/ ɡoθ /
muški rodlično ime
(1749-1832) German poet, novelist, dramatist, and scholar. He is generally considered the founder of modern German literature, and was the leader of the Romantic Sturm und Drang movement. His works include the autobiographical Die Leiden des Jungen Werthers/The Sorrows of the Young Werther 1774 and the poetic play Faust 1808 and 1832, his masterpiece.
Among his many interests were geology, the occult, physics, philosophy, biology, comparative anatomy, and optics. His many works—in poetry, drama, fiction, and science—made him known throughout Europe. Between 1775 and 1785 he served as prime minister at the court of Weimar. A visit to Italy 1786–88 inspired the classical dramas Iphigenie auf Tauris/Iphigenia in Tauris 1787 and Torquato Tasso 1790.
Goethe was born in Frankfurt-am-Main, and studied law. Inspired by Shakespeare, to whose work he was introduced by the critic J G von Herder, he wrote the play Götz von Berlichingen 1773. In later years he was a friend of the dramatist Schiller.
Goethe's scientific research was characterized by a combination of keen observation and poetic intuition. He discovered the intermaxillary bone in the human jaw (thus anticipating Charles Darwin's link between humans and apes); and argued that the skull was a modification of the spine, and that all the parts of a plant are modifications of the leaf. In physics, he argued against Isaac Newton's theory of light. He also devoted much time to the study of painting and from 1791 was director of the Weimar court theater.
Other works include the Wilhelm Meister novels 1795–1829, the short novel Die Wahlverwandschaften/Elective Affinities 1809, and Farbenlehre/Treatise on Color 1810.