Werther’s Death

Jennifer Radden

in The Nature of Melancholy

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195151657
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849253 | DOI:
Werther’s Death

Show Summary Details


This chapter presents an excerpt from Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe's novel about melancholy. Goethe was born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1749 and died in 1832. He was one of the greatest geniuses of modern times, a lyric poet, dramatist, novelist, and scientist whose literary and artistic output was remarkable. His most popular work, The Sorrows of Young Werther, was published in 1774. Goethe wrote this novel out of despair over a broken heart. It tells the tragic tale of an unrequited attachment that ends in a graphically described suicide. The book brought Goethe enormous fame and was much translated. Its effect on the public was intense: it inspired a condition of exaggerated sensibility that came to be known as Wertherism. Werther's frustration, grief, and despair, elaborated in this work, captured and celebrated the Romantic notion of melancholy.

Keywords: Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe; melancholy; The Sorrows of Young Werther

Chapter.  8472 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or purchase to access all content.