The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
GOETHE, gė'tẹ, Johann Wolfgang (von), German poet, novelist, playwright, scientist and critic of life: b. Frankfort-on-the-Main, 28 Aug. 1749. From his father, a well-to-do lawyer who practised but little, he inherited methodical ways and a serious attitude toward life. His poetic gift came from his mother, a woman famous for her sprightly letters which have often been edited and translated. The boy Wolfgang grew up in an atmosphere of refinement, his mind duly wrought upon by books, pictures, music and his father's reminiscences of Italy. He never went to school but was taught at home, partly by his father. He early showed a talent for languages; read the usual Latin authors, picked up a good knowledge of French by attending a French theatre that had been started in Frankfort during the occupation of the city by French troops, and learned enough English so that he dared attempt verses in it. As a boy he was very fond of the Bible. His favorite amusement was the puppet-play. He began to make verses before he was 10 years old, soon acquired technical facility and presently came to regard himself as a predestined “thunderer.” At the age of 16 he entered the University of Leipzig to study law, such being his father's wish. The lectures bored him and he failed to find a single appetizing study. The result was a mood of disgust with book-learning: it seemed to him a matter of pretentious verbiage, a floating bog of ignorance, guesswork and prejudice, with no rock-bottom anywhere. Such was the mood from which his masterpiece ‘Faust’ germinated. His poetic efforts met with discouragement, so that he despaired of himself and burned what he had written. Then came a delirious love-affair with his landlady's daughter, whom he tormented with morbid jealousy. This experience revived his poetic ardor and he made a little play out of it — a one-act pastoral in alexandrine verse, wherein an all-too-jealous lover is duly punished for his perversity. This first play is only a trifle, but it is based on real experience. Henceforth “confession” was to be its author's line; do more “thundering” in ambitious projects like the ‘Belshazzar’ that he had been working at but the faithful rendering of the things, however humble, that actually concerned him. Out of this same love-affair — the girl's name was Anna Katherine Schönkopf — grew the collection called ‘Annette,’ consisting of short poems and prose tales which were discovered and published in 1885. They are in the conventional pastoral vein and contain no forewarning of a notable lyric gift Goethe remained at Leipzig nearly three years. While the university gave him nothing that he could assimilate he found satisfaction in Oeser's art-school, where he took lessons in drawing and etching and learned to admire the “noble simplicity” of Greek art. At this time he was often moody and morose and lived imprudently in a morbid resolve to punish his body for the sins of his mind. In the summer of 1768 be was prostrated by a grave internal hæmorrhage which was at first thought to portend consumption. This sent him home without his degree and doomed him for a year and a half to the life of an invalid recluse. At first his life seemed to be in danger. As he slowly grew better he spent his time reading, meditating and debating the way of salvation with a certain Fräulein von Klettenberg, a saintly pietist who was an intimate of the household. Under her influence religion came home to him as a highly personal matter. His was a normal case of conversion save that there was no conviction of sin, no agonizing over the safety of his soul. He remained cheerful but attended the prayer-meetings of the local pietistic circle, took part in their communion service and for a while used the language of the very devout. Later he drifted away from these associations, but his nature had received an indelible impression. In time men called him and he called himself a heathen, but he had been deeply touched by the mystic appeal of religion and remained to the end of his days deeply sensitive to all genuine manifestations of religious feeling. As his convalescence proceeded he took up the study of the occult, reading Paracelsus, Van Helmont, Welling and other writers on magic, alchemy, cabalism and all that sort of thing. He even set up an alchemist's laboratory and performed some experiments in search of the philosopher's stone. All this, too, was soon left behind, but not without lasting effects. He had got hold of the idea of natural magic (magia naturalis), something very different from the vulgar black art and described as the queen of the sciences and the perfect flowering of religion. It was not the art of calling up spirits to do the devil's work, but of getting into communion with planetary beings of a higher order and thus obtaining direct spiritual illumination and divine power, like that of a god. This is the kind of magic that he was to utilize in ‘Faust.’ Before leaving home to continue his university career he published a small collection of songs which he likened to wild flowers. To-day they hardly make that impression, being a young critic's comment rather than a poet's cry. To this period also belongs, probably, a second play in alexandrines, the ‘Fellow-Culprits.’ It is a three-act comedy in which all the characters are morally tainted and finally unmask one another as poor miserable sinners. The piece is not very edifying, but in after years its author had a certain fondness for it as an acting play. In April 1770, Goethe went to Strassburg, then a French city. His plan was to take his degree in law and then to visit Paris for the perfection of his French. But it was not so fated. Circumstances brought it about that in the French atmosphere of Alsace his mind turned against things French, especially the French drama, and he began to feel pride in his German blood and to seek in the history and traditions of his own country the inspiration for the imaginative projects that were already haunting him. Among these were ‘Faust’ and ‘Götz von Berlichingen,’ After he had been at Strassburg half a year, studying more medicine than law, he made the acquaintance of Herder, who was destined to influence him considerably. Herder was about six years older than Goethe and in the first flush of a budding literary reputation. His temper was that of a radical reformer sharply at variance with the spirit of his age. His mind was teeming with the germinant ideas of a new era in literature, criticism, education and religion. He was an ardent admirer of the folksong and held that genuineness of feeling is the only criterion of good literature. He hated artificiality and imitation and loathed the Frenchified verse of the day. He held that the truly great poets such as Homer, Shakespeare and Ossian — he supposed Macpherson's Ossian to be a genuine old Celtic bard — were admirable mainly because they had expressed the life of their several epochs in its fullness and characteristic flavor. The grand criterion of merit was not correctness or good taste, not artistry of any particular kind, but sincerity and fullness of life. The more smell of the soil the better. In many a talk while he was detained in Strassburg by a tedious surgical operation Herder poured these ideas into the listening ear of Goethe, whose mind was all ready to receive them. The consequence was a new orientation. The young law-student conceived a boundless admiration for Homer, Shakespeare and Ossian, became a zealous collector of Alsatian folksongs and made a careful study of the Gothic minster at Strassburg. He felt himself strangely drawn to the then despised Gothic style which he erroneously believed to represent a national German art. In 1772 he published a short dithyrambic paper on the cathedral — a paper which counts as one of the first bugle-blasts of the coming romantic reaction in favor of the Middle Ages. In short, Goethe became — for a little while in his youth — the prey of a perfervid Germanism. And then there was bis brief summer romance with the country maid, Friederike Brion, who is so charmingly pictured in the tenth book of his autobiography. Under the spell of this passion he began to indite the songs which usher in a new epoch in the history of German lyric poetry. The characteristic quality of this new lyricism is its power of suggestion. It captivates not so much by what it says as by the overtones of feeling and association that it awakens. It is very simple in form, without any verbal pyrotechnics, true to the elemental feelings of human nature, and based on the old haunting melodies of the folksong. In the summer of 1771 Goethe returned to Frankfort with the title of licentiate (not doctor) and took, up the practice of Holy Roman law. His thoughts were now busy with ‘Autobiography of Götz von Berlichingen,’ whom he idealized as a towering idealist and a “rude self-helper in times of anarchy.” He proceeded to turn some of the more stirring scenes of the old book into dialogue, thus presenting a life-history in a succession of dramatic pictures. Götz was in reality an outlaw, a typical robber-knight of the 16th century, who set himself up against the only forces which were just then making for public order. But Goethe invested him with the halo of a martyr to liberty. In writing he had no thought of the stage or of any rules of play-making. His main artistic purpose was to exhibit the form and pressure of an interesting past epoch. In thus following his instinct in defiance of all conventions he believed that he was Shakespearizing. With some revision the play was published anonymously in 1773 and met with great literary success. Its vigorous realistic prose, its variety of incident, its bluff and hearty life-likeness were very refreshing to a convention-ridden age. In 1774 appeared the ‘Sufferings of Young Werther,’ the most famous of all sentimental novels. The story is told in letters after the manner of Richardson and Rousseau. Werther is a super-sensitive, weak-willed youth, sadly lacking in stamina and self-control, who “suffers” from over-tension of feeling. He is something of an artist, but does not draw because of his overwhelming emotion. A passionate lover of nature, of children, of humble folk and of the simple life, he finds the higher social strata everywhere hard-hearted, selfish and conventional. He falls in love with a betrothed girl whom he can neither win nor renounce. Life becomes meaningless and hopeless. At last he shoots himself. This story grew out of experiences of Goethe at Wetzlar, where he lived for a short time in 1772 for the purpose of studying the practice of the imperial Chamber of Justice. Based to some extent on actual letters and seeming to be a veritable transcript of life, ‘Werther’ took Germany by storm and the fame of it soon spread all over Europe. Essentially it is a morbid book and it loosed a flood of mawkish sentimentalism. Its author himself had suffered from the melancholia of adolescence and had even nursed thoughts of suicide. In writing ‘Werther’ he expelled the poison from his own system but at the same time created a gospel of ‘weltschmerz’ and sentimental pessimism for his contemporaries. People wept copiously over the badness of a world that had done to death such a noble, delicate soul as Werther. Withal the splendid literary art of the book, its hectic tension of feeling, and the unprecedented power with which familiar emotional values are exploited, raised it at once to the position of an immortal classic in its kind. ‘Werther’ was followed, also in 1774, by ‘Clavigo,’ a prose tragedy of more regular construction than ‘Götz,’ based on the memoirs of Beaumarchais. A Spanish youth Clavigo is engaged to a sickly girl but casts her off in the fear that she will be a clog on his ambitious career. Her brother rushes to Madrid to right her wrong and kills Clavigo in a duel by the girl's coffin. In the original memoirs there is no such tragic ending, but in all his early years Goethe's vision of the tragic always included a girl deserted by her lover for prudential reasons. In 1775 came ‘Stella,’ in which a man deserts his wife out of sheer restlessness, marries another woman and then deserts her too. In the play the two women meet by accident and after painful scenes agree to share the delectable Fernando between them. So far was Goethe willing to go at this time in championing the rights of the afflicted heart against the conventions of society. In a later version he made the play end with the fickle husband's suicide. Several minor works of Goethe's busy adolescence must here be passed by. They are chiefly bagatelles of humorous or satiric import, but one of them is a splendid fragment of a prometheus-tragedy, in which the Titan artist bravely declares war against the ever-living gods. It was not here, however, but in ‘Faust’ that the insurgent spirit of young radicalism found its appointed vehicle. A considerable part of ‘Faust’ was “stormed out” in 1774 and 1775. Out of his own transient disgust with book-learning, his study of the occult and his musings on the old legend Goethe had distilled the conception of a superman who despairs of study, deserts the intellectual life and leagues himself with a demon for a grand sensual debauch. Following hints of the old story he made his hero a searcher after truth, an eager traveler and a passionate lover of antique beauty. But for a man of the 18th century these were of course not the traits of a bad man on the way to hell. As soon as the imaginary Faust became the mouthpiece of Goethe's own struggles and aspirations it was all up with his traditionary badness. At first, however, Goethe did not plan to save his hero any more than to damn him. His scheme was that after many years of varied experience Faust would become reconciled to life by finding some useful work to do — work that would give him the sense of having lived to some purpose and permit him to die in a rapt prevision of the benefit others would get from his performance. From this fundamental plan of his youth Goethe never deviated. In the middle portion of his life he decided not only to “save” his hero but to make his ascension among the saints a part of the dramatic action. Faust was now thought of as a man who had gone grievously wrong while wandering in the dark of passion and instinct, but was essentially a “good man” by virtue of his “striving” and would one day be led out into the “clear” by the Lord in Heaven. Thus the old tragedy of sin and damnation was converted into a symbolic drama of struggle toward the light, ending among the saints in glory. The early scenes of ‘Faust,’ those written before 1776, are mainly occupied with the love-tragedy of Gretchen, which is a terribly drastic comment on the status of the unmarried mother in the Germany of that day. Still another of Goethe's major works was begun in the days of his youth, namely, the tragedy of 'Egmont,' whom he conceived as a “demonic” character borne on to his doom by a levity of spirit amounting to tragic frivolity. In the midst of work on 'Egmont' he was invited by the young Duke of Weimar, then a youth of 18 who had lately taken the reins of government from his mother's hands, to visit the Weimar court. He arrived toward the end of 1775, expecting to stay but a few weeks, but he remained all the rest of his days. The duke liked him, made a friend of him and presently gave him a seat in the government council with the rank of Councillor of Legation. There were many misgivings over this step, for the new official was not of the nobility, had had no experience of public business and was reputed to be a “genius,” that is, a person of unsteady and unconventional ways. But he took his new duties very seriously and for some time quite neglected the literary projects that he had brought with him from Frankfort. At different times he had to do with the mining interests, military affairs, public improvements and finances of the little duchy, and in 1784 became president of the Council. He had previously received a diploma of nobility. In the new environment he engaged eagerly in the study of mineralogy, geology, botany and zoology, thus preparing the way for a little paper on the metamorphosis of plants and another on the intermaxillary bone in the human skull. These papers and others have given him a modest place in the history of modern evolutionism. Hard work and close scientific study, together with a fresh reading of Spinoza's ‘Ethics,’ exerted a sobering influence on his character and helped to ban the demons of unrest which had never quite ceased to haunt him since the days of ‘Werther.’ On the other hand, the new life gradually starved his artistic nature, for he was a born-dreamer who liked nothing else so well as solitary communing with the creatures of his own imagination. Thus there came into his life a dissonance which finally became so sharp that he could refer to it as a “terrible disease.” From this he sought relief in the autumn of 1786 by a sudden departure for Italy. He remained there nearly two years, undergoing a “spiritual rebirth.” Italy restored his buoyancy of mind, his joy in life. Naturally the poetic achievement of that first decade in Weimar was small. Everything waited for the leisure and the mental serenity that came first in Italy. Most significant are a number of short poems embodying a new ethical philosophy of self-control and high aspiration. He also wrote several dramatic trifles for the amateur actors of the court circle. But his major works made little or no progress. He wrote an ‘Iphigenie’ in rhythmic prose, but was dissatisfied with it. He also began a play on the life of Tasso and worked intermittently on a new novel called ‘Wilhelm Meister's Theatrical Mission,’ which was at first conceived as a sort of antidote to ‘Werther’ in that the hero would be saved by finding a vocation. In these works Goethe appears as the apostle of a refined personal culture based on the equilibrium of feeling and reason. While in Italy he transcribed his prose ‘Iphigenie’ into mellifluous blank verse, making it a tribute to the sanative power of ideal womanhood such as his partial imagination saw in Charlotte von Stein. After his return he finished ‘Tasso’ in the same verse, putting into it much of the conflict he had known between the claims of art and of practical affairs. These poetic plays, together with ‘Egmont,’ which remained unversified, are the finest products of Goethe's art in its second phase. Not highly dramatic they are rich in delicate commentary on human nature. After his return from Italy he did not again put on the harness of an administrative drudge, but devoted himself mainly to letters and scientific study. That emancipation of the sensual man which had taken place in Italy found expression in the frank eroticism of the ‘Roman Elegies,’ which were written in the early days of his conscience-marriage with Christiane Vulpius. This relation began in 1788. She kept his house and bore him several children; but while he always regarded her as his wife they were not wedded in church until 1806. The outbreak of the French Revolution awakened in him hardly any other emotions than those of cynical disgust. The noisy democracy of France seemed to him to consist only of dupers and duped and he wrote two or three weak plays to exploit the humbug of the revolutionary excitement. In 1792 he accompanied the Duke of Weimar on the Austro-Prussian invasion of France, heard the cannonade at Valmy and saw the seamy side of war when the invaders were tumbled back across the Rhine by the republican armies. And then began, in 1794, under the inspiration of Schiller's friendship, a new era of notable creation. In 1796 he published ‘Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship,’ a cultural novel that had quite outgrown the original scheme. Instead of finding a satisfactory ‘mission’ in play-acting and the management of a theatre Wilhelm is made to conclude that the dramatic art is not his true vocation. Another must be found by search and experimentation. Thus the original “theatrical mission” was changed into an “apprenticeship” in the school of life. In due time an occasion was found for sending the hero to Italy. So the tale was brought to an end unfinished, the way having been prepared for a continuation under the name of ‘Wilhelm Meister's Wanderings,’ which was not completed until 1829. Taking both parts together ‘Wilhelm Meister’ is replete with the wisdom of one of the wisest of men, but as prose fiction it is too leisurely and discursive for the modern novel-reader.
A general favorite, on the other hand, is ‘Hermann and Dorothea,’ written in 1797 in heroic hexameters. It is a picture of German still life drawn against the background of the Revolution. Dorothea is a poor refugee who has been compelled to flee eastward across the Rhine with her fellow-villagers. Amid the general distress she is wooed and won by Hermann, the son of a well-to-do innkeeper. The story is charmingly told, the stately Homeric verse applied to such a lowly theme having somewhat the effect of a subtle humor. Incidentally the scheme afforded a place for Goethe's riper views of the Revolution, though he was too close to the great upheaval to see its larger import. Just at the end of the century he planned a trilogy called the ‘Natural Daughter,’ which was to picture phases of the Revolution, but only one of the three parts was ever written, and this is a literary closet-drama quite lacking in dramatic power and verisimilitude. The most important work of this period was the completion of the first part of ‘Faust.’ Back in 1790 he had published some of the scenes on hand under the title ‘Faust, a Fragment.’ As it ended with the betrayed Gretchen's agony in the cathedral no one could have divined, the plan of the poem as a whole. Resuming work on his masterpiece in June 1797, Goethe first wrote a prologue in which the reader was duly apprised that the new Faust would end in heaven, not in hell. Then, finding the material as it lay in his mind too vast for a simple play, he decided to make two parts of it and to postpone for a second part all that portion of the plot which was to follow Gretchen's death. The publication of the first past in 1808 made it clear that here was the high-water mark in German letters; something altogether incommensurable with aught that had gone before. From this time forth Goethe deserved the name applied to him by Lord Byron — “monarch of European letters.” The death of Schiller in 1805 was a great bereavement. For 11 years he and Goetbe had been close friends, to some extent collaborators. They worked together on the ‘Xenia,’ a collection of stinging and stingless epigrams, and also in editing Schiller's magazine Die Horen. Withal, as director of the Weimar Theatre — a position he held from 1791 to 1817 — Goethe leaned hard on the superior dramatic insight of Schiller when it was a question of telling work for the stage. The correspondence between the two men is of many-sided interest and counts justly among the classics of letter-writing. In the stormy years that followed Schiller's death, while Europe was battling with Napoleon, Goethe kept to his literary work and scientific studies, paying little attention to world-politics. Nationalistic patriotism was never his affair. What he most cared for was the perfection of the individual, and he had seen German culture flourish greatly under a weak and incoherent empire. He had no reason to suppose that it would flourish better through the aggrandisement of Prussia or Austria. He disliked the Prussians, was suspicious of Russia and as a lover of clearness had much sympathy with the French genius. At Erfurt in 1808 Napoleon treated him very handsomely and he was duly grateful. The only path of safety for himself and his beloved Weimar was to acquiesce in Napoleon's regime. He was not a good hater and he acquiesced. The important works of this Napoleonic period are a third novel, the ‘Elective Affinities,’ a bulky treatise on the ‘Theory of Color,’ and the beginning of an autobiography entitled ‘From my Life; Poetry and Truth.’ The novel is a tragic tale of disaster due to the invasion of the marriage relation by lawless passion. It has no specific tendency other than to show the danger of treating moral relations as if they were subject to necessary laws like those of chemical affinity. The heart of the matter is the story of a sensitive girl's suicide from a morbidly acute sense of remorse. In his ‘Theory of Color’ Goethe embodied laborious researches that had extended over nearly 20 years and cost him much vexation of spirit because he could not make the world believe that Sir Isaac Newton had been a teacher of false doctrine. In ‘Poetry and Truth’ we have an elderly man's romanticizing account of his youth. The book ends with the year 1775 and has much to say of his love-affairs. The “poetry” of the title does not mean that there is an admixture of deliberate fiction. Goethe held that a fact is important not because it is true but because it is significant. To select and record the significant, whether in one's own life, or another man's, or in that of an imaginary hero, is to perform an act of the creative imagination, in other words, to poetize. On the whole ‘Poetry and Truth’ is as accurate as autobiographies are wont to be, and the earlier books at least show Goethe's matured prose style at its very best. To the final phase of his career, his old age, belong, aside from critical and scientific miscellanies, his ‘Divan’ and the completion of ‘Wilhelm Meister’ and ‘Faust.’ In the ‘Divan’ (1819) the septuagenarian poet turned to account his recent studies in Persian poetry. He borrows the imagery and apparatus of Hafiz and uses it to set forth thoughts of his own. ‘Wilhelm Meister’ was completed very inartistically, extraneous matter having been included in order to fill space. The ‘Wanderings’ are most significant for the evidence the book affords of the aging Goethe's interest in the socialistic theories and speculations that were just then beginning to make a noise in the world. From 1824 to 1831 Goethe's principal, but by no means exclusive, occupation was the finishing of the great dramatic poem which he had begun in the nebulous days of his youth. With engaging humor, with no perceptible waning of poetic power, except perhaps in the latter part of the fourth act, and with an astonishing freshness of imaginative vision, he carried his singular hero through a wonderful series of symbolic experiences and finally took leave of him as a divine entelechy mounting heavenward in the train of the Mater Gloriosa, mystically drawn on by the Eternal-womanly. The long task was finished in the summer of 1831 and the aged poet now regarded his life-work as essentially done. He died on 18 March 1832. There is no authentic record of his last words. During the 19th century Goethe's prestige increased enormously, and not merely in his own country, until it became common to link his name with those of Homer, Dante and Shakespeare. Matthew Arnold called him the “clearest, largest and most helpful thinker of modern times”; while Emerson declared that the “old Eternal Genius that built the world had confided itself more to this man than to any other.” Such estimates, and many more of like import might be quoted, imply a larger reverence for personal culture and the contemplative life than accords with the temper of the present age. But, however the opinion of coming generations may shape itself with respect to the “helpfulness” of Goethe's thinking, he will always stand out in the retrospect as the great organ-voice of a unique and memorable epoch. See Truth and Poetry; Elective Affinities; Sorrows of Werther; Wilhelm Meister; Egmont; Hermann and Dorothea; Faust; Iphigenia.
Bibliography. — The literature pertaining to Goethe is enormous. Consult Goedeke's ‘Grundriss,’ 3d ed., Vols. IV and V, where 1,424 closely printed octavo pages of it are listed. A large part of this literature consists, however, of what has been called Goethe-philology, i.e., books, brochures and articles written by specialists for specialists and dealing with relatively small questions of biography, criticism, personal relations, influence, provenience of ideas, etc. The chief repositories for this kind of research are the ‘Goethe-Jahrbuch,’ beginning in 1880, and the ‘Schriften der Weimar Goethe-Gesellschaft’ (28 vols., including numerous portfolios of drawings, facsimiles, etc.). Good periodical reviews of recent Goethe literature are found in the Jahresberichte für neuere deutsche Literaturgeschichte, beginning in 1892 and in the journals Euphorion and Das literarische Echo. Editions, complete and partial, are very numerous since the expiration of the Cotta copyright. The most ambitious is the Weimar edition, 128 vols., comprising 50 vols. of letters and 13 of diaries, together with copious critical apparatus. More convenient is the excellent ‘Jubiläumsausgabe’ (Stuttgart 1907-10). Meritorious are also the ‘Propyläenausgabe’ (Munich 1909-14); the Hempel edition, Berlin 1868-79 (new Goldne Klassiker ed., 1910-14); the Heinemann edition (Leipzig 1900), and that contained in Kürschner's ‘Deutsche Nationalliteratur.’
The conversations have been best edited by W. Biedermann, ‘Goethes Gespräche’ (10 vols., Leipzig 1889-96); for the conversations with Eckermann see also Houben's edition (Leipzig 1911). As before stated, the letters are now available all together in Weimar edition of the works; but special mention may be made of the ‘Goethe-Schiller Correspondence,’ ed. by Graef and Leitzmann (Leipzig 1912); and of the letters to Frau von Stein, ed. by W. Fielitz (Frankfurt 1883-86), and by Fraenkel (Jena 1908). The outstanding biographies are those of Bielschowsky, A. (Munich 1896-1904; trans. by Cooper, New York 1905-08); Brandes, G. (Copenhagen 1915); Carus, P. (Chicago 1915); Chamberlain, H. S. (Munich 1912); Düntzer, H. (Leipzig 1880; trans. by T. W. Lyster, London 1883); Geiger, L. (Berlin 1910); Grimm, H. (Berlin 1875; trans. by S. H. Adams, Boston 1880); Heinemann, K. (Leipzig 1895); Lewes, G. H. (London 1856); McCabe J. (London 1912); Meyer, R. M. (Berlin 1895); Thomas, C. (consisting partly of studies and appreciations; New York 1917); Witkowski, G. (Leipzig 1899). Miscellaneous works of importance are Appell, J. W. ‘Werther und seine Zeit’ (Oldenburg 1855); Bode, W., ‘Goethes Aesthetik’ (Berlin 1901); Boucke, E. A., ‘Goethe's Weltanschauung’ (Stuttgart 1907); Gloël, H., ‘Goethes Wetzlarer Zeit’ (Berlin 1911); Graef, H. G., ‘Goethe über seine Dichtungen’ (9 vols, Frankfort 1901-14); Maass, E., ‘Goethe und die Antike’ (Stuttgart 1912); Magnus, R., ‘Goethe als Naturforscher’ (Leipzig 1906); Mentzel, A., ‘Der Frankfurter Goethe’ (Frankfurt 1900); Morris, M, ‘Der junge Goethe’ (6 vols., Leipzig 1909-12); Schmidt, E., ‘Charakeristiken’ (Berlin 1896); Scherer, W., ‘Aufsätze über Goethe’ (Berlin 1886); Vogel, J. and Traumann, E., ‘Goethes Studentenjahre’ (Leipzig 1910); Wasilewski, W. von, ‘Goethe und die Descendenztheorie’ (Frankfurt 1903); Weissenfels, R., ‘Der junge Goethe’ (Tübingen 1899).