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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German pronunciation: [ˈjoːhan ˈvɔlfɡaŋ fɔn ˈɡøːtə] (listen), 28 August 1749  – 22 March 1832) was a German writer, pictorial artist, biologist,theoretical physicist, and polymath.[2] He is considered the supreme genius of modernGerman literature.[3] Dell Studio PP33L Laptop Battery

His works span the fields of poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, andscience. His Faust has been called the greatest long poem of modern European literature.[3] His other well-known literary works include his numerous poems, theBildungsroman Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, and the epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther. Dell Inspiron 1525 AC Adapter/Charger

 

Goethe was one of the key figures of German literature and the movement of Weimar Classicism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; this movement coincides withEnlightenment, Sentimentalism (Empfindsamkeit), Sturm und Drang and Romanticism. Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

The author of the scientific text Theory of Colours, his influential ideas on plant and animalmorphology and homology were extended and developed by 19th century naturalistsincluding Charles Darwin.[4][5] He also served at length as the Privy Councilor of the duchyof Saxe-Weimar. Sony VGP-BPS9/B Laptop Battery

 

In politics Goethe was conservative. At the time of the French Revolution, he thought the enthusiasm of the students and professors to be a perversion of their energy and remained skeptical of the ability of the masses to govern.[6] Olympus LI-50B Battery - 925mAh

Likewise, he "did not oppose the War of Liberation waged by the German states against Napoleon, but remained aloof from the patriotic efforts to unite the various parts of Germany into one nation; he advocated instead the maintenance of small principalities ruled by benevolent despots."[7] HP Compaq nx7300 AC Adapter/Charger

 

Goethe's influence spread across Europe, and for the next century his works were a major source of inspiration in music, drama, poetry and philosophy. Early in his career, however, he wondered whether painting might be his true vocation;[citation needed] late in his life, he expressed the expectation that he would ultimately be remembered above all for his work on color. Canon DC210 Battery - 850mAh

 

Goethe's father, Johann Caspar Goethe (Frankfurt am Main, Hessen, 29 July 1710 – Frankfurt, 25 May 1782), lived with his family in a large house in Frankfurt, then an Imperial Free City of the Holy Roman Empire. Though he had studied law in Leipzig and had been appointed Imperial Councillor, Compaq PRESARIO 1246 Battery - 4400mAh

he was not involved in the city's official affairs.[8] 38-year-old Johann Caspar married Goethe's mother, Catharina Elisabeth Goethe, the daughter of theSchultheiß (mayor) of Frankfurt Johann Wolfgang Textor (Frankfurt, 11 December 1693 – Frankfurt, 6 February 1771) and wife Anna Margaretha Lindheimer (Wetzlar, 23 July 1711 – Frankfurt, HP Compaq nx6320 Battery

18 April 1783, a descendant of Lucas Cranach the Elder and Henry III, Landgrave of Hesse-Marburg; married at Wetzlar, 2 February 1726), when she was 17 at Frankfurt on 20 August 1748. All their children, except for Goethe and his sister, Cornelia Friederike Christiana, who was born in 1750, died at early ages. HP Compaq nx6110 Battery

 

The father and private tutors gave Goethe lessons in all the common subjects of their time, especially languages (Latin, Greek, French, Italian, English and Hebrew). Goethe also received lessons in dancing, riding and fencing. Johann Caspar, feeling frustrated in his own ambitions, was determined that his children should have all those advantages that he had not.[8] Acer Aspire 5720 Battery - 4400mAh 14.8V

Goethe had a persistent dislike of the Roman Catholic Church, characterizing its history as a "hotchpotch of fallacy and violence" (Mischmasch von Irrtum und Gewalt).[citation needed] His great passion was drawing. Apple PowerBook G4 Battery - 12" / 15"

Goethe quickly became interested in literature;Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock and Homer were among his early favourites. He had a lively devotion to theatre as well and was greatly fascinated by puppet shows that were annually arranged in his home; a familiar theme in Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship. Sony Vaio PCG-TR1MP Battery - 6600mAh

 

He also took great pleasure in reading from the great works about history and religion. He writes about this period: Asus f82 Laptop Battery

Legal career

Goethe studied law in Leipzig from 1765 to 1768. He detested learning age-old judicial rules by heart, preferring instead to attend the poetry lessons of Christian Fürchtegott Gellert. In Leipzig, Goethe fell in love with Käthchen Schönkopf and wrote cheerful verses about her in the Rococo genre. Sony vaio VPCCW15FA/P Laptop Battery

In 1770, he anonymously released Annette, his first collection of poems. His uncritical admiration for many contemporary poets vanished as he became interested in Lessing and Wieland. Already at this time, Goethe wrote a good deal, but he threw away nearly all of these worksSony vaio VPCCW1S1E Laptop Battery

, except for the comedy Die Mitschuldigen. The restaurant Auerbachs Keller and its legend of Faust's 1525 barrel ride impressed him so much that Auerbachs Keller became the only real place in his closet drama Faust Part One. Because his studies did not progress, Goethe was forced to return to Frankfurt at the close of August 1768. Sony VGN-NS52JB/W Battery

In Frankfurt, Goethe became severely ill. During the year and a half that followed, because of several relapses, the relationship with his father worsened. During convalescence, Goethe was nursed by his mother and sister. Bored in bed, he wrote an impudent crime comedy. In April 1770, his father lost his patience[citation needed]; Goethe left Frankfurt in order to finish his studies in Strasbourg. Sony VGN-NS52JB Battery

In Alsace, Goethe blossomed. No other landscape has he described as affectionately as the warm, wide Rhine area. In Strasbourg, Goethe met Johann Gottfried Herder, who happened to be in town on the occasion of an eye operation. Sony VGN-NS70B/W Battery

The two became close friends, and crucially to Goethe's intellectual development, it was Herder who kindled his interest in Shakespeare, Ossian and in the notion of Volkspoesie (folk poetry). On October 14, 1772 he held a speech in his parental home in honour of the first German "Shakespeare Day". His first meeting with Shakespeare's works is described as his personal awakening in literature.[13] Sony VGN-NS70B Battery

 

On a trip to the village Sessenheim, Goethe fell in love with Friederike Brion, in October 1770,[14][15] but, after ten months, terminated the relationship in August 1771.[16] Several of his poems, like Willkommen und Abschied, Sesenheimer Lieder and Heideröslein, originate from this time. Sony VGN-NS71B/W Battery

 

At the end of August 1771, Goethe was certified as a licensee in Frankfurt. He wanted to make the jurisdiction progressively more humane. In his first cases, he proceeded too vigorously, was reprimanded and lost the position. Sony VGN-NS71B Battery

This prematurely terminated his career as a lawyer after only a few months. At this time, Goethe was acquainted with the court ofDarmstadt, where his inventiveness was praised. From this milieu came Johann Georg Schlosser (who was later to become his brother-in-law) and Johann Heinrich Merck. Goethe also pursued literary plans again; Sony VGN-NS72JB/W Battery

this time, his father did not have anything against it, and even helped. Goethe obtained a copy of the biography of a noble highwayman from the German Peasants' War. In a couple of weeks the biography was reworked into a colourful drama. Entitled Götz von Berlichingen, the work went directly to the heart of Goethe's contemporaries. Sony VGN-NS72JB Battery

 

Goethe could not subsist on being one of the editors of a literary periodical (published by Schlosser and Merck). In May 1772 he once more began the practice of law at Wetzlar. In 1774 he wrote the book which would bring him worldwide fame, Sony VGN-NS90HS Battery

The Sorrows of Young Werther. The outer shape of the work's plot is widely taken over from what Goethe experienced during his Wetzlar time with Charlotte Buff (1753–1828)[17] and her fiancé, Johann Christian Kestner (1741–1800),[17] Sony VGN-NS92JS Battery

as well as from the suicide of the author's friend Karl Wilhelm Jerusalem (1747–1772); in it, Goethe made a desperate passion of what was in reality a hearty and relaxed friendship.[18] Despite the immense success ofWerther, it did not bring Goethe much financial gain because copyright law at the time were essentially nonexistent. (In later years Goethe would bypass this problem by periodically authorizing "new, revised" editions of his Complete Works.)[19] Sony VGN-NS92XS Battery

 

Early years in Weimar

In 1775, Goethe was invited, on the strength of his fame as the author of The Sorrows of Young Werther, to the court of Carl August, Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, who would become Grand Duke in 1815. (The Duke at the time was 18 years of age, to Goethe's 26.) Goethe thus went to live in Weimar, where he remained for the rest of his life and where, over the course of many years, he held a succession of offices, becoming the Duke's chief adviser. Sony VGN-NW130J/T Battery

 

In 1776, Goethe formed a close relationship to Charlotte von Stein, an older, married woman. The intimate bond with Frau von Stein lasted for ten years, after which Goethe abruptly left for Italy without giving his companion any notice. She was emotionally distraught at the time, but they were eventually reconciled.[20] Sony VGN-NW21EF/S Battery

 

Goethe, aside from official duties, was also a friend and confidant to the Duke, and participated fully in the activities of the court. For Goethe, his first ten years at Weimar could well be described as a garnering of a degree and range of experience which perhaps could be achieved in no other way. Goethe was ennobled in 1782 (this being indicated by the "von" in his name). Sony VGN-NW21JF Battery

 

Italy

Goethe's journey to the Italian peninsula from 1786 to 1788 was of great significance in his aesthetical and philosophical development. His father had made a similar journey during his own youth, and his example was a major motivating factor for Goethe to make the trip. More importantly, however, the work of Johann Joachim Winckelmann had provoked a general renewed interest in the classical art of ancient Greece and Rome. Sony VGN-NW21MF/W Battery

Thus Goethe's journey had something of the nature of a pilgrimage to it. During the course of his trip Goethe met and befriended the artists Angelica Kauffmann and Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, as well as encountering such notable characters as Lady Hamilton andAlessandro Cagliostro (see Affair of the Diamond Necklace). Sony VGN-NW21MF Battery

 

He also journeyed to Sicily during this time, and wrote intriguingly that "To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is to not have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything." While in Southern Italy and Sicily, Goethe encountered, for the first time genuine Greek (as opposed to Roman) architecture, and was quite startled by its relative simplicity. Winckelmann had not recognized the distinctness of the two styles. Sony VGN-NW21ZF Battery

 

Goethe's diaries of this period form the basis of the non-fiction Italian Journey. Italian Journey only covers the first year of Goethe's visit. The remaining year is largely undocumented, aside from the fact that he spent much of it in Venice. This "gap in the record" has been the source of much speculation over the years. Sony VGN-NW31EF/W Battery

 

In the decades which immediately followed its publication in 1816 Italian Journey inspired countless German youths to follow Goethe's example. This is pictured, somewhat satirically, in George Eliot's Middlemarch. Sony VGN-NW31JF Battery

 

In late 1792, Goethe took part in the battle of Valmy against revolutionary France, assisting Duke Carl August of Saxe-Weimar during the failed invasion of France. Again during the Siege of Mainz he assisted Carl August as a military observer. His written account of these events can be found within his Complete Works. Sony VGN-NW320F/B Battery

 

In 1794 Friedrich Schiller wrote to Goethe offering friendship; they had previously had only a mutually wary relationship ever since first becoming acquainted in 1788. This collaborative friendship lasted until Schiller's death in 1805. Sony VGN-NW320F/TC Battery

In 1806, Goethe was living in Weimar with his mistress Christiane Vulpius, the sister ofChristian A Vulpius, and their son Julius August Walter von Goethe. On 13 October,Napoleon's army invaded the town. The French "spoon guards," the least-disciplined soldiers, occupied Goethe's house. Sony VGN-NW35E/B Battery

 

The 'spoon guards' had broken in, they had drunk wine, made a great uproar and called for the master of the house. Goethe’s secretary Riemer reports: 'Although already undressed and wearing only his wide nightgown…Sony VGN-NW35E/P Battery

he descended the stairs towards them and inquired what they wanted from him…. His dignified figure, commanding respect, and his spiritual mien seemed to impress even them.' But it was not to last long. Late at night they burst into his bedroom with drawn bayonets. Sony VGN-NW35E/W Battery

Goethe was petrified, Christiane raised a lot of noise and even tangled with them, other people who had taken refuge in Goethe’s house rushed in, and so the marauders eventually withdrew again. It was Christiane who commanded and organized the defense of the house on the Frauenplan. Sony VGN-NW35E Battery

The barricading of the kitchen and the cellar against the wild pillaging soldiery was her work. Goethe noted in his diary: "Fires, rapine, a frightful night… Preservation of the house through steadfastness and luck." The luck was Goethe’s, the steadfastness was displayed by Christiane. Sony VGN-NW380F/S Battery

 

The next day, Goethe legitimized their 18-year relationship by marrying Christiane in a quiet marriage service at the court chapel. They already had several children together by this time, including their son, Julius August Walter von Goethe (25 December 1789 — 28 October 1830), whose wife, Ottilie von Pogwisch (31 October 1796 – 26 October 1872), Sony VGN-NW380F/T Battery

cared for the elder Goethe until his death in 1832. The younger couple had three children: Walther, Freiherr von Goethe (9 April 1818 — 15 April 1885), Wolfgang, Freiherr von Goethe (18 September 1820 – 20 January 1883) and Alma von Goethe (29 October 1827 — 29 September 1844). Christiane von Goethe died in 1816. Sony VGN-NW50JB Battery

 

Later life

After 1793, Goethe devoted his endeavours primarily to literature. By 1820, Goethe was on amiable terms with Kaspar Maria von Sternberg. Sony VGN-NW51FB/W Battery

In 1823, having recovered from a near fatal heart illness, Goethe fell in love with Ulrike von Levetzow whom he wanted to marry, but because of the opposition of her mother he never proposed. Their last meeting inCarlsbad on 5 September 1823 inspired him to the famous Marienbad Elegy which he considered one of his finest works.[22] Sony VGN-NW51FB/N Battery

 

The most important of Goethe's works produced before he went to Weimar were his tragedies Götz von Berlichingen (1773), which was the first work to bring him recognition, and the novel The Sorrows of Young Werther (called Die Leiden des jungen Werthers in German) (1774), which gained him enormous fame as a writer in the Sturm und Drangperiod which marked the early phase of Romanticism – indeed the book is often considered to be the "spark" which ignited the movement, and can arguably be called the world's first "best-seller".Sony VGN-NW51FB Battery

(For the entirety of his life this was the work with which the vast majority of Goethe's contemporaries associated him). During the years at Weimar before he met Schiller he began Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, wrote the dramas Iphigenie auf Tauris (Iphigenia in Tauris), Egmont, Torquato Tasso, and the fable Reineke Fuchs. Sony VGN-NW70JB Battery

 

To the period of his friendship with Schiller belong Wilhelm Meister's Journeyman Years(the continuation of Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship), the idyll of Hermann and Dorothea, the Roman Elegies and the verse drama The Natural Daughter. In the last period, between Schiller's death, in 1805, and his own, appeared Faust Part One, Sony VGN-NW71FB/N Battery

 Elective Affinities, theWest-Eastern Divan (a collection of poems in the Persian style, influenced by the work ofHafez), his autobiographical Aus meinem Leben: Dichtung und Wahrheit (From My Life: Poetry and Truth) which covers his early life and ends with his departure for Weimar, hisItalian Journey, and a series of treatises on art. His writings were immediately influential in literary and artistic circles. Sony VGN-NW71FB/W Battery

 

Faust Part Two was only finished in the year of his death, and was published posthumously.

Goethe also appears to have come under the influence of Europe's Oriental renaissance, and fascinated by "Abhijñānaśākuntalam" of Kalidasa, which was one of the first works of Indian literature that became known in Europe, after being translated from English to German. Goethe composed the following sonnet: Sony VGN-NW71FB Battery

 

Although his literary work has attracted the greatest amount of interest, Goethe was also keenly involved in studies of natural science.[24] He wrote several works on plantmorphology, and colour theory. Goethe also had the largest private collection of minerals in all of Europe. By the time of his death, in order to gain a comprehensive view in geology, he had collected 17,800 rock samples. Sony VGN-NW91FS Battery

 

His focus on morphology and what was later called homology influenced 19th centurynaturalists, although his ideas of transformation were about the continuous metamorphosis of living things and did not relate to contemporary ideas of "transformisme" or transmutation of species. Homology, Sony VGN-NW91GS Battery

or as Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire called it "analogie", was used by Charles Darwin as strong evidence of common descent and of laws of variation.[4][5] Goethe's studies led him to independently discover the human intermaxillary bone in 1784, Sony VGN-NW91VS Battery

 which Broussonet (1779) and Vicq d'Azyr (1780) had (using different methods) identified several years earlier.[25] While not the only one in his time to question the prevailing view that this bone did not exist in humans, Goethe, who believed ancient anatomists had known about this bone, was the first to prove its peculiarity to all mammals. In 1790, he published his Metamorphosis of Plants.[26] Sony VGN-SR11M Battery

 

During his Italian journey, Goethe formulated a theory of plant metamorphosis in which the archetypal form of the plant is to be found in the leaf – he writes, "from top to bottom a plant is all leaf, united so inseparably with the future bud that one cannot be imagined without the other".[27] Sony VGN-SR12G/B Battery

 

Goethe popularized the Goethe Barometer using a principle established by Toricelli. According to Hegel, 'Goethe has occupied himself a good deal with meteorology; barometer readings interested him particularly... What he says is important: the main thing is that he gives a comparative table of barometric readings during the whole month of December 1822, Sony VGN-SR12G/P Battery

at Weimar, Jena, London, Boston, Vienna, Töpel... He claims to deduce from it that the barometric level varies in the same propoportion not only in each zone but that it has the same variation, too, at different altitudes above sea-level'.[28] Sony VGN-SR12G/S Battery

 

In 1810, Goethe published his Theory of Colours, which he considered his most important work. In it, he contentiously characterized color as arising from the dynamic interplay of light and darkness through the mediation of a turbid medium.[29] Sony VGN-SR130EB Battery

In 1816, Schopenhauerwent on to develop his own theory in On Vision and Colors based on the observations supplied in Goethe's book. After being translated into English by Charles Eastlake in 1840, his theory became widely adopted by the art world, most notably J. M. W. Turner.[30] Sony VGN-SR130EP Battery

Goethe's work also inspired the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, to write his Remarks on Color. Goethe was vehemently opposed to Newton's analytic treatment of color, engaging instead in compiling a comprehensive rational description of a wide variety of color phenomena. Sony VGN-SR130ES Battery

Although the accuracy of Goethe's observations does not admit a great deal of criticism, his theory's failure to demonstrate significant predictive validity eventually rendered it scientifically irrelevant. Goethe was, however, the first to systematically study the physiological effects of color, Sony VGN-SR130NB Battery

and his observations on the effect of opposed colors led him to a symmetric arrangement of his color wheel, 'for the colors diametrically opposed to each other… are those which reciprocally evoke each other in the eye. (Goethe, Theory of Colours, 1810).[31] In this, he anticipated Ewald Hering's opponent color theory(1872).[32] Sony VGN-SR13GN/B Battery

 

Goethe outlines his method in the essay The experiment as mediator between subject and object (1772).[33] In the Kurschner edition of Goethe's works, the science editor, Rudolf Steiner, presents Goethe's approach to science as phenomenological. Sony VGN-SR13GN/P Battery

Steiner elaborated on that in the books The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World-Conception[34]and Goethe’s World View,[35] in which he emphasizes the need of the perceiving organ of intuition in order to grasp Goethe's biological archetype (i.e., The Typus). Sony VGN-SR13GN/S Battery

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The short epistolary novel, Die Leiden des jungen Werthers, or The Sorrows of Young Werther, published in 1774, recounts an unhappy romantic infatuation that ends in suicide. Goethe admitted that he "shot his hero to save himself": Sony VGN-SR140EB Battery

a reference to Goethe's own near-suicidal obsession with a young woman during this period, an obsession he quelled through the writing process. The novel remains in print in dozens of languages and its influence is undeniable; Sony VGN-SR140EP Battery

its central hero, an obsessive figure driven to despair and destruction by his unrequited love for the young Lotte, has become a pervasive literaryarchetype. The fact that Werther ends with the protagonist's suicide and funeral – a funeral which "no clergyman attended" – made the book deeply controversial upon its (anonymous) publication, for on the face of it, it appeared to condone and glorify suicide.Sony VGN-SR140ES Battery

Suicide was considered sinful by Christian doctrine: suicides were denied Christian burialwith the bodies often mistreated and dishonoured in various ways; in corollary, the deceased's property and possessions were often confiscated by the Church.[36] Sony VGN-SR140NS Battery

Epistolary novels were common during this time, letter-writing being a primary mode of communication. What set Goethe's book apart from other such novels was its expression of unbridled longing for a joy beyond possibility, its sense of defiant rebellion against authority, and of principal importance, its total subjectivity: qualities that trailblazed the Romantic movement. Sony VGN-SR150FN Battery

 

The next work, his epic closet drama Faust, was to be completed in stages, and only published in its entirety after his death. The first part was published in 1808 and created a sensation. The first operatic version, by Spohr, appeared in 1814, Sony VGN-SR165E/B Battery

and was subsequently the inspiration for operas and oratorios by Schumann, Berlioz, Gounod, Boito, Busoni, andSchnittke as well as symphonic works by Liszt, Wagner, and Mahler. Faust became theur-myth of many figures in the 19th century. Sony VGN-SR165E/P Battery

Later, a facet of its plot, i.e., of selling one's soul to the devil for power over the physical world, took on increasing literary importance and became a view of the victory of technology and of industrialism, along with its dubious human expenses. In 1919, the Goetheanum staged the world premiere of a complete production of Faust. On occasion, the play is still staged in Germany and other parts around the world. Sony VGN-SR165E/S Battery

 

Goethe's poetic work served as a model for an entire movement in German poetry termedInnerlichkeit ("introversion") and represented by, for example, Heine. Goethe's words inspired a number of compositions by, among others, Sony VGN-SR165EB Battery

Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert,Berlioz and Wolf. Perhaps the single most influential piece is "Mignon's Song" which opens with one of the most famous lines in German poetry, an allusion to Italy: "Kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen blühn?" ("Do you know the land where the lemon trees bloom?"). Sony VGN-SR165EP Battery

 He is also widely quoted. Epigrams such as "Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him", "Divide and rule, a sound motto; unite and lead, a better one", and "Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must", are still in usage or are often paraphrased. Lines from Faust, such as "Das also war des Pudels Kern", "Das ist der Weisheit letzter Schluss", or "Grau ist alle Theorie" have entered everyday German usage. Sony VGN-SR165ES Battery

t may be taken as another measure of Goethe's fame that other well-known quotations are often incorrectly attributed to him, such as Hippocrates' "Art is long, life is short", which is found in Goethe's Faust ("Art is something so long to be learned, and life is so short!") and Wilhelm Meister's ApprenticeshipSony VGN-SR165NB Battery

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