Goethe’s epistolary novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther” may safely be described as one of the key works of literature in German. It stands for the feeling of life in a time of departure and, as it were, for a movement that attracted many young intellectuals and which was later called the time of the Sturm und Drang.
Characteristic of the works of this epoch is the contemplation of man in his own destiny, which is marked by pain and passion in a social order in which class distinctions and arbitrariness of the aristocracy impede the free development of the individual. However, the criticism of the political situation is only one – important – side aspect of the “storm and urge”. The focus is on the negotiation of the emotional confusions and inversions to which man is capable in his individual being. The main thrust of this powerful movement is dedicated to the emotional furor, which at the same time already has deep romantic traits. What happens when man, unleashed in his longing for love, pursues to feel free to think freely? The emotional exploration of the world from the perspective of people who have returned to focus unleashes the mind and leads to a revolution in the veins.