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Religion & Culture
Marybeth White

RE103 Lecture Feb.26/13 Sorrow’s of Young Werther- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Goethe • 1749-1832= the middle period of the enlightenment age, the Romantic period • Raised Lutheran- Like Socrates pushed away from his religious tradition although did accept in as well (did not like conformity of religious tradition) • Writer, Lawyer, Politician, Scientist- he operated equally in each • Weimar, Germany • Faust 1808 and 1832- was most famous from this, the ultimate story of selling your sell to the devil and was written in two parts (when he was young and older) • The Sorrows of Young Werther 1774-  Wrote it with a purpose, he disagreed with what he perceived the dangers of romantic love  It was a best seller around the world  Story was based on experience on falling in love with Charlotte but couldn’t be with since she was betrothed to someone  Mythical+ passion  He fell in love with a woman and had children with her, they eventually got married. He suffered very much since his young son died early as well as his wife.  1823- was 23 and fell in love with her, the mother disapproved (he was 74)- It can be seen that he embraced passion and critiqued the romantic period Reactions to the Book: • Highly popular – Pilgrimages- to places from the book – Dressing like Werther • Suicides among unrequited and jilted lovers- people would jump into rivers with the book, literature can move people immensely • Leipzig Theological Faculty bans book- due to problems occurring ex- suicide Semi- Autobiographical (fiction/ non fiction, a bit of both) • Charlotte Buff and Johann Kestner • Lotte and Albert • Karl Jerusalem- the life of the authors friend, fell in love with Charlotte, he experiences a love triangle • Werther • 1st 1/2 book is Goethe’s experiences • 2nd 1/2 book is Jerusalem’s experiences Werther: The Nature of His Heart  His world view - the nature of his heart and his place in the world, promoting heavenly realm, Werther starts to consider this and to do away with himself (since he can’t have Lotte)  Longing, enduring, escaping to the next world- passion and striving for Lotte On pg. 11, last paragraph (May 31)  Depiction of scene from Ossian- in the last few pages of book, when Werther becomes more and more obsessed with Lotte. This depicts a heavily typed realm with cherubs with passion and violence as well. Ossian was believed at the time to be a newly found myth. Werther: His Views on Romantic Love • Eros – Longing and only feeling fulfilled when with the beloved – Combination of the both (eros and pandemos) – Takes full force in Werther • Aphrodite Pandemos – Seductive, Obsessive, Possessive, Self-Absorbe
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