Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: biography, photos, works, quotes

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German poet,a classic of world literature. Born in Frankfurt am Main, an ancient German city, on August 28, 1749. He died at the age of 83 years, on March 22, 1832, in the city of Weimar.

Goethe's father, Johann Caspar Goethe, well-offThe German burgher served as an imperial adviser. Mother, the daughter of the senior policeman, - Katarina Elizabeth Goethe, in the girlhood of the Textor. In 1750, Johann Goethe had a sister, Cornelia. Subsequently, the parents had several more children, but, unfortunately, they all died in infancy.

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von: brief biography

A cozy atmosphere, a mother's affectionate attitudeDiscovered a world of fantasy for a young child. Due to the family's prosperity, the atmosphere of fun always prevailed in the house, there were many games, songs, fairy tales that allowed the child to develop in all senses. Under the strict supervision of his father, at the age of eight, Goethe wrote German and Latin arguments on moral teaching. Carried away by the beauty of nature, he even tried to evoke a fantastic deity who dominates the elements.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

When the French occupation ended, whichlasted more than two years, Frankfurt seemed to wake up after a long hibernation. The townspeople showed interest in the theatrical stage, this affected the small Johann: he tried to write tragedies in French stylistics.

In the house von Goethe had a good library, witha large number of books in different languages, which enabled the future writer to get to know literature in early childhood. He read in the original Virgil, met "Metamorphosis" and "Iliad." Goethe studied several languages. In addition to his native German, he spoke fluent French, Italian, Greek and Latin. He also took dance lessons, practiced fencing and horse riding. A gifted young man, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, whose biography is very confused, has made progress not only in literature but also in jurisprudence.

He studied at the University of Leipzig, graduatedStrasbourg University, defended his thesis by right. But the legal field did not attract him, he was much more interested in medicine, later he started osteology and anatomy.

Johann Goethe

First love and first creativity

In 1772, Goethe was sent to practicejurisprudence in Wetzlar, where he was to study the judicial activities of the Roman Empire. There he met Charlotte Buff, the bride of I. Kestner, secretary of the Hanover Embassy. Wolf fell in love with the girl, but realized the senselessness of his torment and left the city, leaving a lover letter. Soon, from a letter to Kestner, Goethe found out that he had shot himself by F.Ieruzalem, who also was in love with Charlotte Buff.

Goethe was greatly shocked by what had happened, hetoo, there were thoughts of suicide. From the state of depression he got a new passion, he fell in love with the daughter of his friend, Maximilian Brentano, who was married. Goethe made great efforts to overcome this feeling. This is how the "Sorrows of the Young Werther" were born.

While studying at the University of Leipzig, heMet with Katchen Schoenkopf and passionately fell in love. To win the attention of the girl, he begins to write funny poems about her. This occupation fascinated him, he began to imitate the poems of other poets. For example, his comic work Die Mitschuldigen, among the poems of Höllenfahrt Christi, gives the spirit of Cramer. Johann Wolfgang Goethe continues to improve his work, writes in the style of rococo, but his style is barely visible.


A turning point in the work of Goethe isConsider his acquaintance and friendship with Garder. It was Garder that influenced Goethe's attitude to culture and poetry. In Strasbourg, Wolfgang Goethe acquainted with the beginning writers Wagner and Lenz. He is interested in folk verses. With pleasure he reads Ossian, Shakespeare, Homer. Going into law practice, Goethe continues to work hard and in the literary field.


In 1775, Goethe met the Duke of Weimar,crown prince of Saxony Karl Augustus. In the autumn of the same year, he moved to Weimar, where he later spent most of his life. In the first years of his life in Weimar he takes an active part in the development of the duchy. He took the lead in the military collegium, road construction. At the same time he wrote the drama "Iphigenia in Tauris" and the play "Egmont", begins to work on "Faust". Among the works of that time, one can also note his ballads and "Poems to Lida."

During the Great French Revolution andThe Franco-Prussian War, Goethe somewhat withdrew from literature, his interest was taken by natural science. He even made a discovery in anatomy in 1784, revealing an intermaxillary bone from a man.

Works of Goethe

The influence of Schiller

From 1786 to 1788, Goethe traveled through Italy,which was reflected in his work as an era of classicism. Returning to Weimar, he moved away from court affairs. But Goethe did not come to a settled life, he often went on trips. Visited Venice, the Duke of Weimar visited Breslau, took part in a military campaign against Napoleon. In 1794 he met Friedrich Schiller, helped him in the publication of the magazine "Ory." Their communication and joint discussion of the plans gave Goethe a new creative impetus, so their joint work appeared Xenien, published in 1796.

Ties of marriage or another romance

At the same time, Goethe began to live with a young girl,who worked in the flower shop, Christian Wilpius. The whole public of Weimar was shocked, relations outside marriage at that time were something out of the ordinary. Only in October 1806, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe married his lover. His wife, Christian Wulpius, had already given birth to several children at that time, but all but Augustus, the first son of Goethe, had died. Augustus and his wife Otilia had three children, but none of them married, so the genus of Goethe was interrupted in 1831, when his son Augustus died in Rome.

The first significant works of Goethe can be attributed to1773 year. His drama Gottfried von Berlichingen mit der eisernen Hand made an indelible impression on his contemporaries. In this work, Goethe presented in an unexpected foreshortening the image of a fighter for social equality and justice, a rather typical image in the literature of that time. The hero of the work, Gets von Berlichingen, is a knight dissatisfied with the state of affairs in the country. Therefore, he decides to raise the insurrection of the peasants, but when the matter has taken a serious turn, he deviates from it. The rule of law is established, the revolutionary movements described in the drama as self-will and chaos turned out to be powerless. Final act: the hero finds freedom in death, his last words: "Farewell, dear! My roots are cut off, my strength is left behind. Oh, what a heavenly air! Freedom, freedom! "

The reason for writing a new work"Selective affinity" was the new hobby of Goethe - Minna Herzlib. Experiencing another downturn, he went to Carlsbad, where he began to write a novel. The name he borrowed from chemistry, the term means the phenomenon of accidental attraction. Goethe showed that the action of natural laws is acceptable not only in chemistry, but also in human relations, or rather, in love. In everyday life, everything has its own symbolic meaning, and in the novel, profound philosophical reflections are combined with the simplicity of everyday life.

Biography of Goethe

Creativity of Goethe

The drama "Iphigenia" feels a strong influenceHomer. Orestes, the brother of Iphigenia, and his friend Pilad arrive in Tavrida. In Orest you can see the similarities with Goethe himself. Embattled by anxiety, driven by ominous furies, who saw in the Olympians hostile creatures, Orestes hopes to find peace in the arms of death. Iphigenia, in order to save his brother and his friend sentenced to death, gives his fate in the hands of King Taurida Toan. By her sacrifice, she redeems the curse imposed on Tantalus and his descendants for self-will. She also heals her brother by her act, as if she renews, calms his soul. As a result, Orestes acts as Iphigenia, renouncing his destiny.

Perfect creation

In 1774 Johann Wolfgang Goethe wrote a novel inletters "The Sorrows of a Young Werther". Many people consider this creation to be the most perfect, which gave the author worldwide fame and glory. This work describes the confrontation between the world and man, suddenly evolved into a love story. Werther is a young man who does not agree with the burgher life and the laws that prevailed in Germany. Like Hetz von Berlichingen, Werther challenges the system. He does not want to become a flattering, pompous and arrogant man, it's better to die. As a result, a romantic, strong-spirited person, is devastated, all attempts to defend the image of his fictional, ideal world fail.

In the "Roman elegies" Goethe is filled with joypaganism, shows its communion with the culture of antiquity. The protagonist is content with everything that one can take from life, there is no craving for the unattainable, there is no self-denial of one's will. The author shows all the joy and sensuality of love, which is interpreted not as an irresistible force that brings man closer to death, but as something that fosters stronger ties with the earth.

Torquato Tasso

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1790 wrotedrama about the collision of two different people - Torquato Tasso. The drama takes place at the court of the Duke of Ferrara. The heroes are the poet Tasso, who does not want to obey the laws and customs of the court that does not accept his customs, and the courtier Antonio, who, on the contrary, voluntarily follows these laws. All attempts by Tasso not to obey the will of the court, to show their independence ended in failure, which greatly shook him. As a result, Tasso recognizes the wisdom and everyday experience of Antonio: "So the swimmer grabs a rock to smash him."

About Wilhelm

In some works Johann Wolfgang vonGoethe seeks to show everything possible, from which people can renounce. This is love, and religion, and free will. In the work "The Years of the Teaching of Wilhelm Meister," Goethe shows the protagonist who surrendered to the secret union. The son of a wealthy family of burghers, Wilhelm, abandoned the career of an actor, the only opportunity to be independent in a feudal environment. He views his creative path as a willful attitude to feudal reality, a desire to rise. In the end, abandoning his cherished dream, having shown cowardice and overcoming pride, Wilhelm enters into a secret alliance. The nobles, who organized the secret society, rallied people who were afraid of the revolution, any change in the established burgher life.

The struggle of the Kingdom of Netherlands with the Spanishdomination served as the basis for the tragedy "Egmont". The protagonist fights for the independence of the nation, leaving love experiences to the back burner, the will of history becomes more important than the will of fate. Egmont gives everything to go his own way, and as a result he dies because of careless attitude towards what is happening.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe


But the most famous work that JohannWolfgang von Goethe wrote all his life, is "Faust". Urfaust, a kind of preface to "Faust", Goethe wrote in 1774-1775. In this part of the author's idea is only slightly opened, Faust is a rebel, trying in vain to penetrate into the mysteries of nature, to rise above the surrounding world. The following excerpt was published in 1790, and only in 1800 appeared the prologue to the work "In Heaven", this gave the drama the outlines that we see now. Faust's motives are motivated, because of him, God and Mephistopheles entered into a dispute. God predicted salvation for Faust, because everyone who searches can make a mistake.

First part

Before you come to the ultimate goal of your life,Johann Goethe prepared Faust to pass a series of tests. The first test was the love of the dear petty bourgeois Gretchen. But Faust does not want to bind himself with family ties, limit it to some kind of framework and abandons his beloved. In deep despair, Gretchen kills a newborn child and dies himself. So Wolfgang von Goethe shows how the desire for grandiose plans, disregard for your own feelings and the opinion of people around you can lead to such tragic consequences.

The second part

The second test is the union of Faust with Elena. In the shadow of outlandish groves, in the company of a lovely Greek woman, he takes a little rest. But even this he can not stop. The second part of "Faust" is especially expressive, the Gothic images gave way to the ancient Greek period. The action is transferred to Hellas, the images take shape, the mythological motives slip. The second part of the work is a kind of collection of knowledge about which Johann Goethe had a representation in life. There are thoughts about philosophy, politics, natural sciences.

Abandoning faith in the other world, he decidesserve the society, devote his strength and aspirations to him. Having decided to create an ideal state of free people, he begins a grandiose construction on land reclaimed from the sea. But some forces, accidentally awakened by him, try to prevent him. Mephistopheles, in the guise of a flotilla commander of merchants, in defiance of Faust's will, kills two old men to whom he is attached. Faust, shocked by grief, still does not cease to believe in his ideals and continues to build the state of free people until his death. In the final scene, the soul of Faust is brought to the sky by angels.

The Legend of Faust

The basis of the plot for the tragedy "Faust" waslegend, common in medieval Europe. It spoke of Johann Faust, the doctor, who concluded a contract with the devil himself, who promised him secret knowledge, through which any metal can be turned into gold. In this drama, Goethe skillfully intertwined science and artistic design. The first part of "Faust" is more like a tragedy, and the second is filled with mystery, the plot loses its logicality and is transferred to the infinity of the universe.

Biography of Goethe says that he completedthe case of his entire life on July 22, 1831, sealed the manuscript and pointed out to open the envelope after his death. "Faust" was written almost sixty years. Started in the period of "Storm and onslaught" in German literature and finished in the period of romanticism, he reflected all those changes that occurred in the life and work of the poet.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe biography

Disagreements of contemporaries

Contemporaries of the poet treated him veryambiguous, greater success went to his work "The Suffering of a Young Werther". The novel was accepted, but nevertheless some enlighteners decided that he preaches pessimism and lack of will. In occasion of "Iphigenia" Herder was already indignant, believing that his pupil had become too keen on classicism. Writers of the young Germany, not having found in Goethe's works of democratic and liberal ideas, decided to debunk him as a writer who can only be loved by insensitive and selfish people. Thus, interest in Goethe will return only to the end of the nineteenth century. They helped in this Burda, Gundolph and others, who discovered the work of the late Goethe.

Still very popular with theater andfilmmakers enjoy the creations that Johann Wolfgang von Goethe created, quotes from his works are relevant in our time. A German writer and poet, thinker and statesman is not only interested in his compatriots, but also in readers around the world.

Russian Goethe

In Russia, the first translations of Goethe appeared in 1781year and immediately aroused a great interest in the writer's work. He was admired by Karamzin, Radishchev and many others. Novikov in his "Dramatic Dictionary" included Goethe as one of the greatest playwrights of the West. Disputes that rose around Goethe did not go unnoticed in Russia either. In the 1830s, Menzel's book, translated into Russian, was published, in which he gave a negative characterization of Goethe's work. Soon Belinsky reacted to this criticism with his article. It said that Menzel's conclusions are impudent and insolent. Although later Belinsky still recognized that Goethe's works lack social and historical elements, the acceptance of reality prevails.

An interesting biography of Goethe does not disclose allmoments of his busy life. Many points remain unclear until now. So, for example, from 1807 to 1811 Goethe corresponded with Bettina von Arnim. These relationships are described in Kundera's novel "Immortality." Correspondence ceased after the quarrel between Bettina von Arnim and his wife Goethe, Christiana Vulpius. It is also worth noting that Johann Goethe was older than Bettina for 36 years.


Among Goethe's awards one can single out the Great CrossOrder of Civil Merit of the Crown of Bavaria, Order of St. Anne of the First Degree, Grand Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honor, Commander's Cross of the Imperial Austrian Order of Leopold. Among the legacy left by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is a photo, pictures with his image, scientific works, many monuments in Germany and around the world. But, of course, the most significant is his literary work, at the head of which the cause of his whole life is Faust.

Wolfgang Goethe

Goethe's works translated into RussianGriboyedov and Bryusov, Grigoriev and Zabolotsky. Even such classics of Russian literature as Tolstoy, Tyutchev, Fet, Kochetkov, Lermontov, Pasternak, did not hesitate to translate the work of the great German poet.

Numerous biographers interested increativity of Goethe, marked in it an internal split. This is particularly noticeable at the time of the abrupt transition from the young Johann Wolfgang, the rebel and the maximalist, to a later, matured. Later, Goethe's work was inspired by experience, years of reflection, filled with worldly wisdom, which is not inherent in the young.

In 1930, a congress was held in Hamburg,devoted to the history and theory of art. The reports on space and time were read out, there were very emotional discussions, there were many disputes. But what was most surprising - all speakers constantly referred to the work of Goethe, quoted excerpts from his works. Of course, this indicates that even a century later they did not forget about it. His works are popular nowadays, just cause a storm of admiration. Someone they may like, some do not, but it is impossible to remain indifferent.

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