There is no doubt that Faust is one of the most famous and talented works that belong to German literature. You should know that Goethe starts to write this popular drama in 1773 when he lived in the Holy Roman Empire, a crumbling realm of free cities and principalities. The main reason is that the German state wasn’t founded only in 1871.
Think about considerable cultural differences of German-speaking regions because they all were affected by common political, economic, and demographic changes. Pay attention to the ravages of the so-called Thirty Years’ War, as this is what caused the population to increase. Besides, you shouldn’t forget about straining the traditional forms of social control.
After 1750, the ever-increasing part of the nobility that previously monopolized social, political, and economic aspects of people’s lives through their land ownership was forced to sell properties to commoners. The rise of non-noble elite who considered their social prestige in terms of political expertise, wealth, moral stature, and education challenged the claim of power of the nobility.
It was a completely new social order, in which the son of one wealthy Lutheran family was born and he was called Goethe. It’s no wonder that he became a public intellectual, and his works reached many readers. His status also made evident and clear those opportunities that were available to people of his social standing.
In 1770, Germans managed to develop their vernacular literary traditions compared to France and England, and there were many intellectuals who did their best to promote their national literary culture. As an example, you should find out more about Herder who argued that Germans couldn’t develop their own literature just by imitating existing French and English models. This means that they needed to use their unique writing traditions and folklore. Take into account the text of Goethe who succeeded to dramatize the legend of Faust.
In the 16th century, people considered Faust a historical person because he was mentioned in many books, including Table Talks of Martin Luther. The publisher of this story asserted that it was based on the writing and life of one infamous magician of the dark arts. Don’t forget about the texts that belong to the reformation era, including Historia, because they embellished and recounted this story to instruct their religious leadership about the dangers of human arrogance.
There is no doubt that Faust is one of the most famous and talented works that belong to German literature. You should know that Goethe starts to write this popular drama in 1773 when he lived in the Holy Roman Empire, a crumbling realm of free cities and principalities.