Werther's universe in 21st century

The beggining

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the one of the greatest in world of poetry, and well known as admirer of Serbs. Also he became famous by his works, especially “Faust” and “The Sorrows of young Werther”. People are still fascinated with his works and way of writing. But then it was common style for all writers and poets. Romanticism is an era with a lot of overwhelming feelings and it is all about running away from the harsh reality, and also about unhappy love stories and endings. So Goethe was a classic example of his time. But also there is “Sturm und Drang”, the movement that was characteristic for Goethe.


Today we do not use this term so often. But not so long ago after publishing “The Sorrows of Young Wether” it became very popular. It was used as explanation for a lot of suicides that young people committed, all because of unhappy love. They revived with the hero of the Goethe’s book, and they do exactly the same thing as he did. And in one moment there were a bunch of young people that committed suicide, and every single problem reminded them on Werther’s sorrows. Today we have different perspective for all of that. People are still committing suicides because of love or some other problems, but no so often as then. It was craze in that time, that everyone had to live and die as Werther. This book made a big impact at youth of that time. Now we have the term “wertherism” so we can still talk about it, because it was to important to fall into oblivion.

Endless love or insufficiency of genius

We usually just talk about extraordinary love, but we can not just look in that way. Sorrows that was a part of Werher’s everyday life, are not just product of unhappy love. He was a genuis, for sure, and people are not made to understand one that is different. He was between two classes, and actually did not belong to any of those two. He was lost in this world. Everything here was sorrow for him. He did not know how happines really looks like. For him that was on the other side, somewhere else, in some other universe, and for some other people, not for him. He knew that he can not be happy in this life, he was aware of his incomprehensible. It was not bad for him, he knew that was the only way.
He did not belong anywhere. In every single thing ih his life, he did not have his own place, did not have someone who would really understand his. Everything was so transient, and boring, so he did not feel fulfilled with those things ih his life. He wanted more. And he could get it, but only if he decide to release himself from the bonds in this world. Suicide was the only way to do that. The only way that he saw as a right way. We can not understand it now as well as people understood it back then. Because of that a lot of people who feel for him, did the same thing as Werther. However, today when someone says his name we always think about huge and unhappy love. But it is much more.

Universe of love and philosophy

Werther was not only a man who loved  Charlotte more than everything that exist on this world, but also a philosopher that could not survive in world of mediocrity. His love is not classic type of love between man and woman. His love was for everthing that you can not get. It also refers to truth, and other phenomens from philosophy. He just wanted something unattainable, and Goethe explained it through the unlucky love story, because it was the easier way to explain it to everyone. And also made the story better and more acceptable. Also the inspiration came from the real life and Goethe’s friend that did not have so much luck in love. At the end he commited sucide, just like Werther. But other things from Werther’s doom were taken from Goethe’s personal life. However, I still think that is one of the greatest and the saddest love stories in history.

Werther today

Imagine how Werther will look like today, and would he be able to do same thing? To take away his own life? I am not so sure. Werther committed suicide because he believed in something bigger, better, in something that you are not able to comprehend in this life, on this world. He believed in something impassable for what you need to free yourself and become only a soul. He believe in his ideals. It is hard to find here today. People usually stay in their comfort zone, and do not want to sacrifice anything for some ideals, for something saintly. We forgot what really matters in this life, we forgot how to value things. Werther was not happy, but neither we are. But we think we are happy, we live in illusions. He was aware of everything, even of that Charlotte will never loved him back. Even she understood him better than anyone else. Today we do not have that kind of love, or life, or sacrifice. We only have empty lives.

Love is only love when it ends badly

We can not talk about something outside this world if we live in illusion of happiness. It is hard to accept things like that, but it would be better for us that we realize as soon as possible that no one could be really happy if he do not fight for his ideals. No matter how it ends. Werther proved his love with his whole life, and also with his death. If you want to love, you must sacrifice even if it is unrequited love. No one does those kind of sacrifice anymore, but we will always have this work and we will always admire to Werther’s courage and Goethe’s imagination and talent. That is one of the thing that really matters. But we forgot how real values look like. Maybe this story will remind us, maybe not. But for sure, we all must find something that will inspire us to do stuff we could not do regular way.


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