BIOGRAPHY OF JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Frankfurt/Main, 28 August 1749-Weimar, 22 March 1832). Poet, naturalist and German thinker. Their philosophical conceptions influenced the development of European theoretical thought powerfully. Goethe defended the idea of unity between theory and practice.
He Was the son of Johann Caspar Goethe, an imperial lawyer and counselor who withdrew from public life and raised his children himself, under the maxim of not wasting time in the slightest, and of Katharina Elisabeth Textor, daughter of an old burgomaster of Frankfurt. These Family ties put him in touch from the beginning with urban patrician and political life.
Goethe’s House in Frankfurt.
Of gifted Intelligence, and provided with a vast and morbid curiosity, did practically everything and came to accumulate a omnímoda or complete culture. First he studied languages, although his inclinations went by art and never, throughout his life, stopped cultivating the drawing; While writing his first poems, he became interested in other branches of knowledge such as geology, chemistry and medicine.
In 1759 He joined the University of Leipzig, beginning shortly after writing dramas and poems. In 1771 he took the degree of Doctor in Strasbourg and practiced law in Frankfurt. In 1772 He fixed his residence in Wetzlar as a lawyer, had to flee the city as a result of a love intrigue.
In 1775 it was established in Weimar, it was private adviser of the Duke and very useful official. He dedicated himself to the natural sciences, making notable discoveries.
Goethe studied Law in Leipzig (1765); There he knew the writings of Winckelmann on Greek art and culture, but a serious illness forced him to leave the studies in 1768 and to return to Frankfurt; Katharina von Klettenberg, her mother’s friend, cared for him and introduced him to the pietist mysticism, which emphasized the sentiment within the Protestant confession; At that time he composed his first poems. He resumed his studies in 1770 in Strasbourg and concluded them the following year; Those two years there were very important to him: he met Friederike Brion, who inspired him most of his female characters, and he became acquainted with the theologian and theoretician of art and literature Johann Gottfried vonHerder. Herder introduced him to German popular poetry, discovered the universe of William Shakespeare and freed him definitively from French neoclassicism and confidence in the reason of German Aufklärung.
Goethe’s Monument in Frankfurt.
Returned to Frankfurt, it wrote the tragedy Götz von Berlichingen (1773) and the following year its novel The penalties of the young Werther (1774).
In 1772 he collaborated with Herder in the drafting of German style and art, the Manifesto of the Movement Sturm und Drang (‘ Tempest and Momentum ‘), considered the prelude to Romanticism in Germany. In This work is claimed the poetry of James MacPherson (Ossien) and William Shakespeare.
The inspiration of the Werther came from the middle of 1772, when, while practicing as a lawyer in the court of Wetzlar, fell in love with Charlotte Buff, the bride and fiancée of her colleague, at that time also practicing jurist, Johann Christian Kestner. Concomitantly, a young jurist tormented by unrequited love committed suicide using a pistol lent by Kestner. These Dramatic facts made Goethe abandon finally Wetzlar and inspired in 1774 the composition of the novel, partly epistolary. The misadventures of the young Werther had such a great success and represented so well in the figure of the protagonist the disenchantment of the young generations that provoked an epidemic of adolescent suicides in the country.
In the spring of 1775 Goethe was committed with the daughter of a banker of Frankfurt, Lili Schönemann, commitment that due to social incompatibilities and lifestyle of the respective families did not become concrete in marriage. This courtship ended in the fall of that same year.
Between 1772 and 1775 it wrote in addition the dramas Clavijo (1774) and Stella (1775). Meanwhile, he tried to open with little fortune in Frankfurt a law firm, and as well had broken his commitment to marry Lili Schömemann, did not hesitate in 1775 to accept the invitation to the Court of Weimar of Charles-Augustus, heir to the Duchy of Saxony-Weimar, and He marched there practically fleeing the two things, the law and the sentimental commitment.
He Started his scientific research at that time. Interested in optics, he conceived a theory different from that of ISAAC Newton on the colors and also investigated in geology, chemistry and osteoscience, the latter discipline in which he discovered the intermaxillary bone in March 1784, which puts one of the first stones in the Theory of the evolution of man, although in this he was soon advanced by a French anatomist, which meant a great frustration. The letters to Charlotte von Stein attest to this time of his life, wrapped in all kinds of orders and efforts to reform the very small and humble state of Weimar.
Goethe died in Weimar on March 22nd, 1832. The final version of his great choral poem Fausto appeared posthumous that same year.
In 1771 he wrote the «Gotz de Berlichingen «, «The Walker, » and the «Tempest Song of the Walker «. In 1773 he wrote the «Prometheus, » Some burlesque satires, the comedy «Edwin and Elvira, » and «Faust » principle. In 1774 > The misfortune of Werther <y> Clavijo <.
In 1777 began «The years of learning of Guillermo Meister » and published in 1821, a mixture of different fragments ordered by his secretary.
He Wrote «Iphigenia, » in prose, in 1779; And in verse in 1786. Completed the «Egmont » In 1787, and the «Tasso » at 1789. In 1791 He was director of the Court Theatre in Weimar, and from 1794 to 1805 he associated himself with Schiller, directing both the literary magazine Horen. «Herman and Dorotea » Finished in 1797; «Elective affinities » in 1809; The «Doctrine of color » In 1810, and its autobiography, «Fantasy and Truth » in 1811. In 1815 he published the volume of poems titled «Oriental and Western Divan». In 1831 ended the second part of «Faust «.
Goethe’s best dramatic work is undoubtedly Faust, which has become a classic of Universal Literature. The first version, the original Urfaust or Faust, was finished in 1773. But the author continued to retouch It up to 1790; Already in April 1806 was complete, but the Napoleonic Wars took two years to publish up to 1808; The second part would only be published in 1833, one year after the death of the author.
The first part of this complex tragedy is articulated around two fundamental centres; The first is the story of how Faust, fatigued of life and disappointed in science, makes a pact with the devil who returns his youth in exchange for his soul; The second is the love story between Faust and Gretchen, which Mephistopheles manipulates so that Fausto arrives at the homicide-kills the brother of his beloved and Gretchen has an unwanted pregnancy, which leads first to infanticide and then to be executed for murdering his hij Or.
Faust’s story is inspired, like many legends, in certain facts. There was one Johann Faust who was born towards 1490 in the south of Germany and doctored at the University of Heidelberg in 1509. After leaving the university, he began a life of adventures marked by a constant flight because of the multiple accusations of witchcraft that were made to him. He Left a library that included books on medicine, math, and black magic. This picturesque life gave rise to the popular legend, exploited by authors of puppets and puppets, and had also served to inspire popular legends.
The first book on this myth was published in 1587 by Johannes Spiess, who, in his foreword, warned that he had omitted to refer to magic formulas to prevent those who had the book being accused of witchcraft. Other books and theatrical scripts dealt with the theme of the pact with the devil to achieve dominion over nature: in the Puppet theatre between the SIXTEENTH and SEVENTEENTH centuries, the story was always closed with the Demons taking Faust, but Goethe altered this argument causing Gretchen to be saved at the end of the first part, anticipating Faust’s salvation at the conclusion of the second, when the demons who want to take their soul must retire before the arrival of a legion of Angels. Goethe Also Changes the impulse that moves Faust: the desire that brought him closer to witchcraft is not greed, wickedness or laziness, but the craving to know, the desire for grandeur, fullness, totality. The moral that may have the work will be that this desire for knowledge entails moral misery.
The work has been interpreted modernly by Walter Benjamin and also by Klaus Mann, who, in his novel Mephisto, conceives the pact with the devil as a metaphor of the German pact with Hitler.