Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Egmont (2428 words)


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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

Citation: Dye, Ellis. "Egmont". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 September 2005 [, accessed 30 September 2022.]

16859 Egmont 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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