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Questions tagged [johann-wolfgang-von-goethe]

Questions about German writer and statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832) or his works. Questions about his works should be tagged with [german-literature].

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3 votes
0 answers
138 views

How is "Faust" a tragedy?

I just finished reading Goethe's Faust (the Martin Greenberg translation for those who may be curious). However, I am a bit disappointed in the ending due to Faust's soul being saved by God in the end....
Steven Creech's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
541 views

Is Mephistopheles Faust's first encounter with the otherwordly?

I noticed in Will Quadflieg's interpretation of Goethe's Faust that Faust seems to be relatively calm during his first encounter with Mephistopheles. I get that in the original text, Faust mentions in ...
Wilfred Montoya's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
127 views

Where is it indicated that Charlotte has difficulty choosing between Albert and Werther?

I read The Sorrows of Young Werther for my literature class (our translation was from Corngold and its title substituted "Sufferings" for "Sorrows", but it's the same story). For a ...
bobble's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
213 views

Source of "talent is formed in solitude", attributed to Goethe

I'm annotating an essay by Paul Hensel and he quotes Goethe: "talent is formed in solitude, character in the currents and cataracts of the world." I can't seem to find what the source of ...
Travis Berg's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
254 views

What is the textual origin of the quote attributed to Goethe starting "The heights charm us, but the steps do not"

The full quote is The heights charm us, but the steps do not; with the mountain in our view we love to walk the plains. I remembered reading it several years ago, most likely in quotation, but a ...
user13822's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the central summary of "Erlkönig"?

I was listening to Franz Schubert’s musical concert of "Erlkönig", and the music was perfect. The lyrics were quite plain and simple, but why is it so famous? I read the poem, heard Schubert ...
Knight wants Loong back's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
165 views

What does this quatrain of Goethe's ("Gesang der Geister über den Wassern") mean?

What does this quatrain of Goethe's ("Gesang der Geister über den Wassern") mean? Seele des Menschen Wie gleichst du dem Wasser Schicksal des Menschen Wie gleichst du dem Wind Translation: ...
ali_ runnindis's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
95 views

Identify a Faust quote about being careful when calling upon bad spirits

As a comment on a disaster, someone quoted orally in German from Faust. They explained the quote as: one should be careful with calling upon bad spirits. The German verb "mahnen" was used. ...
Frode Alfson Bjørdal's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
671 views

What did Goethe mean by "each situation, each moment, is of infinite worth"?

Each situation, each moment, is of infinite worth; for each represents a whole eternity. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. I lit upon this on p. 395 of National Geographic Stunning Photographs. I can't ...
user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

What well known phrase from "Götz von Berlichingen" is alluded to in All Quiet in the Western Front?

In Chapter 10 of All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul and his comrades are goofing around by pretending to give orders to each other. "Tjaden!" - "What?" - "Stand at ease, Tjaden; and what's more, ...
MackM's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
323 views

Which literature work took the longest time in its author's life (finished or not)

As far as I know Goethe has that title with Faust (this site tells that it spanned 57 years). So, is it the record; or are there any other works took longer? Unfinished works are also considered to ...
vahdet's user avatar
  • 141
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is this quote by Goethe, and what is the source?

Is this a real quote? Few people have the imagination for reality I have seen it attributed to Goethe in 1815, but I cannot find the source..
Rebecca J's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
157 views

Where does Goethe refer to "from the deepest mountain valley to the highest mountain top"?

I'm not sure about the precise wording of the sentence, neither in english or german. But the quote is often used when referring to a mans life or career that has gone from the lowest low (e.g. ...
MOLAP's user avatar
  • 303
3 votes
0 answers
127 views

What was Faust's purpose?

It seems like at the end of Goethe's Faust II, he has realized what he should do. Shortly before that, he kills humans on his quest to help humanity. So what exactly is his new purpose, except that he ...
ShowyTool's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
887 views

Does this quote belong to Goethe?

This quote is often attributed to Goethe. Did he actually write this? If yes, then where can we find it? It would be wonderful if there is a reliable source or a book so that I can quote it in my ...
o-az's user avatar
  • 163
13 votes
1 answer
788 views

What's the significance of Faust's meeting being on Easter Day?

In Goethe's Faust, the eponymous (anti?)hero meets the demon Mephistopheles on what seems to be Easter Sunday, during local celebrations of Easter. Given the religious themes in the story, this surely ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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