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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. By: Julie M. Felci. Goethe’s Family. -He was born on August 28, 1749 in Frankfurt. -His father was Johann Caspar Goethe, a lawyer. -His mother was Katherine Elisabeth Textor, who was the daughter of the mayor of Frankfurt.

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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johann wolfgang von goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

By: Julie M. Felci

goethe s family
Goethe’s Family

-He was born on August 28, 1749 in Frankfurt.

-His father was Johann Caspar Goethe, a lawyer.

-His mother was Katherine Elisabeth Textor, who was the daughter of the mayor of Frankfurt.

-His sister was Cornelia Goethe.

Johann Caspar Goethe

Cornelia Goethe

goethe s education
Goethe’s Education
  • Goethe’s father took great responsibility in his son’s early education.
  • At the age of 16, his father sent him to study law at the University of Leipzig.
  • At the end of his second semester, he lost all interest in law and decided to study art.

University of Leipzig

goethe s law career
Goethe’s Law Career
  • In 1768, Goethe became ill and moved back to Frankfurt. Then after recovering, he decided to go to Strasbourg to finish his law degree.
  • In 1771, he received his law diploma and spent four years practicing law with his father.
die leiden des jungen werthers
Die Leiden des jungen Werthers
  • In 1772, he met Charlotte (Lotte) Buff in Wetzler and feel in love with her but later discovered that she was engaged to his friend, Johann Georg Christian Kestner. This inspired him to write Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (The Sorrows of Werther). This story is about a man named Werther, who is in love with a girl named Lotte but later discovers that Lotte is engaged to a young official. Werther is heart-broken over the misleading friendship and hopes he had in being with her that he loses his mind and ends up shooting himself.
goethe s return
Goethe’s Return
  • When he returned to Weimar, he fell in love with Charlotte von Stein, this relationship lasted twelve years and changed him from a rebel to a refined man.
  • In 1782, the duke announced Goethe as a patent of nobility, which meant he could add “von” to his name.
  • Goethe became deeply interested in science, he had works in geology, botany, anatomy, which led not only to literary results but to discoveries and scientific theories published…Along with this came confusion. Goethe decided to leave Weimar and fled to Italy to get to know himself better.
italienische reise
Italienische Reise
  • Goethe kept a diary of his Italian journey called Italienische Reise in 1817.
  • “His main concern was to look at objects as much as possible for themselves – at the rocks and the plants; the customs, theatricals, and festivals of the people (but never their feelings or political concerns); architecture, sculpture, and, to a lesser extent, painting.”
When Goethe returned from Italy, he had a relationship with Christiane Vulpius. Goethe had many children with Christiane and only one survived, Julius August Walther (born in 1789) and Goethe married Christiane in 1806 to legitimize the child.

Christiane & Goethe

In 1790, he published an anti-Newtonian essay about color theory and scientific methods.
  • In 1792, the Duke insisted that Goethe accompany him to France and in 1793 to the Rhine River.
  • He kept a journal of these events called Campagne in Frankreich 1792 (The Campaign in France in the year 1792) along with Belagerung von Mainz (Siege of Mainz).
in 1974 goethe attended the university of jena there he met schiller who was a history professor
Together they published Die Horen (1795-1797)

Goethe went solo on making his own journal called Die Propoylaen (1798-1800).

In 1974, Goethe attended the University of Jena, there he met Schiller, who was a history professor.

Goethe and Schiller

In 1805, Goethe’s friend Schiller dies and this becomes a turning point in Goethe’s life.

He completes his color theories in 1810 called Zur Farbenlehre (Goethe’s Theory of Colors in 1840).

“That I am the only person in this century who has the right insight into the difficult science of colors, that is what I am rather proud of, and that is what gives me the feeling that I have outstripped many” (Goethe).

In 1811, he wrote a biography on Jakob Philipp Hackert (an artist he met in Italy).
  • He kept himself interested in the works of Caspar David Friedrich and Philipp Otto Runge.

Caspar David Friedrich

Philipp Otto Runge

goethe s life from 1816 1824
Goethe’s Life from 1816-1824
  • In 1816, he edited a journal called Ueber Kunst und Altersthum (On Art and Antiquity).
  • In 1816, Goethe’s wife, Christiane dies.
  • In 1817, his son August married Ottilie von Pogwisch.
  • In 1817, he retired as director of the court theater after supervising Weimar’s theatrical life for forty years.
  • From 1817-1824, he published works on morphology, scientific topics, optics, and began studying meteorology.
Goethe spent his last years as a symbol to himself by sitting for portraits, and receiving visits from young intellectuals that he was once from near and far.
  • Goethe died of a heart attack on March 22, 1832 in Weimar, he was 82 years old.
gefunden found
Ich ging im Walde

So fur mich hin,

Und nichts zu suchen,

Das war mein Sinn.

Im Schatten sah ich

Ein Blumchen stehn,

Wie Sterne leuchtend

Wie Auglein schon.

Ich wollt es brechen,

Da sagt’ es fein:

Soll ich zum Welken,

Gebrochen sein?

Ich grubs mit allen

Don Wurzeln aus,

Zum Garten trug ichs

Am hubschen Haus

Und pflanzt es wieder

Am stillen Ort;

Nun zweigt es immer

Und bluht so fort.

I was walking in the woods

Just on a whim of mine,

And seeking nothing,

That was my intention.

In the shade I saw

A little flower standing

Like stars glittering

Like beautiful little eyes.

I wanted to pick it

When it said delicately:

Should I just to wilt

Be picked?

I dug it out with all

Its little roots.

To the garden I carried it

By the lovely house.

And replanted it

In this quiet spot;

Now it keeps branching out

And blossoms ever forth

Gefunden (Found)

Zwischen Weizen und Korn,

Zwischen Hecken und Dorn,

Zwischen Baumen und Gras,

Wo gehts Liebchen?

Sag mir das!

Fand mein Holdchen

Nicht daheim;

Muss das Goldchen

Draussen sein.

Grunt und bluhet

Schon der Mai

Liebchen ziehet

Froh und frei.

An dem Felsen beim Fluss,

Wo sie reichte den Kuss,

Jenen ersten im Gras,

Seh ich etwas!

Ist sie das?

work cited
Work Cited

Internet Sources


Book sources

  • Johann Wolfgang Goethe by Liselotte Dieckmann

Washington University Twayne Publishers, Inc.

New York 1974