German writer associated with the Sturm und Drang literary movement and best known for his poetic drama, Faust. His other works include The Sorrows of Young Werther, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, and Hermann and Dorothea.
As a child, he studied many different languages, including Latin, Greek, French, Italian, English and Hebrew. During the 1760s, he unhappily studied law in Leipzig, devoting most of his time and energy to writing poetry and pursuing romance.
His masterwork, Faust, inspired symphonies, oratorios, and operas by such renowned composers as Wagner, Mahler, Liszt, Schumann, and Berlioz.
He had several children with his long-time mistress, Christiane Vulpius; the couple finally married in 1806. Following Vulpius' death in 1816, Goethe fell in love with Baroness Ulrike von Levetzow (sadly, because Levetzow's mother disapproved of their relationship, the two never married).
Goethe's literary work profoundly influenced the Swiss psychoanalyst, Carl Jung.