Wolfgang Goethe is born August 28th in Frankfurt
His parents are the Imperial Councillor Johann Kaspar Goethe and the mayor's daughter Katharina Elisabeth Textor a Frankfurt patrician.
At August 29th Goethe is baptisized as Protestant.
|1750||Birth of his sister Cornelia.|
|1755||At first he attends a public school, but he is being taught by private teachers in the family's home in the "Großer Hirschgraben" Street.|
|1759||During the War of Seven Years french troops occupy Frankfurt; in the Goethes' house the french city governor Royal Lieutenant Marquis Thornac erects his head quarters. In this time (until 1763) young Goethe frequently visits the theater.|
|1765||According to his father's wishes Goethe takes up law studies at the University of Leipzig. He himself would have preferred the "Fine Arts" (Poetry and Rhetoric).|
falls in love with Anna Katharina (Käthchen) Schönkopf, the daughter
of a Leipzig
The joyful collection of poems "Annette" is written. One of his poems is printed in the Frankfurt periodical "Die Sichtbaren" (The Visibles) without Goethe's approval.
relation to Käthchen Schönkopf breaks up. Psychic und physical
Goethes, serious lung disease. "Leipziger Liederbuch": (Leipzig
poems to melodies composed by Bernhard Theodor Breitkopf.
Returns to Frankfurt.
|1769||During his long and severe infection he is being nursed by Susanne Katharina von Klettenberg, a relative of his mother's, who introduces him to protestant piety and encourages his lecture of pansophic-alchimistic works in the neoplatonic tradition (Paracelsus, Basilius Valentinus, Georg v. Welling,....).|
continues his law studies in Strasbourg.
Attends lectures in history, political
sciences, anatomy, surgery and chemistry. Gets to
know the five-year-older poet,
philosoph und theologian Johann Gottfried Herder,
Avantgardist of the STURM &
DRANG era and has meets with him on a daily basis
from September 1770 to April 1771.
In October relation to the Sessenheim priest's daughter Friederike Brion,
of his love is the so called Sesenheimer Lyrik of 1770/71.
"Neue Lieder in Melodien gesetzt von B.T.Breitkopf", first printed anthology of Goethe's poems..
behalf of Herder Goethe collects Folk songs of the Alsace.
After being promoted to "licentitatus juris" he returns to Frankfurt, where he pre pares for the profession of lawyer during the next years.
writes editorials for the "Frankfurter Gelehrte Anzeigen" on the subjects
rhetorics und poetics. He becomes a member of the Darmstadt
Circle of Sensibles ("Gemeinschaft der Heiligen", à la Dead
poets' society) his Pseudonym is
"Der Wanderer". Relation to the Novellist Sophie von La Roche and her daughter
During his apprenticeship at the Reichskammergericht (Imperial Court of Justice) in Wetzlar, he gets to know Charlotte Buff . (see also "Werther" )
The great hymns "Wanderers Sturmlied" and "Der Wanderer" are written.
|1773||"Götz von Berlichingen", first versions of the play in five acts (prose) on the knight Götz von Berlichingen, whose powerful character stands in contrast to the weakness and hypocrisy of the present. Published by Goethe himself, it premiered April 14 1774 in Berlin; first play of the STURM & DRANG period.|
is a frequent visitor to the home of Maximiliane von La Roche who now
but whom Goethe still feels very passionately for. Her husband and Goethe
argue.The two hymns "Prometheus" and "Ganymed"
are written. He hikes along
the Lahn River and the Rhine together with the Swiss author J.K. Lavater
teacher J.B. Basedow.
The satire "Götter, Helden und Wieland" about the rationalist writer Christoph Martin Wieland is published as well as "Clavigo", a tragedy in five acts (Prosa) about mar-riage and faithfulness: the young writer Clavigo believes that the "duties of common men" do not apply to him, his adultery causes the death of his lover Marie and he is shot by her brother. Premiers August 23 in Hamburg.
"Die Leiden des jungen Werthers", ("The sorrows of young Werther") a novel written in monologue letters becomes a worldwide success, Goethe becomes famous and admired at once. The STURM & DRANG era has reached its apotheosis.
Goethe is visited by many personalities from Europe's nobility, among them the princes Karl August und Konstantin von Sachsen-Weimar.
with the Frankfurt banker's daughter Lili Schönemann, engagement dis-solved
a year. Journey to Switzerland. Follows an invitation of the new Duke Karl
August von Sachsen-Weimar (s.above) to visit Weimar.
"Erwin und Elmire. Ein Schauspiel mit Gesang" , musical play.
close friend to Charlotte von Stein, wife of one of the Duke's ministers.
to Weimar into the "Gartenhaus am Stern",
a gift from the Duke. He is granted the Weimar citizenship and is appointed
"Geheimer Legationsrat" with a seat and avote in the state's
highest office. Thus Goethe's living is secured, he receives regular payments.
He has his friend Herder come to the Weimar court as well.
"Claudine von Villa Bella. Ein Schauspiel mit Gesang" , musical play.
"Stella. Ein Schauspiel für Liebende", play in five acts concerning a "threesome" relationship, evokes a scandal and is outlawed in Hamburg.
"Die Geschwister", a play in one act about alleged love between brother and sister.
|1777||Death of his sister Cornelia. Trip into the Harz mountains.|
|1778||Journey to Potsdam and Berlin accompanied by Duke Karl August.|
is appointed Head of the Commission for War and Road Construction. Second
in company of the duke.
"Iphigenie", first version (prose) of the play published in1787 as "Ipigenie auf Tauris" taking up a theme of Greek mythology: Iphigenie, the daughter of King Agamemnon is in exile on Tauris as a temple priestess, she is saved by her brother Orest and brought back home.
|1781||Mineralogical studies and lectures about human anatomy at the "Freien Zeichen-Schule" (Liberal School of Drawing) in Weimar.|
is conferred a title of nobility ("von Goethe"!) by Emperor Joseph II. Death
of his father.
Moves to a house at the "Frauenplan" in Weimar, which remains his home until his demise. Is promoted to senior officer in the Internal Revenue Service. The ballad "Erlkönig" is written.
|1783||Joins the "Illuminatenorden" (Secret Society à la Freemasons). Second trip into the Harz.|
|1784||Goethe discovers a inter-jaw bone of the human skull. Third Harz-journey.|
|1785||Scientific studies. First stay at the Karlsbad spa (Bohemia).|
journey to Italy: From Karlsbad
to Rome. In Rome
he is in contact with a circle of German
Literary theory dates this journey as the beginning of the KLASSIK era of Ger-man literature, being evoked by the impression of Roman and Greek sculpture, architecture and literature.
in Rome. Geological and botanical studies in Naples
and Sicily. Ascends
Mount Vesuv, returns to Rome.
"Iphigenie auf Tauris", verse version of the 1779 play, first drama of the German Klassik.
to Weimar. Breaks up with Charlotte von
Stein. Lives together with Christiane Vulpius.
First contact to Friedrich Schiller, whom he helps to get at tenure as a
"Egmont", tragedy in five acts about Count Egmont who fights for Dutch independence and is executed by the Spanish in 1568.
italian journey to Venice where his
"Venetianischen Epigramme" are written.
"Torquato Tasso", play in five acts. The italian poet Torquato Tasso (1544-95) serves as an example to illustrate the conflicts between creative men and society. Reality drives Tasso to despair but he finds consolation in his works.
"Faust. Ein Fragment", fragment of a drama (Urfaust was already conceived in 1774).
|1792||Takes part in a campaign against the French Revolutionary troops together with the duke.|
the duke following his wish to the siege of Mainz,
where a jacobinian republic had
been installed with the aid of French revolutionaries.
"Der Bürgergeneral", comedy in one act. Critique of the French Revolution.
|1794||Begin of the friendship with Friedrich Schiller after a discussion on the observation and description of nation and how to hold apart idea and experience.|
journey to Karlsbad.
"Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre", novel depicting the ideal of the Klassik: Forming the individual as a member of society. Published in four volumes.
"Römische Elegien", Circle of poems imitating in terms of form and content the antique elegies. Their central theme is love - Amor = Roma.
meetings with Friedrich von Schlegel who defines the aesthetic of the Klassik.
Third trip to Switzerland. Heads the ducal libraries of Jena and Weimar .
"Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1798" anthology published by Schiller including many ballads written in a "competition of poets" between Goethe and Schiller, i.e. "Der Zauberlehrling" (The Sorcerer's apprentice).
|1798||The first volume of "Propyläen. Eine periodische Schrift" a literary periodical edited by Goethe is published by Cotta, Leipzig. In combination with Schiller's literary magazine "Die Horen" it becomes the most important means for proliferating the ideals of the so called WEIMARER KLASSIK.|
|1799||Schiller moves to Weimar. HOCHKLASSIK, the apotheosis of the Klassik era commences. Goethe and Schiller meet every forthnight at Goethe's.|
"Winckelmann und sein Jahrhundert. In Briefen und Aufsätzen herausgege-ben von Goethe" a collection of articles of the archeologist and art historianl Johann Joachim Winckelmann, who had defined the aesthetic ideal of the German Klassik.
During several visits at a Jena librarian's Goethe's fatherly affection towards the librarian's eighteen year old foster daughter Minna Herzlieb changes to passionate love. She probably is the real-life version of Ottilie in the novel "Die Wahlverwandtschaften" (1809)
of his mother. During a congress of monarchs in Erfurt
Goethe meets with Napoleon Bonaparte,
a fan of his, who asks Goethe to move to Paris.
"Faust. Der Tragödie erster Teil". The fate of Faust, an enquiring genius, is depicted as part of a superhuman deal between god and Mephistopheles, the em-bodiment of evil, the negative principle. Goethe's masterpiece.
|1809||"Die Wahlverwandschaften", novel, transferring the features of chemical elements to the relationship of two couples.|
|1811||"Aus meinem Leben. Dichtung und Wahrheit", autobiography, published in four parts (1811, 1812, 1814, 1831 and posthumous 1833)|
Ludwig van Beethoven several times, begins correspondence with the writer
Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué (endures
First journey to the rivers Rhine, Main and Neckar: the Boisserée-Collection of medieval art at Heidelberg leaves a deep impression.
trip to Rhine, Main and Neckar: together with the Prussian reformer Karl
von und zum Stein Goethe visits the unfinished Dom of Cologne and the Wallraf-Collection
of art; meets the Grimms, the artist family Brentano and the Frankfurt patrician
and art lover Städel; Goethe is appointed minister.
"Shakespeare und kein Ende", essay on the reception of the Bard's works in Germany.
wife Christiane dies.
"Italiänische Reise", autobiographical work on his Italian journey 1786-88, published in two volumes as a sequel to his autobiography bearing the title "Aus meinem Leben. Zweiter Abteilung Erster und Zweiter Teil".
member of the "Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche
Geschichtskunde" (Society for early German history) founded by Freiherr
von und zum Stein. In the following time Goethe supports this society with
several articles for the collection "Monumenta Germaniae".
"West-östlicher Divan", circle of poems under the impression of persian-islamic literature.
Indian literature. Travels to Marienbad (Bohemia): there he meets Amalie
von Levetzow and her three daughters, among them the 18 year old Ulrike,
who, Goethe (who now is 72 years old!!!) proposes a marriage; after first
having it thought to be a joke, she then refuses.
"Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre oder Die Entsagenden", novel, an "odysee of learning": Wilhelm becomes a surgeon and finds his place as individual in society.
|1825||Franz Schubert sends Goethe a musical version of Goethe's poems "An Schwager Kronos", "An Mignon" and "Ganymed", Goethe leaves it unanswered. He is awarded a honorary Ph.D by the Jena University Law School.|
Karl August dies.
"Briefwechsel zwischen Schiller und Goethe in den Jahren 1794 bis 1805", the correspondence between Goethe and Schiller is published by Goethe, dedicated to King Ludwig I. of Bavaria. Central subject is the conception of a comprehen-sive artistic theory.
|1829||First complete performance of "Faust. Der Tragödie erster Teil" at the Braunschweig Nationaltheater.|
|1830||Goethe's son August dies in Rom. Goethe suffers from a lung disease and is severely weakened.|
|1831||He brings "Faust (Zweiter Teil)" to an end, seals the manuscript and orders it to be published after his death. He authorizes his secretary Eckermann to publish his estate.|
|1832||Goethe dies March 22 in Weimar and is buried in the ducal tomb.|
this should satisfy your curiosity
about Goethe, shouldn't it ...?
Those who can't get enough of Goethe are advised to surf these LINKS !!!
A report on "The Sorrows of Young Werther"
WERTHER'sWORLD - Sturm & Drang: an introduction .
Wikipedia article on Goethe
Goethes Works Online - Gutenberg-Project Uni Hamburg
"The Sorrows of Young Werther" - The complete novel on the web! (German)
Goethe Society Weimar e.V.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - Life and Works
Goethe Institut - Home Page
"I dolori del giovane Werther" - Werther in Italienisch
For reactions, suggestions
and critique my mailbox is open 24 hours a day, 7days aweek !
Just type what's on your mind !
Check out what else there is @