Hello dear readers of our site. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is probably the greatest German writer of all time. He was born on August 28, 1749 in Frankfurt and by his 25th birthday he became an internationally recognized writer and playwright. He was also a literary critic, philosopher and showed an interest in botany and anatomy. In 1790 he even published his scientific work “Metamorphosis of Plants”.
And today we decided to better acquaint you with this outstanding person. In this article, we have collected the most interesting facts about Goethe.
Goethe was a strange man, if only because many things infuriated him. For example, the great thinker and prose writer could not physically tolerate certain smells (tobacco, garlic). In addition, he was annoyed by the barking of dogs, people with glasses and any other noise. The poet worked exclusively in closed rooms, which is why he apparently suffered from dizziness. He also constantly “battled” with a pathological fear of heights and suffered from insomnia.
He spent three years (from 1765 to 1768) at the University of Leipzig, studying law. In 1770, he entered the University of Strasbourg and a year later received a Licentia Docendi, a degree given to students after graduation. After completing his studies, he opened a small business in Frankfurt with the financial support of his father.
Unfortunately, as a lawyer, he failed. Goethe was very emotional and in the courtroom spoke too pretentiously, which is why he lost most of his cases. He soon sold his firm and moved to Darmstadt to pursue a writing career. But here, too, he got into trouble. He realized that the money he earned from writing and editing was not enough to provide himself with everything he needed. In 1772 he started working again as a lawyer in Wetzlar.
The genius of literature drew inspiration mainly from love passions. The list of his beloved ones would not fit on one sheet of paper. To create another masterpiece, Goethe found an object of adoration, which could become both a young girl and ladies older than himself. At a respectable age, when the poet turned 73, he unexpectedly falls in love with Ulrika von Levetsov, an 18-year-old German poet. She became the poet’s last love. He called her daughter and even made her an offer, but under the pressure of public opinion, the girl was forced to refuse the famous ladies’ man.
In the history of world literature, the great Goethe is considered primarily a writer. He has written more than one and a half thousand poems. His important achievements are also considered to be the knowledge that is invested in journalism and translation. Goethe was an excellent memoirist, novelist and critic. But his talents do not end there. The German thinker drew well, created a water barometer (Goethe’s Barometer). Goethe is the founder of morphology. The mineral Goethite is even named in his honor (Goethe himself owned a large collection of minerals collected from exotic places around the world).
In addition to Metamorphosis of Plants, which we mentioned earlier, he also wrote Towards the Theory of Color in 1810.
Despite his busy life, the great poet constantly “fought” with a terrible disease – tuberculosis. As a student, he tried to commit suicide on more than one occasion. As a result, leaving school, he had to return to his parental home. Carried away by astrology and occult sciences, Goethe made horoscopes, reading the works of the ancient astrologer Manimius.
Violets are another hobby of the poet. Of all the flowers, he preferred to breed them. The method of planting violets was very original. He planted violets wherever he deemed appropriate. There was always a bag of seeds in his jacket pocket. When he saw a place where these flowers could be planted, he planted them there. Some historians claim that the violets planted by the poet still grow in Weimar. They are called so – “Flowers of Goethe”.
From 1791 to 1817 he directed the court theater. It turned out that in addition to all the author’s talents, he is also an excellent leader. Three years after being director of the theater, he met the outstanding German playwright and philosopher Friedrich Schiller. Goethe was so fascinated by Schiller’s writing style that the Weimar Theater became the premiere site for every play he published after 1794. This tradition continued until Schiller’s death in 1805.
As a talented leader, while serving as director, he also “handed out” unique advice to aspiring artists. For example, he suggested dividing the stage space into small sections. The chess principle of directing, proposed by Goethe, was subsequently used for various productions.
The second part of “Faust” was completed by the writer in 1831. However, he was in no hurry to publish it. He sealed the manuscript in an envelope and bequeathed to publish it only after his death.
The German philosopher had five children with Christian Vulpius, his wife. But, fate decreed cruelly, only the eldest son survived, who was named Augustus. The rest of the children were either born dead or lived a short life.
One of his first poems was written in English. And although I.V. Goethe was a German poet, novelist and philosopher; he began to write his poems not in German, but in English.
Goethe became incredibly famous after the publication of the novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther”. Thanks to this novel, he was even invited in 1775 to the court of Charles Augustus I. In 1782 the Duke gave him the title of “von”. While working at court, he was also actively involved in the human trafficking and wage slave trade during his time on the Saxe-Weimar Military Commission. Goethe forcibly sold political dissidents, criminals and other vagabonds into the Prussian and British armies during the American Revolution. This caused a number of criticism towards the writer from German intellectuals-contemporaries. In 1785, Charles Augustus appointed him chief adviser and confidant.
That’s all, dear readers. Thank you for choosing our website.