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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who lived to the age of eighty-two and produced more than 130 volumes of poetry, plays, letters, and science, is acknowledged to be one of the giants of world literature. His writing ranged from fairy tales, to psychological novels, to political and historical novels, and to something completely unique and different such as Faust.
Goethe was born shortly after the death of the Pope, on August 28, 1749 in Frankfurt am Main to a middle class family. His mother had many connections because she was a daughter of the mayor. Young Goethe was brought up having a feeling of aristocracy. He had only two siblings out of the total eight who survived. One was his sister Cornelia and the other was the first born. He began writing at an early age and wrote abundantly. As C.P. Magill points out, "his writings are of daunting bulk and diversity. He is the national poet of a most industrious people and the quantity of information about him is correspondingly enormous." His poetry is of numerous styles, ranging from the Renaissance to his own times.
At the age of sixteen he was sent to study law at a university, but would have more gladly read classics at another university. After ten years he was invited by Duke Karl August to come to Weimar (this city would be his actual home until his death there on March 22, 1832). He was already a good lawyer and had written the novel Werther. His work in Weimar caused him to ob...