Poet. He received much notoriety not only as a poet, but as a theologian, statesman, theater director, philosopher and literary critic, impacting society. By many, he is considered the greatest German literary figure of the modern era. His early education was received at home, first under his father, who was a lawyer, and then with tutors. In 1765 he went to Leipzig to the University. As a result of illness, he was sent home, and during his convalescence, he read and studied. When, in 1770, after his recovery, he went to Strasburg to study law, he was completely changed. He was greatly influenced by the philosopher, Johann von Herder, who showed him the beauty of Shakespeare. A love-affair went far to inspire him in his first important lyrics, which were to mark a new epoch in German poetry. With this play Shakespeare's art first triumphed on the German stage, and the literary movement known as "Sturm und Drang" was inaugurated. Goethe received his degree in 1771 and returned to Frankfurt, where he began to practice his profession. His invitation in 1775 to the court of Duke Karl August at Weimar was a turning point in the literary life of Germany. He became director of the Court Theater, and interested himself in various other activities, so that for a period of some ten years, he abandoned his writing. The writing of "Faust," the best known of Goethe's works, extended over practically the whole of his literary career, a period of 57 years. It was finally finished when Goethe was the age of 81. Other works, which have stood the test of time, are "Clavigo," "Egmont," "Stella," "Iphigenia in Tauris" and "Torquato Tasso." In the 21st century, the Goethe Institute has 159 facilities world-wide promoting the German language and culture.
Bio by: Jelena
Christiane Vulpius von Goethe