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; 28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German writer and statesman.His works include epic and lyric poetry; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels.His uncritical admiration for many contemporary poets vanished as he became interested in Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Christoph Martin Wieland.Already at this time, Goethe wrote a good deal, but he threw away nearly all of these works, except for the comedy Die Mitschuldigen.Goethe's comments and observations form the basis of several biographical works, most notably Johann Peter Eckermann's Conversations with Goethe.Goethe's father, Johann Caspar Goethe, lived with his family in a large house in Frankfurt, then an Imperial Free City of the Holy Roman Empire.Though he had studied law in Leipzig and had been appointed Imperial Councillor, he was not involved in the city's official affairs.His father and private tutors gave Goethe lessons in all the common subjects of their time, especially languages (Latin, Greek, French, Italian, English and Hebrew).
During this period, Goethe published his second novel, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, the verse epic Hermann and Dorothea, and, in 1808, the first part of his most celebrated drama, Faust.
From this milieu came Johann Georg Schlosser (who was later to become his brother-in-law) and Johann Heinrich Merck.
Goethe also pursued literary plans again; this time, his father did not have anything against it, and even helped.
Although Goethe's great passion was drawing, he quickly became interested in literature; Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock and Homer were among his early favorites.
He had a lively devotion to theater as well and was greatly fascinated by puppet shows that were annually arranged in his home; this is a recurrent theme in his literary work Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship.