Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,  (born August 28, 1749, Frankfurt am Main [Germany]—died March 22, 1832, Weimar, Saxe-Weimar), German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, critic, and amateur artist, considered the greatest German literary figure of the modern era.

Goethe is the only German literary figure whose range and international standing equal those of Germany’s supreme philosophers (who have often drawn on his works and ideas) and composers (who have often set his works to music).ohann Wolfgang von Goethe (Aug. 28, 1749 – Mar. 22, 1832)

“The world is for thousands a freak show; the images flicker past and vanish; the impressions remain flat and unconnected in the soul. Thus they are easily led by the opinions of others, are content to let their impressions be shuffled, rearranged, and evaluated differently.”

German author J.W. Goethe’s last name is pronounced Gaer-tah, and he’s generally recognized as one of the greatest and most versatile European thinkers of modern times. He was an extremely sensitive, vulnerable individual who left behind a detailed record of his daily struggle with human emotions. It’s difficult to categorize him exactly; he was at once a writer, a philosopher; and (of all things) a scientist of plant biology and optics.

As a boy, Goethe was rather precocious. He’d learned Greek, Latin, French and Italian by age eight. He’d acquired from his mother a knack for storytelling; and he liked staging miniature puppet shows in his nursery.

The best known of Goethe’s works is Faust, written over the course of fifty seven years and finally published when he was 81. It’s a simple morality tale, illustrating the punishment of sin and the inherent drama of redemption.

He was also the leader of the German Romantic movement which profoundly influenced the growth of sonnets, romanticism, lyrical poetry, and love notes. 


He is considered the German Shakespeare.  The Goethe institute is located across from the Met on 5th avenue.

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