We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Goethe's Allegories of Identity

By Jane K. Brown

Publication Year: 2014

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Series: Haney Foundation Series


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. C-C

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. i-iv


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. v-viii

Part I. The Problem

read more

Chapter 1. Representing Subjectivity

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 3-17

European culture underwent a paradigm shift in the last third of the eighteenth century that, depending on point of view and disciplinary focus, goes by various names—the displacement of classicism (or Enlightenment) by Romanticism, a fundamental change in literary style, the emergence of historicism, an epistemological shift from surface to depth, and above all the...

read more

Chapter 2. Goethe Contra Rousseau on Passion

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 18-34

Interiority hardly begins with Rousseau, but the notion of a self inaccessible to the light of reason, knowable at best through dreams and inchoate feelings, does find its earliest widely influential formulation in his work, especially in Julie, ou La nouvelle Héloïse of 1761, in which the heroine renounces her lover, marries the older, rational husband selected by her father, and settles...

read more

Chapter 3. Goethe Contra Rousseau on Social Responsibility

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 35-52

Both Goethe and Rousseau framed their versions of the subject in terms not only of passion, explored in the previous chapter, but also in terms of the individual’s place in society. Renaissance man though he was, Goethe did not write essays in political theory and cannot be compared directly to Rousseau...

Part II. Experiments in Subjectivity

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 53-56

read more

Chapter 4. The Theatrical Self

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 57-76

The classical plays Egmont, Iphigenie auf Tauris, and Torquato Tasso all deal at bottom with how to recognize and represent identity, even though they seem quite different on the surface: Egmont, in prose, has a large cast and disjointed scenes and owes much to Shakespeare and English bourgeois drama of the eighteenth century, while Iphigenie and Tasso, in blank verse, have small casts...

read more

Chapter 5. The Scientific Self: Identity in Faust

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 77-94

Faust has already appeared in these pages as a document of Goethe’s engagement with the problematic morality generated by Rousseau’s interior self. Now, in the wake of the epistemological problems raised in the classical dramas and Goethe’s initial struggles to represent interiority, it is time to consider the representational issues in Faust, which was first published in 1790 as a fragment...

read more

Chapter 6. The Narrative Self

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 95-118

Faust is not only Goethe’s most sophisticated dramatic allegory, achieved after the coherent cosmos on which allegory depends had passed, and managed by sheer force of individual genius, but it also remains unclassifiable for our essentially secular culture today and tends to be received as epic as much as drama.1 Since narrative allegory has had a different history from allegory in...

Part III. The Language of Inferiority

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 119-122

read more

Chapter 7. Goethe’s Angst

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 123-142

When passion was repressed and turned inward in the previous chapter, it seemed reduced in intensity: anger and guilt appeared merely as Verdruss. The most recognizable form of this phenomenon for children of the twentieth century is the reduction of the German Angst (fear of what is to come) to anxiety or “angst” as used in English, the generalized sense of insecurity coupled...

read more

Chapter 8. “Es singen wohl die Nixen”: Werther and the Romantic Tale

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 143-159

Goethe’s adaptation of dramatic personification allegory into a tool for representing the subconscious demands precisely the readiness to read allegorically that emerged among the young Romantic generation assembled in Weimar and Jena in the second half of the 1790s (the Schlegels, Tieck, Novalis, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel), all of whom came to be near Goethe and Schiller. This readiness...

read more

Chapter 9. Goethe and the Uncanny

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 160-179

The trajectory from Werther to Die Wahlverwandtschaften was the starting point of this investigation because it marked so clearly the period of Goethe’s struggles with Rousseau. Since Werther was also the starting point for the Romantics’ encounter with representing depth psychology, it is only appropriate to end with Die Wahlverwandtschaften, where the last building block for...

read more

Conclusion: Classicism and Goethe’s Emotional Regime

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 180-188

In his autobiography Goethe revealed his works to be “fragments of a great confession”—so convincingly, that generations of readers, professional and lay alike, considered his poetry above all “poetry of experience.”1 It is known that Goethe was susceptible to powerful emotions, to great enthusiasm and to profound depression. On more than one occasion he suffered the kinds of physical...


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 189-210

Works Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 211-218


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 219-230

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 231-232

The earliest section of this book was first drafted in 1976, so a list of the colleagues, friends, and students who offered suggestions and support would overwhelm the book itself, even if I could reconstruct it. Instead I can point only to a few especially bright beacons and devoted encouragers along the way of its specific development—my supportive editor Jerry Singerman; the graduate...

E-ISBN-13: 9780812209389
E-ISBN-10: 0812209389
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812245820

Page Count: 240
Illustrations: 4 illus.
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Haney Foundation Series
See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 871191892
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Goethe's Allegories of Identity

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, -- 1749-1832 -- Criticism and interpretation.
  • Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 1749-1832 -- Language.
  • Identity in literature.
  • Self in literature.
  • Subconsciousness in literature.
  • Subjectivity in literature.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access