe of strolling players to the poetic romanticism of
See also:Mignon and the harper; its flashes of intuitive criticism and its weighty apothegms add to its value as a Bildungsroman in the best sense of that word . Of all Goethe's,works, this exerted the most immediate and lasting influence on German literature; it served as a
See also:model for the best fiction of the next
See also:thirty years . In completing Wilhelm Meister, Goethe found a sympathetic and encouraging critic in Schiller, to whom he owed in great measure his renewed interest in poetry . After years of tentative approaches on Schiller's part, years in which that poet concealed even from himself his
See also:desire for a friendly understanding with Goethe, the favourable moment arrived; it was in June 1794, when Schiller was seeking collaborators for his new periodical Die Horen; and his invitation addressed to Goethe was the beginning of a friendship which continued unbroken until the younger poet's
See also:death . The friendship of Goethe and Schiller, of which their correspondence is a priceless record, had its limitations; it wa's purely intellectual in character, a certain barrier of personal reserve being maintained to the last . But for the literary life of both poets the gain was incommensurable . As far as actual work was concerned, Goethe went his own way as he had always been accustomed to do; but the mere fact that he devoted himself with increasing interest to literature was due to Schiller's stimulus . It was Schiller, too, who induced him to undertake those studies on the nature of epic and dramatic poetry which resulted in the epic of Hermann und Dorothea and the fragment of the Aclzilleis; without the friendship there would have been no Xenien and no ballads, and it was his younger friend's encouragement which induced Goethe to betake himself once more to the " misty path" of Faust, and bring the first part of that drama to a conclusion . Goethe's share in the Xenien (1795) may be briefly dismissed . This collection of distichs, written in collaboration with Schiller, was prompted by the indifference and animosity of contemporary criticism, and its disregard for what the two poets regarded as the higher interests of German poetry . The Xenien succeeded as a
See also:retaliation on the critics, but the masterpieces which followed them proved in the long run much more effective weapons against the prevailing mediocrity .
Prose works like the Unterhaltungee deutscher Ausgcwanderten (1795) were unworthy of the poet's genius, and the translation of Benvenuto
See also:Cellini's Life (1/96–1797) was only a translation . But in 1798 appeared Hermann und Dorothea, one of Goethe's most perfect poems . It is indeed remarkable—when we consider by how much reflection and theoretic discussion the composition of the poem was preceded and accompanied—that it should make upon the reader so
See also:simple and "naive" an impression; in this respect it is the triumph of an art that conceals art . Goethe has here taken a simple story of village life, mirrored in it the most pregnant ideas of his time, and presented it with a skill which may well be called Homeric; but he has discriminated withthe insight of genius between the Homeric method of reproducing the heroic life of
See also:Greece and the same method as adapted to the commonplace happenings of 18th-century Germany . In this respect he was undoubtedly guided by a forerunner who has more right than he to the attribute "naive," by J . H . Voss, the author of Luise . Hardly less imposing in their calm, placid perfection are the poems with which, in friendly rivalry, Goethe seconded the more popular ballads of his friend; Der Zauberlehrling, Der Gott und die Bayadere, Die Braut von Korinth, Alexis und Dora, Der neue
See also:Pausias and Die schone Miillerin—a cycle of poems in the
See also:style of the Volkslied —are among the masterpieces of Goethe's poetry . On the other
See also:hand, even the friendship with Schiller did not help him to add to his reputation as a dramatist . Die natiirliche Tochter (1803), in which he began to embody his ideas of the Revolution on a wide
See also:canvas, proved impossible on the stage, and the remaining dramas, which were to have formed a trilogy, were never written . Goethe's classic principles, when applied to the swift,
See also:direct art of the theatre, were doomed to failure, and Die natiirliche Tochter, notwithstanding its
See also:good theoretic intention, remains the most lifeless and shadowy of all his dramas . Even less in touch with the living present were the various prologues and Festspiele, such as Palaophron und Neoterpe (1800), Was wir bringen (18o2), which in these years he composed for the Weimar theatre .
Goethe's classicism brought him into inevitable antagonism with the new Romantic movement which had been inaugurated in 1798 by the
See also:Athenaeum, edited by the
See also:Schlegel . The sharpness of the conflict was, however, blunted by the fact that, without exception, the young Romantic writers looked: up to Goethe as its master; they modelled their fiction on Wilhelm Meister; they regarded his lyrics as the high-
See also:water mark of German poetry; Goethe,
See also:Novalis declared, was the " Statthalfer of poetry on
See also:earth." With regard to painting and sculpture, however, Goethe felt that a protest was necessary, if the insidious ideas propounded in works like Wackenroder's Herzensergiessungen were not to do irreparable harm, by bringing back the confusion of the Sturm und Drang; and, as a rejoinder to the Romantic theories, Goethe, in conjunction with his friend Heinrich
See also:Meyer (1760–1832), published from 1798 to 'Soo an art review, Die Propylaen . Again, in Winckelmann und
See also:seine Zeit (1805) Goethe vigorously defended the classical ideals of which Winckelmann had been the founder . But in the end he proved himself the greatest enemy to the strict classic
See also:doctrine by the publication in 18o8 of the completed first part of Faust, a work which was accepted by contemporaries as a triumph of Romantic art . Faust is a patchwork of many
See also:colours . With the aid of the vast
See also:body of Faust literature which has sprung up in
See also:recent years, and the many new documents bearing on its history —above all, the so-called Urfaust, to which reference has already been made—we are able now to ascribe to their various periods the component parts of the work; it is possible to discriminate between the Sturm und Drang hero of the opening scenes and of the Gretchen tragedy—the contemporary of G.tz and Clavigo —and the superimposed Faust of calmer moral and intellectual ideals—a Faust who corresponds to Hermann and Wilhelm Meister . In its original form the poem was the dramatization of a specific and individualized story; in the years of Goethe's friendship with Schiller it was extended to embody the higher strivings of 18th-century humanism; ultimately, as we shall see, it became, in the second part, a vast allegory of human life and activity . Thus the elements of which Faust is composed were even more difficult to blend than were those of Wilhelm Meister; but the very want of uniformity is one source of the perennial
See also:fascination of the tragedy, and has made it in a
See also:peculiar degree the national poem of the German
See also:people, the
See also:mirror which reflects the national life and poetry from the outburst of Sturm und Drang to the well-weighed and tranquil classicism of Goethe's old age . The third and final period of Goethe's long life may be said to have begun after Schiller's death . He never again lost touch with literature as he had done in the years which preceded his friendship with Schiller; but he stood in no active or immediate connexion with the literary movement of his
See also:day . His life moved on comparatively uneventfully . Even the
See also:Napoleonic regime of 1806–1813 disturbed but little his equanimity .
Goethe, thecosmopolitan Weltburger of the 18th century, had himself no very intense feelings of patriotism, and, having seen Germany flourish as a
See also:group of small states under enlightened despotisms, he had little confidence in the dreamers of 1813 who hoped to see the glories of
See also:Barbarossa's empire revived .
See also:Napoleon, moreover, he regarded not as the scourge of Europe, but as the defender of
See also:civilization against the barbarism of the Slays; and in the famous interview between the two men at
See also:Erfurt the poet's admiration was reciprocated by the French conqueror . Thus Goethe had no great sympathy for the war of liberation which kindled young
See also:hearts from one end of Germany to the other; and when the national enthusiasm
See also:rose to its highest pitch he buried himself in those
See also:optical and morphological studies, which, with increasing years, occupied more and more of his time and interest . The works and events of the last twenty-five years of Goethe's life may be briefly summarized . In 1805, as we have seen, he suffered an irreparable loss in the death of Schiller; in 18o6, Christiane became his legal wife, and to the same year belongs the magnificent tribute to his dead friend, the Epilog zu Schillers Glocke . Two new friendships about this time kindled in the poet something of the juvenile
See also:fire and passion of younger days . Bettina von
See also:Arnim came into personal touch with Goethe in 1807, and her Briefwechsel Goethes mit einem Kinde (published in 1835) is, in its mingling of truth and fiction, one of the most delightful products of the Romantic mind; but the
See also:episode was of less importance for Goethe's life than Bettina would have us believe . On the other hand, his interest in Minna Herzlieb,
See also:foster-daughter of the publisher Frommann in
See also:Jena, was of a warmer nature,,and has left its traces on his sonnets . In 18o8, as we have seen, appeared the first part of Faust, and in 18o9 it was followed by Die Wahlverwandtschaften . The novel, hardly less than the drama, effected a change in the public attitude towards the poet . Since the beginning of the century the conviction had been gaining ground that Goethe's mission was accomplished, that the day of his leadership was over; but here were two works which not merely re-established his ascendancy, but proved that the old poet was in sympathy with the movement of letters, and keenly alive to the change of ideas which the new century had brought in its
See also:train . The intimate psychological study of four minds, which forms the subject of the Wahlverwandtschaften, was an
See also:essay in a new type of fiction, and pointed out the way for developments of the German novel after the stimulus of Wilhelm Meister had exhausted itself .
Less important than Die Wahlverwandtschaften was
See also:Pandora (181o), the final product of Goethe's classicism, and the most uncompromisingly classical and allegorical of all his works . And in 181o, too, appeared his
See also:treatise on Farbenlehre . In the following year the first
See also:volume of his autobiography was published under the title Aus meinem Leben, Dichtung and Wahrheit . The second and third volumes of this work followed in 1812 and 1814; the
See also:fourth, bringing the story of his life up to the close of the Frankfort period in 1833, after his death . Goethe felt, even
See also:late in life, too intimately bound up with Weimar to discuss in detail his early life there, and he shrank from carrying his biography beyond the year 1775 . But a number of other publications—descriptions of travel, such as the Italienische Reise (1816–1817), the materials for a continuation of Dichtung and Wahrheit collected in Tag- and Jahreshefte (1830)—have also to be numbered among the writings which Goethe has left us as documents of his life . Meanwhile no less valuable
See also:biographical materials were accumulating in his diaries, his voluminous correspondence and his conversations, as recorded by J . P .
See also:Eckermann, the chancellor Miilier and F . Soret . Several periodical publications, Ober Kunst and Altertum (1816–1832), Zur Naturwissenschaft uberhaupt (1817–1824), Zur Morphologic (1817–1824), bear witness to the extraordinary breadth of Goethe's interests in these years . Art, science, literature—littleescaped his ken—and that not merely in Germany:
See also:English writers,
See also:Scott and Carlyle, Italians like Manzoni, French scientists and poets, could all depend on friendly words of appreciation and encouragement from Weimar .
InWest-ostlicher Diwan (1819), a collection of lyrics—matchless in form and even more concentrated in expression than those of earlier days—which were suggested by a German translation of
See also:Hafiz, Goethe had another surprise in
See also:store for his contemporaries . And, again, it was an actual passion—that for Marianne von Willemer, whom he met in 1814 and 1815—which rekindled in him the lyric fire . Meanwhile the years were thinning the ranks of Weimar society: Wieland, the last of Goethe's greater literary contemporaries, died in 1813, his wife in 1816, Charlotte von Stein in 1827 and Duke Charles Augustus in 1828 . Goethe's retirement from the direction of the theatre in 1817 meant for him a break with the literary life of the day . In 1822 a passion for a young girl, Ulrike von Levetzow, whom he met at
See also:Marienbad, inspired the
See also:fine Trilogie der Leidenschaft, and between 1821 and 1829 appeared the long-expected and long-promised continuation of Wilhelm Meister, Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre . The latter work, however, was a disappointment: perhaps it could not have been otherwise . Goethe had lost the
See also:thread of his romance and it was difficult for him to resume it . Problems of the relation of the individual to society and
See also:industrial questions were to have formed the theme of the Wanderjahre; but since the French Revolution these problems had themselves entered on a new phase and demanded a method of treatment which it was not easy for the old poet to learn . Thus his intentions were only partially carried out, and the volumes were filled out by irrelevant stories, which had been written at widely different periods . But the crowning achievement of Goethe's literary life was the completion of Faust . The poem had accompanied him from early manhood to the end and was the repository for the fullest " confession " of his life; it is the poetic epitome of his experience . The second part is, in form, far removed from the impressive realism of the Urfaust .
It is a phantasmagory; a drama the actors in which are not creatures of flesh and
See also:blood, but the shadows of an unreal world of allegory . The lover of Gretchen had, as far as poetic continuity is concerned, disappeared with the close of the first part . In the second part it is virtually a new Faust who, at the hands of a new
See also:Mephistopheles, goes out into a world that is not ours . Yet behind these unconvincing shadows of an imperial court with its
See also:financial difficulties, of the classical Walpurgisnacht, of the fantastic creation of the Homunculus, the
See also:noble Helena episode and the impressive mystery-scene of the close, where the centenarian Faust finally triumphs over the
See also:powers of evil, there lies a philosophy of life, a ripe wisdom born of experience, such as no
See also:European poet had given to the world since the Renaissance . Faust has been well called the " divine comedy " of 18th-century humanism . The second part of Faust forms a worthy close to the life of Germany's greatest man of letters, who died in Weimar on the 22nd of
See also:March 1832 . He was the last of those universal minds which have been able to compass all domains of human activity and knowledge; for he stood on the brink of an era of rapidly expanding knowledge which has made for ever impossible the universality of interest and sympathy which distinguished him . As a poet, his fame has undergone many vicissitudes since his death, ranging from the indifference of the " Young German " school to the enthusiastic admiration of the closing decades of the 19th century—an enthusiasm to which we owe the Weimar Goethe-Gesellschaft (founded in 1885) and a vast literature dealing with the poet's life and work; but the fact of his being Germany's greatest poet and the master of her classical literature has never been seriously put in question . The
See also:intrinsic value of his poetic work, regarded apart from his
See also:personality, is smaller in proportion to its bulk than is the case with many lesser German poets and with the greatest poets of other literatures . But Goethe was a type of literary man hitherto unrepresented among the leading writers of the world's literature; he was a poet whose supreme greatness lay in his subjectivity . Only a small fraction of Goethe's work was written in an impersonal and
See also:objective spirit, and sprang from what might be called a conscious
See also:artistic impulse; by far the larger—and the better—part is the immediate reflex of his feelings and experiences . It is as a lyric poet that Goethe's supremacy is least likely to be challenged; he has given his nation, whose highest literary expression has in all ages been essentially lyric, its greatest songs .
No other German poet has succeeded in attuning feeling, sentiment and thought so perfectly to the
See also:music of words as he; none has expressed so fully that spirituality in which the
See also:quintessence of German lyrism lies . Goethe's dramas, on the other hand, have not, in the eyes of his nation, succeeded in holding their own beside Schiller's; but the reason is rather because Goethe, from what might be called a wilful obstinacy, refused to be bound by the conventions of the theatre, than because he was deficient in the cunning of the dramatist . For, as an interpreter of human character in the drama, Goethe is without a
See also:rival among modern poets, and there is not one of his plays that does not contain a few scenes or characters which bear indisputable testimony to his mastery . Faust is Germany's most national drama, and it remains perhaps for the theatre of the future to prove itself capable of popularizing psychological masterpieces like Tasso and Iphigenie . It is as a novelist that Goethe has suffered most by the lapse of time . The Sorrows of Werther no longer moves us to tears, and even Wilhelm Meister and Die Wahlverwandtschaften require more understanding for the conditions under which they were written than do Faust or Egmont . Goethe could fill his prose with
See also:rich wisdom, but he was only the perfect artist in
See also:verse . Little attention is nowadays paid to Goethe's work in other fields, work which he himself in some cases prized more highly than his poetry . It is only as an illustration of his many-sidedness and his manifold activity that we now turn to his work as a statesman, as a theatre-director, as a practical
See also:political economist . His art-criticism is. symptomatic of a phase of European taste which tried in vain to check the growing individualism of Romanticism . His scientific studies and discoveries awaken only an historical interest . We marvel at the obstinacy with which he, with inadequate mathematical knowledge, opposed the Newtonian theory of light and
See also:colour; and at his
See also:ship of " Neptunism," the theory of aqueous origin, as opposed to " Vulcanism," that of igneous origin of the earth's crust .
Of far-reaching importance was, on the other hand, his fore-shadowing of the Darwinian theory in his works on the
See also:meta-morphosis of
See also:plants and on animal morphology . Indeed, the deduction to be drawn from Goethe's contributions to botany and anatomy is that he, as no other of his contemporaries, possessed that type of scientific mind which, in the 19th century, has made for progress; he was Darwin's predecessor by virtue of his enunciation of what has now become one of the common-places of natural science—organic
See also:evolution . Modern, too, was the outlook of the aging poet on the changing social conditions of the age, wonderfully sympathetic his attitude towards modern
See also:industry, which steam was just beginning to establish on a new basis, and towards modern democracy . The Europe of his later years was very different from the idyllic and enlightened autocracy of the 18th century, in which he had spent his best years and to which he had devoted his energies; yet Goethe was at home in it . From the philosophic movement, in which Schiller and the Romanticists were so deeply involved, Goethe stood apart . Comparatively early in life he had found in
See also:Spinoza the philosopher who responded to his needs; Spinoza taught him to see in nature the " living garment of
See also:God," and more he did not seek or need to know . As a convinced realist he took his standpoint on nature and experience, and could afford to look on objectively at the controversies of the metaphysicians .
See also:Kant he by no means ignored, and under Schiller's guidance he learned much from him; but of the younger thinkers, only Schelling, whose mystic nature-philosophy was a development of Spinoza's ideas, touched a sympathetic chord in his nature . As a moralist and a
See also:guide to the conduct of life—an aspect of Goethe's workwhich Carlyle, viewing him through the coloured glasses of Fichtean
See also:idealism, emphasized and interpreted not always justly—Goethe was a powerful force on German life in years of political and intellectual depression . It is difficult even still to get beyond the
See also:maxims of practical wisdom he scattered so liberally through his writings, the lessons to be learned from Meister and Faust, or even that calm, optimistic fatalism which never deserted Goethe, and was so completely justified by the tenor of his life . If the philosophy of Spinoza provided the poet with a religion which made individual creeds and dogmas unnecessary and impossible, so Leibnitz's doctrine of predestinism supplied the
See also:foundations for his faith in the divine mission of human life . This many-sided activity is a tribute to the greatness of Goethe's mind and personality; we may regard him merely as the embodiment of his particular age, or as a poet " for all time "; but with one opinion all who have felt the power of Goethe's genius are in agreement—the opinion which was condensed in Napoleon's often cited words, uttered after the meeting at Erfurt: Voild un hommel Of all modern men, Goethe is the most universal type of genius .
It is the full, rich humanity of his life and personality—not the art behind which the artist disappears, or the definite pronouncements of the thinker or the teacher—that constitutes his claim to a place in the front
See also:rank of men of letters . His life was his greatest work . The definitive edition of Goethe's diaries and letters is that forming Sections III. and IV. of the Weimar edition . Collections of selected letters based on the Weimar edition have been published by E. von der Hellen (6 vols., 1901 ff.), and by P . Stein (8 vols., 1902 ff.) . Of the many
See also:separate collections of Goethe's correspondence mention may be made of the Briefwechsel zwischen Schiller and Goethe, edited by Goethe himself (1828–1829; 4th ed., 1881; also several cheap reprints . English translation by L . D . Schmitz, 1877–1879); Briefwechsel zwischen Goethe and Zelter (6 vols., 1833–1834; reprint in Reclam's Universalbibliothek, 1904; English translation by A . D .
See also:Coleridge, 1887) ; Bettina von Arnim, Goethes Briefwechsel mit einem Kinde (1835; 4th ed., 189o; English translation, 1838); Briefe von and an Goethe, edited by F . W .
Riemer (1846) ; Goethes Briefe an Frau von Stein, edited by A .
See also:Scholl (1848–1851; 3rd ed. by J . Wahle, 1899–1900); Briefwechsel zwischen Goethe and K . F. von Reinhard (185o) ; Briefwechsel zwischen Goethe and
See also:Knebel (2 vols., 1851) ; Briefwechsel zwischen Goethe and Staatsrat
See also:Schultz 0853); Briefwechsel des Herzogs Karl August mit Goethe (2 vols., 1863) ; Briefwechsel zwischen Goethe and Kaspar Graf von
See also:Sternberg (1866) ; Goethes naturwissenschaftliche Korrespondenz, and Goethes Briefwechsel mit den Gebradern von Humboldt, edited by F . T . Bratranek (1874–1876) ; Goethes and Carlyles Briefwechsel (1887), also in English; Goethe and die Romantik, edited by C . Schiiddekopf and 0 . Walzel (2 vols., 1898–1899); Goethe and Lavater, edited by H . Funck (1901); Goethe and Osterreich, edited by A . Sauer (2 vols., 1902–1903) . Besides the correspondence with Schiller and Zelter,
See also:Bohn's library contains a translation of Early and
See also:Miscellaneous Letters, by E .
See also:Bell (1884) .
Thechief collections of Goethe's
See also:con- following: W . Scherer, Aus Goethes Friihzeit (1879); R . Weissenversations are: J . P . Eckermann, Gesprache mit Goethe (1836; vol. iii., also containing conversations with Soret, 1848; 7th ed. by H . Duntzer, 1899; also new edition by L . Geiger, 1902; English translation by J .
See also:Oxenford, 1850) . The complete conversations with Soret have been published in German translation by C . A . H . Burkhardt (1905); Goethes Unterhaltungen mit dem Kanzler F. von Wier (187o) .
Goethe's collected Gesprache were published by W. vonBiedermann in to vols . (1889–1896) . (b) Biography.—Goethe's autobiography, Aus meinem Leben: Dichtung and Wahrheit, appeared in three parts between 1811 and 1814, a fourth part, bringing the history of his life as far as his departure for Weimar in 1775, in 1833 (English translation by J . Oxenford, 1846) ; it is supplemented by other biographical writings, as the Italienische Reise, Aus einer Reise in die Schweiz
See also:im Jahre 1797; Aus einer Reise am Rhein, Main and
See also:Neckar in den Jahren 1814 and 1815, Tag- and Jahreshefte, &c., and especially by his diaries and correspondence . The following are the more important
See also:biographies: H . During, Goethes Leben (1828; subsequent
See also:editions, 1833, 1849, 1856); H . Viehoff, Goethes Leben (4 vols., 1847–1854; 5th ed.,1887); J . W . Schafer, Goethes Leben (2 vols., 1851; 3rd ed., 1877) ; G . H . Lewes, The Life and Works of Goethe (2 vols., 1855; 2nd ed., 1864; 3rd ed., 1875; cheap reprint, 1906; the German translation by J . Frese is in its 18th edition, 1900 ; a shorter biography was published by Lewes in 1873 under the title The Story of Goethe's Life) ; W .
M6zieres, W . Goethe,
See also:les teuvres expliquees
See also:par la
See also:vie (1872–1873); A . Bossert, Goethe (1872–1873); K . Goedeke, Goethes Leben and Schriften (1874; 2nd ed., 1877); H .
See also:Grimm, Goethe: Vorlesungen (1876; 8th ed., 1903; English translation, 1880); A . Hayward, Goethe (1878); H . H . Boyesen, Goethe and Schiller, their Lives and Works (1879); H . Duntzer, Goethes Leben (188o; 2nd ed., 1883; English translation, 1883); A . Baumgartner, Goethe, sein Leben and seine Werke (1885); J . Sime, Life of Goethe (1888); K . Heinemann, Goethes Leben and Werke (1889; 3rd ed., 1903); R .
M . Meyer, Goethe (1894; 3rd ed., 1904); A . Bielschowsky, Goethe, sein Leben and seine Werke (vol. i., 1895; 5th ed., 1904; vol. ii., 1903; English translation by W . A .
See also:Cooper, 1905 ff.); G . Witkowsky, Goethe (1899); H . G . Atkins, J . W . Goethe (1904); P .
See also:Hansen and R . Meyer, Goethe, hans Liv og Vaerker (1906) .
Of writings on
See also:special periods and aspects of Goethe's life the more important are as follows (the titles are arranged as far as possible in the
See also:chronological sequence of the poet's life) : H . Duntzer, Goethes Stammbaum (1894) ; K . Heinemann, Goethes Mutter (1891; 6th ed., 1900) ; P . Bastier, La Mere de Goethe (1902) ; Briefe der Frau Rat (2 vols., 2nd ed., 1905) ; F .
See also:Ewart, Goethes Vater (1899) ; G . Witkowski, Cornelia die Schwester Goethes (1903) ; P . Besson, Goethe, sa scour et ses amies (1898); H . Duntzer, Frauenbilder aus Goethes Jugendzeit (1852); W. von Biedermann, Goethe and Leipzig (1865); P . F .
See also:Lucius, Friederike Brion (1878; 3rd ed., 1904); A . Bielschowsky, Friederike Brion (188o); F . E. von Durckheim, Lili's Bild geschichtlich entworfen (1879; 2nd ed., 1894); W .
Herbst, Goethe in Wetzlar (1881); A . Diezmann, Goethe and die lustige Zeit in Weimar (1857; 2nd ed., 1901); H . Duntzer, Goethe and Karl August (1859–1864; 2nd ed., 1888); also, by the same author, Aus Goethes Freundeskreise (1868) and Charlotte von Stein (2 vols., 1874) ; J . Haarhuus, Auf Goethes Spuren in Italien (1896–1898) ; O .
See also:Harnack, Zur Nachgeschichte der italienischen Reise (189o) ; H . Grimm, Schiller and Goethe (Essays, 1858; 3rd ed., 1884) ; G . Beriit, Goethe and Schiller im personlichen Verkehre, nach brieflichen Mitteilungen von H . Voss (1895); E . Pasqu6, Goethes Theaterleitung in Weimar (2 vols., 1863); C . A . H . Burkhards, Das Repertoire des weimarischen Theaters unter Goethes Leitung (1891); J .
Wahle, Das Weimarer Hoftheater unter Goethes Leitung (1892) ; O . Harnack, Goethe in der Epoche seiner Vollendung (2nd ed., 1901); J .
See also:Barbey d'Aurevilly, Goethe et
See also:Diderot (188o) ; A Fischer, Goethe and Napoleon (1899; 2nd ed., 1900); R . Steig, Goethe and die Gebriider Grimm (1892) . (c) riticism.—H . G . Graef, Goethe fiber seine Dichtungen (1901 ff.) ; J . W . Braun, Goethe im Urteile seiner Zeitgenossen (3 vols., 1883–1885); T . Carlyle, Essays on Goethe (1828–1832); X .
See also:Marmier, Etudes sur Goethe (1835) ; W. von Biedermann, Goethe-Forschungen (1879, 1886) ; J . Minor and A .
Sauer, Studien zur Goethe-Philologie 088o); H . Duntzer, Abhandlungen zu Goethes Leben and Werken (1881); A . Scheill, Goethe in Hauptzfigen seines Lebens and Wirkens (1882); V . Hehn, Gedanken fiber Goethe (1884; 4th ed., 1900); W . Scherer, Aufsdtze fiber Goethe (1886); J . R .Seeley, Goethe reviewed after Sixty Years (1894); E .
See also:Dowden, New Studies in Literature (1895) ; 8 .
See also:Rod, Essai sur Goethe (1898) ; A .
See also:Luther, Goethe, sechs Vortrdge (1905); R . Saitschik, Goethes Charakter (1898); W .
See also:Bode, Goethes Lebenskunst (1900; 2nd ed., 1902); b the same, Goethes Asthetik (19o1); T .
Vollbehr, Goethe and die bildende Kunst (1895); E . Lichtenberger, Etudes sur les poesies lyriques de Goethe (1878); T . Achelis, Grundziige der Lyrik Goethes (1900); B . Litzmann, Goethes Lyrik (1903); R .Riemann, Goethes Romantechnik (1901); R .
See also:Virchow, Goethe als Naturforscher (1861); E . Caro, La Philosophie de Goethe (1866; 2nd ed., 187o) ; R .
See also:Steiner, Goethes Weltanschauung (1897) ; F . Siebeck, Goethe als Denker (1902) ; F . Baldensperger, Goethe en France (1904) ; S . Waetzoldt, Goethe uild die Romantik (1888) . More special
See also:treatises dealing with individual works are the fels, Goethe in Sturm and Drang, vol. i .
(1894) ; W . Wilmanns, Quellenstudien zu Goethes Gotz von Berlichingen (1874) ; J . Baechtold, Goethes Gotz von Berlichingen in dreifacher Gestalt (1882); J . W . Appell, Werther and seine Zeit (1855; 4th ed., 1896); E .
See also:Rousseau and Goethe (1875); M . Herrmann, Das Jahrmarktsfest zu Plundersweilen (1900); E . Schmidt, Goethes Faust in urspriinglicher Gestalt (1887; 5th ed., 1901); J . Collin, Goethes Faust in seiner dltesten Gestalt (1896) ; H .
See also:Hettner, Goethes Iphigenie in ihrem Verhaltnis zur Bildungsgeschichte des Dichters (1861; in Kleine Schriften, 1884); K . Fischer, Goethes Iphigenie (1888); F . T .
Bratranek, Goethes Egmont and SchillersWallenstein (1862) ; C . Schuchardt, Goethes italienische Reise (1862) ; H . Duntzer, Iphigenie auf Tauris; die drei altesten Bearbeitungen (1854); F .
See also:Kern, Goethes Tasso (189o); J . Schubart, Die philosophischen Grundgedanken in Goethes Wilhelm Meister (1896) ; E . Boas, Schiller and Goethe in Xenienkampf (1851) ; E . Schmidt and B . Suphan, Xenien 1796, nach den Handschriften (1893); W. von Humboldt, Asthetische Versuche: Hermann and Dorothea (1799) ; V . Hehn, Uber Goethes Hermann and Dorothea (1893) ; A . Fries, Quellen and Komposition der Achilleis (1901); K . Alt, Studien zur Entstehungsgeschichte von Dichtung and Wahrheit (1898) ; A .
See also:Jung, Goethes Wanderjahre and die wichtigsten Fragen des 19 .
Jahrhunderts (1854) F . Kreyssig, Vorlesungen fiber Goethes Faust (1866) ; the editions of Faust by G. von Loeper (2 vols., 1879), and K . J . Schreier (2 vols., 3rd and 4th ed., 1898–1903) ; K . Fischer, Goethes Faust (3 vols., 1893, 1902, 1903) ; O . Pniower, Goethes Faust, Zeugnisse and Excurse zu seiner Entstehungsgeschichte (1899) ; J . Minor, Goethes Faust, Entstehungsgeschichte and Erklarung (2 vols., 1901) . (d)
See also:Bibliographical Works, Goethe-
See also:Societies, &c.—L . Unflad, Die Goethe-Literatur in Deutschland (1878) ; S . Hirzel, Verzeichnis einer Goethe-Bibliothek (1884)„to which G. von Loeper and W. von Biedermann have supplied supplements . F . Strehlke, Goethes Briefe: Verzeichnis unter Angabe der Quelle (1882–1884);
See also:British Museum
See also:Catalogue of Printed Books: Goethe (1888) ; Goedeke's Grundriss zur Geschichte der deutschen Dichtung (2nd ed., vol. iv .
1891); and the
See also:bibliographies in the Goethe-Jahrbuch (since 188o) . Also K . Hoyer, Zur Einfiihrung in die Goethe-Literatur (1904) . On Goethe in England see E . Oswald, Goethe in England and
See also:America (1899; 2nd ed., 1909) ; W . Heinemann, A Bibliographical List of the English
See also:Translations and Annotated Editions of Goethe's Faust (1886) . Reference may also be made here to F . Zarncke's Verzeichnis der Originalaufnahmen von Goethes Bildnissen (1888) . A Goethe-Gesellschaft was founded at Weimar in 1885, and numbers over 2800 members; its publications include the
See also:annual Goethe-Jahrbuch (since t88o), and a series of Goethe-Schriften . A Goethe-Verein has existed in Vienna since 1887, and an English Goethe society, which has also issued several volumes of publications, since 1886 . (J . G .
R.) Goethe's Descendants.—Goethe's only son, AUGUST, born on the 25th of December 1789 at Weimar, married in 1817 Ottilie von Pogwisch (1796–1872), who had come as a child to Weimar with her mother (nee Countess Henckel von Donnersmarck) . The marriage was a very unhappy one, the
See also:husband having no qualities that could appeal to a woman who, whatever the censorious might say of her moral character, was distinguished to the last by a lively intellect and a singular charm . August von Goethe, whose
See also:sole distinction was his birth and his position as
See also:chamberlain, died in Italy, on the 27th of October 1830, leaving three children: WALTIHER WOLFGANG, born on April 9, 1818, died on April Isi 1885; WOLFGANG MAXIMILIAN, born on September 18, 182o, died on
See also:January 20, 1883;
See also:ALMA, born on October 22, 1827, died on September 29, 1844 . Of
See also:Walther von Goethe little need be said . In youth he had musical ambitions, studied under Mendelssohn and Weinlig at Leipzig, under Loewe at
See also:Stettin, and afterwards at Vienna . He published a few songs of no great merit, and had at his death no more than the reputation among his friends of a kindly and accomplished man . Wolfgang or, as he was familiarly called,
See also:Wolf von Goethe, was by far the more gifted of the two brothers, and his gloomy destiny by so much the more tragic . A sensitive and highly imaginative boy, he was the favourite of his grandfather, who made him his
See also:constant companion . This fact, instead of being to the boy's advantage, was to prove his bane . The exalted atmosphere of the great man's ideas was too rarefied for the child's intellectual
See also:health, and a
See also:brain well fitted to do excellent work in the world was ruined by the effort to live up to an impossible ideal . To maintain himself on the same height as his grandfather, and to make the name of Goethe illustrious in his descendants also, became Wolfgang's ambition; and his incapacity to realize this, very soon borne in upon him, paralyzed his efforts and plunged him at last into bitter revolt against his
See also:fate and gloomy
See also:isolation from a world that seemed to have no use for him but as a curiosity . From the first, too, he was hampered by wretched health; at the age of sixteen he was subjected to one of those terrible attacks of neuralgia which were to torment him to the last; physically and mentally alike he stood in tragic contrast with his grandfather, in whose gigantic personality the vigour of his
See also:race seems to have been exhausted .
From 1839 to 1845 Wolfgang studied law at
See also:Bonn, Jena,
See also:Heidelberg and Berlin, taking his degree of
See also:juris at Heidelberg in 1845 . During this period he had made his first literary efforts . His Studenten-Briefe (Jena, 1842), a medley of letters and lyrics, are wholly conventional . This was followed by Der Mensch and die elementarische Natur (
See also:Stuttgart and
See also:Tubingen, 184J), in three parts (Beitrdge): (1) an historical and philosophical dissertation on the relations of mpnkind and the " soul of nature," largely influenced by Schelling, (2) a dissertation on the juridical side of the question, De fragmento Vegoiae, being the thesis presented for his degree, (3) a lyrical drama, Erlinde . In this last, as in his other poetic attempts, Wolfgang showed a consider-able measure of inherited or acquired ability, in his
See also:wealth of language and his easy mastery of the difficulties of rhythm and
See also:rhyme . But this was all . The work was characteristic of his self-centred isolation: ultra-romantic at a time when Romanticism was already an outworn fashion, remote alike from the spirit of the age and from that of Goethe . The
See also:cold reception it met with shattered at a
See also:blow the dream of Wolfgang's life; henceforth he realized that to the world he was interesting mainly as " Goethe's
See also:grandson," that anything he might achieve would be measured by that terrible standard, and he hated the
See also:legacy of his name . The next five years he spent in Italy and at Vienna, tormented by facial neuralgia . Returning to Weimar in 185o, he was made a chamberlain by the grand-duke, and in 1852, his health being now somewhat restored, he entered the Prussian
See also:diplomatic service and went as attache to Rome . The fruit of his long years of illness was a slender volume of lyrics, Gedichte (Stuttgart and Tubingen, 1851), good in form, but seldom inspired, and showing occasionally the influence of a morbid sensuality . In 18J4 he was appointed secretary of legation; but the aggressive ultramontanism of the
See also:Curia became increasingly intolerable to his overwrought nature, and in 1856 he was transferred, at his own
See also:request, as secretary of legation to Dresden .
This post he resigned in 18J9, in which year he was raised to the rank of Freiherr (baron) . In 1866 he received the title of councillor of legation; but he never again occupied any diplomatic post . The rest of his life he devoted to historical
See also:research, ultimately selecting as his special subject the Italian
See also:libraries up to the year r 5o0 . The outcome of all his labours was, however, only the first part of Studies and Researches in the Times and Life of
See also:Bessarion, embracing the period of the council of Florence (privately printed at Jena, 1871), a catalogue of the
See also:MSS. in the monastery of Sancta Justina at
See also:Padua (Jena, 1873), and a mass of undigested material, which he ultimately bequeathed to the university of Jena . In 187o Ottilie von Goethe, who had resided mainly at Vienna, returned to Weimar and took up her residence with her two sons in the Goethehaus . .So long as she lived, her small
See also:salon in the
See also:attic storey of the great house was a centre of attraction for many of the most illustrious personages in Europe . But after her death in 1872 the two brothers lived in almost complete isolation . The few old friends, including the grand=duke Charles
See also:Alexander, who continued regularly to visit the house, were entertained with kindly hospitality by Baron Walther; Wolf-gang refused to be drawn from his isolation even by the advent of
See also:royalty . " Tell the empress," he cried on one occasion, "that I am not a
See also:wild beast to be stared at !" In 1879, his increasing illness necessitating the constant presence of an attendant, he went to live at Leipzig, where he died . Goethe's grandsons have been so repeatedly accused of having displayed a
See also:temper in closing the Goethehausto the public and the Goethe archives to research, that the
See also:charge has almost universally come to be regarded as proven . It is true that the house was closed and access to the archives only very sparingly allowed until Baron Walther's death in 1885 . But the reason for this was not, as Herr Max Hecker rather absurdly suggests, Wolfgang's
See also:jealousy of his grandfather's oppressive fame, but one far more simple and natural .
From one cause or another, principally Ottilie von Goethe's extravagance, the
See also:family was in very straitened circumstances; and the brothers, being thoroughly unbusinesslike, believed themselves to be poorer than they really were.' They closed the Goethehaus and the archives, because to have opened them would have needed an army of attendants.2 If they deserve any blame it is for the
See also:pride, natural to their rank and their generation, which prevented them from charging an entrance
See also:fee, an expedient which would not only have made it possible for them to give access to the house and collections, but would have enabled them to save the fabric from falling into the lamentable state of disrepair in which it was found after their death . In any case, the accusation is ungenerous . With an almost exaggerated P1etdt Goethe's descendants preserved his house untouched, at great inconvenience to themselves, and left it, with all its treasures intact, to the nation . Had they been the selfish misers they are sometimes painted, they could have realized a
See also:fortune by selling its contents . Wolf Goethe (Weimar, 1889) is a sympathetic appreciation by
See also:Otto Mejer, formerly
See also:president of the Lutheran
See also:consistory in Hanover . See also Jenny v . Gerstenbergk, Ottilie von Goethe and ihre Sohne Walther and Wolf (Stuttgart, 19or), and the article on Maximilian Wolfgang von Goethe by Max F . Hecker in Allgem. deutsche Biographie, Bd . 49, Nachtrdge (Leipzig, 1904) . (W . A .
HUGO VAN DER GOES (d. 1482)
HERMANN GOETZ (184o-1876)
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