Literature Study GuidesThe Sorrows Of Young Werther

The Sorrows of Young Werther | Study Guide

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Year Published





Romance, Tragedy

Perspective and Narrator

Werther narrates Book 1 and most of Book 2 through letters written in the first person with a limited perspective. The editor narrates the end of Book 2 in both the first person and the third person with an omniscient perspective.


Werther and the editor predominantly use the past tense to discuss past events. They occasionally write in the present tense to discuss events currently happening to them.

About the Title

Goethe intended the novel to be a "general confession" of the sorrows or misfortunes of a young man named Werther, who tells the story in letters to a friend. Werther's youth and coming of age, as well as his persistent melancholy, are central to his character development.


This study guide for Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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