Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was the greatest writer of his time and even Napoleon insisted on meeting him when the French conqueror happened to be passing through Germany with the Grande Armée. Goethe gained celebrity at an early age and won both acclaim and notoriety for his writings, some of which are now classics of world literature. This brilliant intellectual and artist wrote four novels, poetry and world-famous dramas, as well as treatises on various scientific subjects. He also served in a number of important state functions.
Producer: Marijke van der Meer
Broadcast: August 28, 1999 to mark the 250th anniversary of Goethe’s birth
02 Goethe’s Faust
The play “Faust” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe created a sensation when the first part of this drama was published in 1808. Now considered a milestone of world literature, it is the story of the ambitious scholar Heinrich Faust whose wager with the devil, Mephistopheles, leads to several deaths and the execution of the woman he once desired. We are still trying to figure out what it all means. And there is a second part that is even more complicated…