Die Leiden des jungen Wertherswhich gained him enormous fame as a writer in the Sturm und Drang period which marked the early phase of Romanticism. Indeed, Werther is often considered to be the "spark" which ignited the movement, and can arguably be called the world's first "best-seller. In the last period, between Schiller's death, inand his own, appeared Faust Part OneElective Affinitiesthe West-Eastern Diwan a collection of poems in the Persian style, influenced by the work of Hafezhis autobiographical Aus meinem Leben:
Quotes Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Sorrows of Young Werther, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Goethe wrote The Sorrows of Young Werther at the end of the Enlightenment, a time that saw the role of religion drastically diminished in favor of reason and science.
Such circumstances, he says, occur rarely, but a general societal prohibition against suicide forces some like Werther to live an intolerable life that might, perhaps, be worse than death. Werther is overwhelmed by his excess of emotion, which seems to be the sole cause of his suicide.
Such rampant feelings, he says to Albert, are like a tyrannical power terrorizing a country. Usually a country has law and order to protect it, just as people use logic and intellect to help quell emotions.
But when emotions come on strongly and quickly, mere logic becomes an insufficient tool with which to combat emotion, and the heart ends up in charge of the mind.
In a real country, tyrannical rulers are usually overthrown by revolution. The grandiose scale of this analogy highlights the internal drama that Werther feels as his emotions take over.
The war of emotion inside his head seems as large as any war between nations, and one can imagine the kind of terror he must have felt as he sees himself losing that war. Indeed, Goethe uses that terror to highlight why suicide makes sense as a way out for Werther.
Though his actions may be rash, overblown, and juvenile, Werther clearly tried to overcome his infatuation with Lotte. He left Wahlheim, moved to a new town, and tried to begin a new life.
His emotions, though, remain in control of him all the while. As they gain increasing command, even his language usually quite elegant begins to fail him.
His sentences become progressively unstable and interrupted, marred by gaps in thought and a failure to find the proper words. As a result, the audience must consider the question of his suicide more personally and in a more real, concrete way.
Much of the book is autobiographical, reflecting a love triangle that the author found himself in during his youth. Goethe wrote it as a kind of exorcism of that youthful transgression, and he once said that Werther had to die so that Goethe might live—clearly, then, Goethe is glad for the willpower that he found to move past this painful moment in his youth.
Still, the act of writing healed Goethe where it did not heal Werther. In this, Goethe seems to posit that, for some, suicide might be the most appropriate solution.
While Goethe never intended to glorify suicide in his work, and came eventually to reject the primacy of emotions that he championed in his novel, he never rejected his view that traditional Christian values needed to be questioned thoroughly before being applied in daily life. How often theme appears:The Sorrows of Young Werther (German: Die Leiden des jungen Werthers) is a loosely autobiographical epistolary novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, first published in A Publication date: 29 September , revised ed.
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Sorrows of Young Werther, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Goethe wrote The Sorrows of Young Werther at the end of the Enlightenment, a time that saw the role of religion drastically diminished in favor of reason and science.
Project Gutenberg's The Sorrows of Young Werther, by J.W. von Goethe This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [Full Audiobook] - Duration: 4 hours.
The Sorrows of Young Werther is a loosely autobiographical epistolary novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, first published in A revised edition followe. O n its publication in , The Sorrows of Young Werther gained an instant cult following.
European readers were captivated by the rapturous ruminations of Werther, Goethe's typically Romantic protagonist whose extreme passion leads to self-destruction.