Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Hermann und Dorothea

(1625 words)

Goethe’s epic poem in hexameters Hermann und Dorothea affirms the universality of human experience as manifested in the historical, geographical, national, and cultural realities of the time of its composition. Written between September 1796 and June 1797, after the first phase of the French Revolution and nearly a decade before the battle of Jena-Auerstedt, which brought the Holy Roman Empire to an end, it is a product of Goethe’s “classical”, middle period — the time of his intense preoccupation with Greek antiquity as well as with current events. The heroic intention of this seemingly unheroic tale is expressed in its epic form — in six cantos, later rearranged into nine, headed by the names of the muses added to …

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Dye, Ellis. "Hermann und Dorothea". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 April 2013
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]