Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Masonic Biographies

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Born: Thursday, 28 August 1749
Died: Thursday, 22 March 1832



Johann Wolfgang Goethe is one of the literary greats of the 18th century. A man of letters and poetic spirit, Goethe is famous for writing Faust, and other soul-searching works examining human nature. His glorification and dramatization of the struggles of man falls in line with the Masonic emphasis of humanism, of understanding and perfecting humanity. Initially wary of Freemasonry because he thought it would strip him of his independence, he came to embrace the craft on realizing the good work he could do within its framework.

Born in 1749 in Frankfurt Germany, Goethe distinguished himself with his literary genius by 25, when he published he first of his famous novel and was made a noble by the Duke of Saxony as a consequence. He found a welcoming home for his talents at the Duke’s court, and it was there he began to seek out Freemasonry. The lodge he joined, Amalia, had a very on and off career, going dark once for 26 years. However, he stuck with the craft through every upturn and downturn, giving his all, evidencing high character, which is encouraged and sought by Freemasonry.

A renaissance man in the enlightenment, Goethe served as a military advisor to the Duke of Saxony during the wars of Napoleon and carried himself nobly. He was also an economic advisor and a general friend to the Duke, who also joined the craft shortly after Goethe did. Throughout his life he put forth every effort to exemplify the principles in which he believed. It is said his last words were “More Light!” the Masonic significance of which is profound.

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