Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Egmont

(2428 words)

Goethe's tragedy Egmont, about the life and downfall of a glamorous and popular Flemish political leader and brilliant general in the service of Philip II of Spain, was composed in sporadic work over a period of twelve years, a first draft having been set down in 1775, when Goethe was still living at his parents' Frankfurt home and encouraged “day and night” by his republican-minded father. Like Götz von Berlichingen and various fragmentary treatments of Julius Caesar, Mahomet, and the mythical Prometheus, Egmont: A Tragedy in Five Acts reflects Goethe's preoccupation with the lives of great, powerful men (“Kraftkerle”). The original

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Dye, Ellis. "Egmont". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 September 2005
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]