Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (* 28. August 1749 in Frankfurt/Main as J. W. Goethe; † 22. March 1832 in Weimar; also Goethe) is as poets, theatre leader, scientist, art theoretician and Statesman the most well-known representative that Weimar classical period. As authors of poems, dramas and Prosa - it is considered to works as a most important German poet and as an outstanding personality of the world literature.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

table of contents


origin and youth (1749-1765)

Goethe's father, Johann Caspar Goethe (* 1710; † 1782), lived with its family in a roomy house at the large deer ditch. As Privatier it followed to its inclinations and interests there; thus he dedicated himself to the composition of a material assets cabinet and the collection of paintings.

Goethe's nut/mother Catharina Elizabeth Goethe (* 1731; † 1808) were a born Textor - an old-established Patrizierfamilie. The daughter of the Frankfurt Schult hoisting (here: Chief of the judiciary) had married that at that time with 17 years 38-jährigen advice Goethe. It hadin their childhood to enjoy know no education, however praised because of their warm cordialness and their unverbildeten naive capability. The son wrote later:

Of the father hab' I the Statur,
the life serious leading.
Of the Mütterchen glad nature
and desire toofabulieren.

Except to 7. Decembers 1750 born sister Cornelia Friderike Christian IANA died all other brothers and sisters early. 1758 got sick to Goethe at the sheets (smallpox).

Goethe became common from its father and by private teachers - with its sister andoccasionally with the nut/mother - in all at that time usual technical and several languages (Latin, Greek, French, English and Hebrew) informs. Also it received instruction in dancing, riding and fencing, usual in its circles. He was rather a sample boy asa Raufbold, learned easily, if one play-rubbed its free run left. A durable dislike against history woke extensive Pope history in the library of the father - later it characterized history than „mixing machines from mistake and force “. Its large pleasure was drawing, music against it was not always its thing.

Already early it was interested in the literature, whereby it directed its attention first toward Friedrich God-dear Klopstock and Homer. Very early its enthusiasm for the theatre was waked: in the paternal houseannually a doll theatre was furnished, which fascinated it. Later it, it wrote wished itself to be „at the same time under the Bezauberten and Zauberern “. During the occupation of Frankfurt by French troops 1759 it visited frequently the French theatre in the young yard.1763 experiencedit a concert then 7 years old Mozart. With 14 years it applied for the membership in the virtueful Arkadi society to Phylandria, however because of „dissipation “rejected itself. With 15 years it tändelte with a waitress(?) - which it substantially later gave the name Gretchen - and came into zwielichtige circles. A scandal was turned away and it fled themselves in illness.

To 30. September 1765 it left Frankfurt, over on instruction of the father in Leipzigto take up the study of the rights.

Study and genius time (1765-1775)

Goethe monument in Leipzig

Leipzig (1765-1768)

from 1765 to 1768 studied Goethe in Leipzig „law “; this Sammelsurium of age-old judicial rulings by heart to learn to have, was the opposite of its past training and could itonly push off. He there rather heard the Poetikvorlesung of Christian fear God Gellert and participated in its style exercises in the gentle style of the time. Also it took indication instruction with Adam Friedrich Oeser, to the director of the Leipziger academy. There he learnedantique plastics in gypsum castings and delicate Gemmen know and by Winckelmanns ideas were affected. Leipzig was compared with Frankfurt a loose fair city, one called itself gladly „small Paris “; the old-Frankish kind of the boy worked ridiculously. However are not enough: in fewWeeks developed it to the Stutzer. It fell in love with Käthchen beautiful head and besang this love in cheerful-playful verses in the tradition Rococo. 1770 appeared a first collection of songs - anonymous -, set in music, inPressure (poem cycle Annette).

With a Kupferstecher in the house of the publisher broad head he learned a stinging, woodcut and an erasing. Its rather uncritical admiration many contemporary poets yielded now a conscious turn to Lessing and how/as country. Already in thisIt wrote very much, an opera, a Biblical drama to time over Belsazar; it destroyed nearly everything later. Received however the comedy remained „the jointly guilty ones “.

Auerbachs cellars and the there resident legend of Fausts barrel ride 1525 impressedit so much that it took up late Auerbachs cellars as only concretely existing place to its drama fist I. - Forced a Blutsturz - or it was the pressure, which the father exerted, because the study did not advance - it,to break off and at the end of of August 1768 „as it were as a shipwrecked one “to Frankfurt return.

Goethe's birth house in the large deer ditch

a one and a half-year old recovery time interrupted

by some back cases, whose duration led to a deep detuning with the father, followed Frankfurt/Strasbourg (1768-1770). During that Convalescence it was maintained fürsorglich by the nut/mother and the loved sister. While it bored itself still on the patient camp, it wrote an impudent Kriminalkomödie. A friend of the nut/mother, Susanne of Klettenberg, brought him with pietistischen conceptions of the gentleman guardiansin contact. Thus it was occupied long in detail some months with Mystik, Alchimie and soul research.

In April 1770 the father lost the patience, Goethe left Frankfurt, in order to terminate in Strasbourg its study.

Again however it worried littlearound the dry Repetitorien. In the Elsass it flowered up; hardly it described another landscape later just as affectionately as the warm, far Rhine area. In the Tischgesellschaft of its pension he learned Stilling a life history with the poor Johann Heinrich young -know from the people. Further acquaintances were Lerse and spring. However Herder, which because of an eye operation in Strasbourg, gave crucial suggestions was and which the young man addressed. Herder was the first superior personality, that became acquainted with Goethe;its guidance was merciless. That deseamed the delicate Gemmen and the loved Roman seal as flat copies down and opened for it the eyes for the theatre thunder of a Shakespeare. It made it familiar with at that time the evenly published singing Ossiansand the poetry of the peoples opened for it. Family trees and battles are not important, but and nature of the peoples, visibly in their unverbildeten seal: the old person will, Homer, myths and legends. This holistic beginning came Goethe's kind of thinking nowvery close and impressed it deeply.

In Strasbourg he experienced for the first time old-German architecture (of French gothic he had heard or seen nothing). The impression of the enormous masses, which pile up themselves - „simply and largely “- towards skies, leadsa little later to the inspired writing „of German architecture D. M. Erwini A Steinbach “.

On one of the many trips he came in the village Sesenheim (earlier way of writing: Sessenheim) into a guest-joyful parsonage building and fell in love with Friederike Brion. After some weeks however it made conclusion (spring wrote in this connection of humans „which came and to it as a child the Herze took “) thoughtless. From the Strassburger time poems originate, under it z. B. „Welcomes and parting “, „Sesenheimer of songs “and „Heideröslein “.

He arranged the legal thesis desired by the father with his self-willed ideas in such a way that she was not even accepted to the official censorship. Nevertheless it could receive a license by means of a kind panel discussion - in the friend circle -. Its trainingwas final thereby; one offered a career in the French government service to it. However it rejected. It wanted not to commit itself, but be „an original genius “.

Frankfurt and Darmstadt (1771)

at the end of of August 1771 became Goethe in Frankfurt as Lizenziat certified.It wanted to become active probably in the sense of progressive, human iurisdiction and an human execution. Already with its first processes it proceeded too vigorously, received a Rüge and lost the desire. Thus its lawyer career was terminated after few months,even if the Kanzlei still some years existed. At that time it was located in connection with the Darmstädter yard, where one huldigte the mode of the feeling SAMness; from this circle Johann George fitter ( its later brother-in-law) and Johann Heinrich Merck are to be emphasized. Oftenor moved he - also in the snowstorm - rode from Frankfurt to Darmstadt; its urge into nature was a defiance reaction:Storm and urge.

He pursued also literary plans again; this mark did not have the father anything against it, helped even.Goethe inferred the biography of a noble Wegelagerers from an old book from the time of the farmer wars. It added history - strongly converted - in few weeks to a multicolored picture elbow (it called it in a letter „a Skizzo “). Like already in the childhood it created itself its own stage, met however with it into the heart of its contemporaries; the piece was copied, given to friends. Those were inspired by the history „of the Gottfried of Berlichingenwith the iron hand “. As with the appreciation of old-German architecture it met also hereby a nerve of its time. When Herder criticized the piece (still not at all for the stage meant was), he was abserviert by his pupil. Merckstepped as critical promoters to his place.

Wetzlar (1772) - it could not exist to Frankfurt

(1775) of unpaid cooperation at a literary magazine (given change of fitter and Merck). In May 1772 Goethe went to the completion of the legal training as a junior lawyerto the realm Court of Appeal in Wetzlar. The old-venerable, but completely keep-drew Institut (individual procedures were already pending since over three generations) became at that time one of emperor Joseph II. lively „inspection “(critical evaluation) subjected. Formed one young lawyers, with whom it itselfin the hotel „to the Crown Prince “, was there active, among them a yard advice Johann Christian Kestner met. This described it with the following words: „… here a certain Goethe from Frankfurt arrived, its handlings after Dr. juris, 23 years old, only sonvery rich a father, in order to look around here - this was its father intention - into praxi, which was seinige however, the Homer, to study and others and which its genius, its kind of thinking and his heart it further forOccupations would enter… It has a great many talents, is… humans of a character, possess an extraordinarily lively imagination… Of prejudices freely, he concerns, like it him breaks in, without too bekümmern whether it pleases others… All obligation is it hates… It is bizarr and has in its amounted to… different, which could make it unpleasant. But with children, with woman rooms and many different he is nevertheless probably written down…“. It was this the last neutral characterisation, before Goethe toObject of the admiration became.

In the house of Kestners of fiance Charlotte Buff, mentioned „“, Goethe - like already in Sesenheim - experienced Lotte domestic family life. It fell in love, tändelte and played with the fire. The cheerful-comfortable summer found its endin a serious discussion with Kestner, in which also suicide thoughts can have emerged. Goethe had the following morning already fled to Frankfurt. There it established itself now durably, was however constantly on the way. Its attendance in Koblenz became famousSophie of La Roche, the wife of a Minister of the archbishop of Trier, and its Liebelei with their daughter Maximiliane (later Mrs. Brentano).

Merck pushed („with time on fence, then the diapers dry “), the Götz of Berlichingen into oneTo rework and publish stage version. They brought it out finally in the self publishing house . It became a sensation success (with the consequence of pirated editions and a tide of romances and - plays) and made Goethe with an impact famous. However it paid then alsofor many years debts off.

In exchange of letters with Kestner it experienced vo the Suizid of the legation secretary Karl William Jerusalem. This was for Goethe of the trips to write its novel “suffering the young Werthers “. Therein connected it thoseown experiences with its Angebeteten Charlotte Buff with the fate Jerusalems. In few weeks it wrote from the soul, which had oppressed it, freed itself it „from its drunkennessness, its intoxication”, like its chamber servant and secretary of many years Philipp Seidel remembered. Also this novel became a large success. The consequence was a European-wide value ago hysteria, even suicides after the model Jerusalems was announced. The Götz and that value ago - they are also so different - marked the beginninga new German literature. The ruppige style of the Götz became mode with the poets storm and urge. Goethe however applied from now on as a genius.

The parents' house became however also more serious a lodging for all possible prospective customers, Schmeichler,Friends, under it Klopstock. An abundance of further work developed: Fastnachtspossen in the style of Hans Sachs, the farce „Gods, heroes and how/as country “, „the fair celebration to Plundersweilern “, it made itself over the greenhouse of the Sentimentalität, the DarmstädterNaturschwärmer merrily. Besides plans are to dramas over important shapes of history: Mohammed („Mahomet “), Sokrates, Cäsar, Prometheus, Christ, the eternal Jew Ahasver… All this ingenious Fetzen remained fragments. However it continued to treat a material taken up at that time later:„the fist “. The drama was completed „Clavigo “, in which it treated the conflict of talent and a character with feeling (the suggestion to this material came from Beaumarchais.). Its time varied undetermined between Sentimentalität and stormand urge, between classicism and romance beginning. In similar way the leading actor varies 1775 in its piece of stage „Stella, a play for loving “undecided between two women; the action flows into a double marriage.

1774 it undertook a Lahn journeywith its friends Basedow and Lavater after honour broad stone. In December 1774 a major von Knebel obtained the acquaintance with the hereditary prince Carl-August von Sachsen-Weimar, who was on the way to its Kavaliersreise to Paris. In the same winter he learnedElizabeth beautiful man (lily), daughter from Frankfurt banker houses, know. It described as attractive, life-merry Blondine, at the same time however self-confidently, finely and seriously. This young woman captivated it; it became a verzehrende passion. Lily was not harmless „Äbtissin “like its farPen friend Augusts von Stolberg or already bind like Lotte in Wetzlar. In its late biographic notes only the sequence of words is „seduction to adventure with lily - introduction - - one experiences open brook”, in its poem “Lilis park”but relatively unencrypted, which had to mean this. It came, despite the family obstacles, to the formal engagement, which had however only a half year existence.

Before it became serious, it fled again once: together with the brothers it undertook Stolberg- in value ago uniform - a journey to Switzerland (May to July 1775), the country of the genuine customs, the honest land people. Lavaters patriarchalischer household in Zurich quite corresponded to this conception. There it visited also the old Johann Jakob Bodmer,from which he did not know that decades ago had tried to publish the Nibelungenlied. With the young Passavant it continued to travel to to the God hard passport. Desired Italy lay before it - it however turned around. He forgot lily against ittime life never and it perpetuated directly in two of its works: as main figure in Stella and as Dorothea.

Again in Frankfurt however Goethe of Karl August (now duke of Saxonia Weimar) was visited, that in him a suitable advisor for its government activitysaw. It invited it to come as its „favorite “to Weimar. The realm-urban gesinnte father was against it and guessed/advised to a journey to Italy. It was already on the way there; in Heidelberg the weimarische Kutsche caught up itand Goethe gave a completely new idiom to his life. With this travel from Heidelberg after Weimar its life memories “seal and truth “break off.

Weimar (1775-1832)

Goethe's house in Weimar

Ministers in Weimar (1776-1786)

to 7. November 1775 metit in Weimar (at that time with iron oh, Jena, new city and the office Ilmenau), one of the many duo December principalities in the realm, become impoverished. The first months were filled with celebrations, desire barnesses and madnesses of all kinds; in the spring 1776 it began,to participate in individual meetings of the Conseils (informal). In June he was appointed the secret Legationsrat with seat and voice in this Council of Ministers, against the resistance of the yard, the Minister and an official. But early had Goethe allied found in how/as country andthe duchess nut/mother Anna Amalie; with the young duke it was anyway soon very intimate.

He lived six years in his “summer-house “, which actual the duke made for him the gift. The rented it 1782 then a generous houseat the woman plan, which he gave him finally 1792. Here Goethe up to its death lived.

Karl August clamped it into the government work; at the same time a woman took it into the breed. In the following years he learned the Ländchen upmany migrations and Ausritten to horses know, it took over different offices: Line of the war commission, director of the construction of roads, director/conductor of the financial administration, occasionally also Kultusfragen. Actually he was director/conductor of the cabinet (Prime Minister). In addition it was responsible for the wrecked marriage of the pair of dukes;Luise (it could do it from Darmstadt) was frigide like its own sister Cornelia, the duke the opposite. Goethe had to constantly smooth and animate.

Between them (1777) it fled for two months into the resin. In the office Ilmenau it stöberte an oldMining industry up and dreamed about silver treasures, with which one could repair the financial need. These mining industry plans sagged soon in old legal claims and water break-downs, left however their traces (in the second part fist). And geology became its secret love. 1779it undertook a second Switzerland journey, in order to take up to Berne a loan for the indebted principality. On the way there it visited the nut/mother in Frankfurt and in the Elsass the Verflossenen lily and Friederike. 1783 followed the second journey inthe resin, in the year the third and last resin stay following on it. 1785 it undertook a first journey after Karl bath, which still many should follow.

After its arrival Goethe had made the acquaintance of the yard lady Charlotte of stone short. With Schillers words: „. .eine trueful own, interesting person, from whom I understand that Goethe attachiert himself so completely to her. healthy understanding, feeling and truth lie in their nature. One says that its handling completely purely and irreproachably itsis.“Mr. von Stein was not usually officially on the way and disturbed. This woman taught and even working to the genius chap the storm and urge time manners; it became a dramatic change of its personality: of the endless I to the disciplined person. Tothere rooting without form had been its desire (and its strength); from now on it concerned to it shape and figuration. No more the stormy languageenormous representation of passions, landscapes and Wolkenflug, but calm thinking about large connections thatCreation became intending for its work. Whether it actually lived with this cool woman in savages marriage, remains undecided. As it it after ten years - almost wordless - left, was it used up and forbidding third.

In these years it began,to concern itself intensively with biology, particularly with anatomy and of the forms in animal and plant world. 1784 he discovered the Zwischenkieferknochen (OS intermaxillare) at the human head. According to dominant opinion it should occur only with animals. Goethe,the one „„suspecting “more exactly than all different, and had success looked, saw secret “relationship between animal and humans.

Already early (autumn 1776) it had ensured that Herder became to appoint as Generalsuperintendent after Weimar. Its thoughts about an organicApproximated development of natural history its conceptions much. The old friendship was revived, this time however on same level; the old friends Merck and Lavater against it had to yield. 1780 it became as an apprentice into those Weimar Freimaurerloge Anna Amalia toothe three roses taken up (however soon to close had). In April 1782 the duke procured finally from the emperor the aristocracy diploma to him, so that he did not have to sit at official opportunities longer in the offside. 1783 followed the admission in the Illuminatenorden underthe name „Abaris “.

Apart from innumerable casual labours (masquerades, elevators, Redouten, Singspielen and opportunity poems, usually intended for performances in the desire locks the herzoglichen yard) it wrote essentially only „Iphigenia on Tauris “, a Prosastück, that the contrastto his life represents. Regierungsgeschäfte, the strange relationship with Charlotte, at the same time a half affair with the attractive Corona Schröter - this life was neither noble nor quiet. The figures in the Iphigenie against it (even the barbarian prince) are undramatisch andhuman. To the large beginnings bring along from Frankfurt (“Egmont “,” fist “,” the eternal Jew “) he did not dare himself. But it began 1778 the education novelWilliam master “, also it began a quiet chamber play forfive persons: „Torquato Tasso “. After shining successes of the youth further successes remained malfunctioned for it. It gave two unauthorized „total expenditure “(vulgo pirated editions), but otherwise it public and publisher had copied.

1786 appeared ever more clearly thatGoethe was disappointed by its life circumstances: the relationship with Mrs. von Stein became uncomfortable, its government work had no improvement of conditions the consequence and took to it Kraft and Zeit to own production. As finally the pair of dukes the long-longed successor to the throne bornwas, its role of mediator was final, it could of the current Regierungsgeschäften be given time off and cleared up under mountains of manuscripts and letters. He prepared a new period of life; again one „Häutung “as a reptile, like it it later repeatedformulated.

Goethe in Italy at the beginning of of September 1786

he stole himself from lives

in Italy (1786-1788) of it (Mrs. von Stein was not allowed to know anything of it, in Weimar was only its servant/secretary Philipp Seidel its destination well-known), on fastest way over Regensburg, Munich, Innsbruck and the burner over the Gardasee and Verona after Venice.

The goal however was Rome. There an artist colony existed, in which it furnished itself. (One the painter - Heinrich table-leg - procured to him with Lohnkuta simple accomodation.) which followed, was not the Italian journey, as one said later, but for two years a life in Italy - free and free (its content kept running). Here it felt at home, it lived themselves, loved, drew,modelled and painted. Wrote it few in this time („the Iphigenie “in verse form and fell through, as he was brought her to his friends read out).Heinrich Meyer, a Swiss painter, who was been versed in history of art, became its trusted friend andAdvisor - to on both end of life.

It could be inspired as artists of the Monumentalität of the antique buildings (Pantheon, Kolosseum, emperor hot springs and. A.) and studied antique sculptures (Apoll of the Belvedere, Herkules Farnese, Juno Ludovisi and. A.). Beyond that it employedintensively with the Italian Renaissance painting and above all Raffael admired itself as the summit of the abendländischen art and protects Erneuerer of the antique ones beside Michelangelo. After a half year it traveled after Neapel, where it the acquaintance of Sir WilliamHamilton (collected old-Greek vases) and its circle made, and continued to drive to Sicilies. In Paestum he saw a old-Greek temple and was affected by its force; in Palermo believed he, the prototype of all plants („Urpflanze “) seento have. In the middle of 1787 it returned to Rome. Now it took the work on „the Torquato Tasso “and completed „the Egmont “. It operated in this time frequently in the house of Angelika Kauffmann. In the same year(1787) developed also the famous painting of table-leg, which shows Goethe as a traveler in the Roman Campagna.

Slowly however he prepared after return Weimar. The friendship Karl August vacated all difficulties from the way; in Weimar it wanted onlystill another guest its; „… which I am, become otherwise you to judge and to use” it wrote its duke. Thus it came also. In its letters and diary entries, also in its report on a journey a word hardly is over the love in Rome.We do not have a reliable message of its true loving, which it called in poems „Faustina “. Was it a Mailänderin or a poor Kutscherstochter from Rome? Safe it is only that it became more sinnlicher in Italy - also in the poems, thoseit home sent. After he had along-celebrated again the Roman Karneval and had taken up the ceremonies of the Osterwoche to itself, he made himself at the end of of April 1788 on the way home.

Weimar from 1788 on

the returning home however could not itselffeel quite domestic in the close Weimar; the conditions did not want to fit its Italian memories („from Italy the form-rich, I was rejected into formless Germany,… the friends, instead of me to trösten,… brought me to the despair“ 1817). In this time he found humans, whom he needed:Christiane Vulpius, 23 years old, simply and ungebildet, but the livelier. He ordered it into his summer-house, soon was her its loving - perhaps because her thatwas similar to Roman loving. In this time it wrote „the Roman Elegien “, its easiest and merriest verses. The relationship led already in July 1788 to a “conscience marriage” (soon the half family came into its household). In December 1789them the son was born August, only survivors the child. The break with Mrs. von Stein, who followed, was final; the smallurban of Weimar society - shocks by the Sinnlichkeit of the Roman Elegien - disapproved all of this (he found understanding howeverwith the otherwise so strict Herder). Goethe, who suffered also from health problems, withdrew himself more and more. Not only physically it became rigidly, also mental.

The signs for a circulation had in accordance with-honoured themselves; not only in North America, alsoin a contemplative city in Switzerland (safety committee 1782 in Geneva) and citizen had revolted elsewhere against the authority. However Goethe hated revolutions - in world history just like in geology. As he would have suspected that revolutions inStood for house, used he the opportunity to barricade itself as in a Bastille. It was added that the public did not want to resign itself to the fact that from the poet of the Götz and value ago that the Iphigenie and the Tasso becomewas. In it also the comedies could changethe large Cophta “,the citizen general “and the again worked on „Reineke fox “, a bitter satire, in their end the gewissenlose plotter triumphiert, for nothing. Goethe “was between William HeinsesArdinghello and Schillers robber gotten jammed ". A first total expenditure authorized by him („Goethe's writings “with ) remained lying, those remainders was dissipated. A second journey to Italy in the year 1790 - this mark however only to Venice -ended with a disappointment. The dichterische result were „the Veneziani Epigramme “, naturkundliche its conviction that the head from the eddies had developed. Its research flowed in „the metamorphosis of the plants “; in this essay putit 1790 its conceptions of organic development, which should become so important for the theoreticians of the romance. First however the public did not have any understanding for it. Goethe igelte himself, the attempt of one „comparative bone teachings “should only 30Years later follow.

1791 he took over the line of the yard theatre, Christiane became its Personalberaterin; she could mediate with her obliging/pleasing kind and care for the actors. Their society lady took over occasionally the role of a Nebengeliebten - Goethe led a menage à troisas it described it at the conclusionof the Stella “. 1792 it participated as a companion of its military-inspired duke in the campaign in France and experienced the total failure of the conservative coalition and the emigrants. 1793 participated it,when in Mainz the first republic on German soil was besieged, and chromatics wrote apparently unaffected “at its „. One day in Valmy and one in the destroyed Mainz were it symbols for confusions of world history. In October 1793it pulled to Jena into a small bachelor dwelling, because with the university a Botani garden should be furnished. While it worried about the university in Jena, it left its Partnerin and the Söhnchen for months alone (the annual bath journeys afterKarl bath were still added).

Weimar/Jena (1794 FF.)

in July 1787 (thus during Goethe's stay in Italy) had Weimar come Friedrich Schiller to, two years later had it - on recommendation of Goethe a Professur at the University of Jena receive.Goethe had left its storm and urge phase long behind itself, contradicted the idealism of the Weltverbesserers Schiller its own historical understanding. Thus it only 1794 - on initiative Schillers - came to an approximation: Schiller offered itself as a leader, Goethe accepted.Because it knew well, as much it in addition bent, only spielerisch to be floated to be able. Thus the oft-quoted Vierergespann (Goethe & Schiller & Herder & Wieland) was complete. While the holy Roman realm of German nation went finally into the breaks(Congress of prince too restcorrode 1797), the two dreamed about a realm of the poets and philosophers. Schiller wrote its most important dramas, Goethe completed 1795 „to William of master Lehrjahre “, a fantastic picture elbow, into which an education novel is merged. Just as darkly and(and thus already part of the German romance) „the fairy tale is ambiguous “, which developed in this time. At the same time however it produced „the Xenien “, a refined public and colleague insult in short verses together with Schiller. Those togetherpublished magazine „hearing “became a failure. Into this time also the fruitful exchange of ideas with Johann fell God-dear spruce and the brothers Alexander and William of Humboldt; also they were active in Jena. For some years was the small duchy the mental center of Germany. In Jena also the Goethe cult began, with which first Caroline Schlegel out-did .

With „Hermann and Dorothea “developed one punish civil idyl; it remained one of the few larger works, which itnot always again reworked and extended. It arrived good at the public; its poetic Kraft renewed itself, it developed „the maintenances of German emigrating “as well as a number of its most beautiful Balladen. Some time stressed the translation of the autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, the Epen „Tell “and „Achilleis “against it came over the project stage not outside, the drama „the natural daughter “remained unfinished.

Kant's theory of knowledge fascinated it in this time. Whose thesis, we could do thoseThes subject of philosophy objectively do not recognize, but think only about our perception, came against its world view („now however for the first time a theory me seemed anzulächlen “). In this sense „chromatics is not “a scientific work, but oneTheory of the perception; he saw it also rather as a poetic representation and not as conceptual discussion on not to physics, but Metaphysik. In Goethe's eyes the constant change of the things opposes each definition instare to terms (to that extent was not it Kantianer). To dismember and analyze abhorred he; it opened itself, as „a knight “„the color princess “to release from the experimentation chambers of the scientists as a result Isaac Newton. To it could also of George the ChristophLichtenberg offered assistance nothing change. Already in Leipzig it had written over a colored playing spirit level:

There have I it, there have I it!
And now consideration I it exactly
and seh' - a sadly dark blue.
Thus it goesYou, Zergliedrer of your joys!

It locked chromatics only 1808, concerned themselves however still few weeks before its death with sub-problems. Despite constant pushing on the part of Schillers it did not advance with the work to „fist “. Death Schillersin the year 1805 it felt as large loss; now only Goethe felt, how much that one had meant him despite all world-descriptive differences. At the same time different diseases (face rose, kidney colic attacks) added to it seriously.

Weimar - wartime

not only the loss of the going away, alsothe approaching war meant a deep interference into its life. In the spirit it saw pulling itself with its duke begging and asylum-searching by Germany (it called its inclination to pessimism its “black side”). It did not come so far. Afterthe battle with Jena napoleonische soldiers plünderten also Weimar (the dwelling of Mrs. von Stein about was completely expenditure-robbed). Only to the stout-heartet intervention of its Partnerin it was to be owed that in the house at the woman Mrs. no damage to lives and propertydeveloped. Short time on it it legalisierte finally the relationship with Christiane Vulpius (witnesses at the marriage were the duke and their son August).

This did not prevent it, already 1807 a deep inclination for Minna heart-dear, the 18-jährige care daughter of the bookseller Frommannin Jena to develop. When the novel „choice relative shanks “regarded aftereffect of the internal experiences of this time, a quiet tragedy, in which the love is seen as life-destructive nature power. It was its last novel (1809). Characteristically of Goetheis, as it linked poetry and nature research in this work: in contemporary chemistry one used the term „of the choice relationship “of the elements. Goethe processed here - in his way - at the same time his early alchimistischen experiences and those racing fast developmentthe modern chemistry research. It would have been gladly the all-comprehensive universal genius, had to paint however before „the millionfold Hydra the experience “the sails. The abundance of the material was not to be seized no more.

It nevertheless prepared a new total expenditure starting from 1806its works (with Cotta in Stuttgart) forwards; for this it locked also finally the first part „fist “. In this seal it presented itself, not only in the figure fist, - a universal genius -for the stars to reach wants and to ground connection weight remains gebannt nevertheless always; likewise it presented itself in the Mephisto , which shows Goethe's dämonisch black side (and quite nevertheless in parts pleasantly works, funny and impudently like the young Goethe).

ToEdge of the Erfurter of congress of prince 1808 Goethe von Napoléon I. became. received, which lent and suggested the cross of the Ehrenlegion to it coming to Paris and writing there large pieces of hero. Whether the poet „of the dämonischen size seized Napoleons and“was embarrassed (like it one accused later), must remain open. Anyhow it went neither to Paris nor became it a friend of the developing patriotic movement.

After it had gotten over the diseases, it became again slim and mobile. it began 1809with an autobiography; one year later saw, very complex equipped, chromatics the light of the public (those for this however no thanks knew). The going away the older generation it had survived, the MUSE yard the Anna Amalia existed only in thatMemory; Goethe broke on to new banks. It constantly took up education formation from all sides to itself, in order to process it. It researched in the literatures of the foreign country and all ages. Straight one as the peoples itself against the French foreign ruleraised, „“he fled into approaching Orient: it began the study of the Arab one and Persian one, read in the Koran and verses of the Persian poet Hafis. Bettina Brentano emerged in Weimar, their importunateness solved a scandal strong in the literal senseout. Bettinas nevertheless helped memories of its youth, which had bring along them from its nut/mother, with the continuation of the biography „from my life seal and truth “. Those again found later numerous enters afterwards, under others in the “annals “and in the “Italian journey from 1786 to 1788 “. As secretary became it Friedrich Riemer soon (since 1803 educators of its son) indispensably, with Karl Friedrich Zelter, whose music sounded more pleasant to its ears than „the din “ Beethovens,it began an expanded exchange of letters.

1814 traveled Goethe to the Rhine and Main areas. In Frankfurt he became acquainted with Partnerin Marianne young in the house of the banker of Willemer its. Goethe was not 65 years, felt however by any means too old andan affair began. Marianne became gladly the Partnerin in a play with the youth and the love. Goethe fled, however in the following year returned - a last mark saw it the homeland. Four years long should it still thoseVerses of nightingale and rose, wine and love inflows, until it locked „the westeastern Divan “. Only as an old lady revealed Marianne (now it married from Willemer) that a large part of the dear poems in this collection came from it.It was the only Partnerin, which equaled it at dichterischer Kraft.

Older in Weimar

1816 his Mrs. Christiane died after long illness. 1817 it became finally the line of the yard theatre loosely, the daughter-in-law worried from now on about its well-being. Thatsmall duchy had come out - against its fears - without prejudice to from confusions of the napoleonischen wars, Karl August was allowed to call itself even „royal sovereignty “. While it burned elsewhere in the heads of the students in Jena and, Goethe made order inits papers. Now it began „the history of its botanischen study “„magazine to the natural science at all, particularly to the morphology “(until 1824). (Here is also the representation of the morphology of the plants in form of a Elegie, thosehe had already written around 1790 for his loving.)

the old gentleman closed friendship with Karl Friedrich pure hard, Kaspar Maria von Sternberg; Johann Peter Eckermann came as a successor to Riemers Weimar. Occasionally it became unlustig and mystisch and„the Orphi Urworte wrote “,” the Italian journey “regenerated it. 1821 followed „William of master moving years “, in the reason an accumulation of small novellas. Goethe selected now Marienbad as health resort, where he a Mrs. von Levetzow alsotheir daughters met.

1823 became it seriously; the year began with a heart bag inflammation. After he had recovered from it, he became mentally more alive than before. Also and tändelte he dreamed again; the Greis held in all seriousness around the hand for that19jährigen Ulrike of Levetzow on. However knows it off; on the home journey it was written the disappointment with „the Marienbader Elegie “from the soul.

Then it became ever quieter and evening-more peaceful in it as around it. Alwaysmore einsiedlerischer it lived its days, “all time busily to use the forces which had still remained…”. It took the work on the “second part fist “. It wrote hardly more, was usually dictated. So it could do not only master an extensive exchange of letters, but also its last valid words in discussions drawing back far entrust to the Adlatus Eckermann - establish themselves in such a way and with alive body a monument. his sponsor Karl August separated 1828, 1830 had it thatDeath of the son in Rome accept. In this year it locked the work on the second part fist. It was work, (for many years) was the most important at which it, formally a piece of stage, actually hardly on thatStage playable, rather a fantastic picture elbow, ambiguously like many of its seals since the turn of the century. Finally still Georges Cuvier and Etienne Geoffroy Saint Hilaire in geology and development teachings switched itself still employed it just like into the controversy of the two paleontologiststhe rainbow, which he had never been able to explain by means of his chromatics.

In dem Goethehäuschen auf dem Kickelhahn bei Ilmenau schrieb Goethe 1780 sein Gedicht „Wanderers Nachtlied“
In the Goethe little house on the Kickelhahn with Ilmenau Goethe wrote 1780 his poem „Wanderers night song “

short before its last birthday mounted Goethe, as he in Ilmenau to attendancewas, the Kickelhahn, where he had written once his well-known night song (“over all summits is rests'… “) the wall of a hunt hut. Deeply moved it overlooked the poem, the last words: „Control room only, balde you rest also!"loud for repeating itself.

Goethe died to 22. March 1832 at a pneumonia. Its famous last words are to have read „more lights! “. It became to 26. March in bestattet closely. Its grave speech held Johann Friedrich roars, Generalsuperintendent in Weimar.

Single aspects of the life

Goethedenkmal am Ilmenauer Marktplatz
Goethe monument at the Ilmenauer market place

Goethe is a fascinating personality. Reason for it is above all its multiformity: This shows up in many aspects, which become lighter mutually. Each of these aspects often leaves itselfThrough decades and forms to a certain extent its own Biografie pursues.

Two special aspects are its relations with women - and its diseases. Whereby these two aspects are in as much opposite each other as women mark frequently the points of origin of a development of Goethe's lives- a new chapter is broken open -, while (partial heavy) the illnesses mark frequently terminator point, conclusion, in addition, escape.

Love, sweethearts and Liebeleien: Goethe and the Mrs.

Anna Katharina beautiful head (also „Käthchen “and „Annette “) (1746-1810): Daughter of the tin caster Christian God-dearBeautiful head, at whose family Goethe took the midday table during its Leipziger study time.

There he becomes acquainted with 1766 the three years older Käthchen and falls in love with her; a love, which energizes it for the production of playful lyric poetry in styles the Rococo(among other things the so-called Annettenlieder). In the spring 1768 the relationship is solved, which - because of Goethe's extreme jealousy - suffered from the outset from loads.

While the piece the mood of the fallen in love one develops for the time of the relationship.In thisShepherd play is healed a jealous lover by its jealousy, when it recognizes that also it can be unfaithful.

Also after the end of the relationship Goethe wrote still some time quite galante - letters at Anna Katharina. This married then 1770 the respectable lawyer Dr. Karl can, which became a late vice-mayor of Leipzig.

Further women, whose relationship admits to Goethe is, are

Goethe's friends

Goethe servant

of Goethe „adversary “


  • 1758: Goethe at the sheets (smallpox), the scar traces of the illness remain gotten sick for him in the age
  • 1768: During the LeipzigerStudy time comes it to a lethal illness (neck tumefaction and Blutsturz, probably from a tuberkulösen Kaverne), which was possibly expression of a mental crisis. Goethe returns to Frankfurt. Follows a one and a half-year old recovery phase, which is interrupted by back cases and depressions.
  • 1801: It gets sick with a face rose
  • 1805: Kidney-stone-suffer with frequent colic attacks
  • 1823: First cardiac infarct and heart bag inflammation
  • 1830: Renewed Blutsturz
  • 1832: Renewed cardiac infarct with cardiogenic shock and pulmonary edema

of single aspects of the work

scientific one work

Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Die Solfatara von Pozzuoli (1787)
Johann Wolfgang Goethe, thoseSolfatara of Pozzuoli (1787)

in that Weimar time began to be occupied Goethe also scientifically, particularly in the area of geology and Botanik. Particularly in Italy it looked for its „Urpflanze “. Its scientific beginning as Botaniker: Everything is sheet and by this simplicity the largest diversity possible seems disproved today however scientifically. He regarded chromatics as his scientific Hauptwerk. From physical view its chromatics applies today as a little scientific; straight to this workhave themselves however the most important physicists 20. Century expressed. In the Zoologie became it admits by the discovery the Zwischenkieferknochens with humans embryo, its absence up to this time one of the most important arguments against the relationship of humanswith the apes was.

To the scientific late works of Goethe the spiral tendency of the vegetation ( 1831) belongs, in which it points out that alive tends to unfold in spirals.

Those received more attention than the single results in Goethe's scientific work thatNature studies at the basis lying science methodology (Goethe anise mash), which itself, differently than the nature philosophy of the romance, than empirically (not speculatively) understands and in contrast to the positivistic Empirismus humans not as an external observer, but as within the observed one andas to this belonging treats.


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and his Mrs. Christiane had five children. Except August, the oldest, all were born dead or died early. August had three children: Roll ago Wolfgang (* 9. April 1818), Wolfgang Maximilian (* 18. September 1820) and Alma Sedina of Goethe (* 29. October 1827). August died two years in former times as Goethe in Rome. His Mrs. Ottilie von Goethe bore a further after his death (not ofAugust coming) child named Anna Sibylle, which died after one year. Alma died to 29. September 1844 with scarcely 17 years, Wolfgang died to 20. January 1883 and roll ago to 15. April 1885. All were unmarried, and so diedthe direct descendants of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1885 out. Wolfgang and Walther, who became 1859 baron, bequeathed the deduction of the Grand Duchess Sophie and the state Saxonia Weimar iron oh.

Friedrich George (* 1657) (further 8 younger brothers and sisters) | Johann Kaspar G. +Katharina Elizabeth Textor ______________|_______________________ | | |Johann Wolfgang          Cornelia*    further early dying  + Christiane Vulpius         |          |_______________           |               |       August        four early dying  + Ottilie of Pogwisch          |_______________________________          |                |              |       Roll ago         Wolfgang         Alma

(*) Cornelia had two daughters:Luise Maria Anna (1774-1811) and Julie (1777-1793; only 16 years). Luise had nine children with Ludwig Nicolovius. Four of it had early died or childless. The other five children had numerous descendants, about which today still some live.



Goethe statue by Christian Daniel smoke (1820)

major item: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Rezeption

How no different one became Goethe already lifetimes than unequalled and unattainable summit of German seal representative, to which its own occurrence at the age contributed certainly.

Goethe is one of the most famous authors of the world literature. Its works belong in many countries to the firmA component of literature instruction and were often toned and filmed.

The changing pictures, which developed in the course of the time of Goethe, illustrate the cultural, sociological and mental development of the society. To history therefore also the Goethe celebrations and Goethe anniversaries belong to the Rezeption,those were scientifically examined.


individual outputs during lifetimes (first editions)

was one of the special characteristics of Goethe to subject seals begun often year to let sometimes decades lie works substantial re-writings already printed and some completion only after long time into give the pressure.

A chronological list of the works is to that extent difficult therefore to provide, since the period of the treatment corresponds frequently unclearly, the year of the Erstdrucks however often not with the dichterischen development of Goethe. The following list orients itselfin the case of doubt on (supposed) the time of the emergence.

Büste remindedat Goethe's attendance in Malcesine at the Gardasee
  • to chromatics (wiss. ), 1810 from
  • my life seal and truth ( auto+biographic seal, 4 Bde.), 1811-33 of
  • the singer one told much to paper (freimaurerisches poem to the thanks of the singer), 1815
  • if the dearest one toAnswers (freimaurerisches poem to the discretion), 1816
  • Italian journey, 1816/17
  • the good women, 1817
  • over art and antiquity (6 Bde., together with Johann Heinrich Meyer), to 1816-32
  • westeastern Divan (poems), 1819
  • introduction to the mourning speeches (freimaurerische mourning speech for dying of theMaster spoken by the chair Ridel),
  • 1821 campaign in France (report),
  • 1822 speech for the fraternal memory of how/as country (freimaurerische mourning speech), of Goethe to 18. February 1830
  • worthy brother celebrations: „Fifty years are past “ (poetic thanks for an honour document of its fifty-year old bricklayer anniversary), 1830
  • Fist II. (2. Part fist), 1833 (posthum published)
  • maxims and reflections, 1833 (posthum published)


  • Karl Eibl, Fotis Jannidis and Marianne wanting Ems (Hrsg.): The young Goethe in its time. 2 Bde. with (Windows) a CD-ROM, 1998.


  • {{#if:
| | * Literature of and over Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the catalog of the DDB


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