Reading Questions for Sorrows of Young Werther

In answering each of these questions, provide references from the book.


1. Describe the principal figures in the novel (Werther, Charlotte/Lotte, Albert). What kind of people are these? What matters to them?

2. How is nature portrayed or spoken about in the novel?

3. What does Werther think love is like? Do you agree with him?

4. Why does Werther think that ill humour is the worst of human failings?

5. Why does Goethe include a section from "The Editor To The Reader"?

6. Is this novel a soap opera? How is it similar, and how does it differ?

7. Is this novel a good representation of contemporary love?

8. What does this novel have to say about the place of the artist in society?

9. Why do you think that this novel had the overwhelming reception in Europe that it did? (operas, plays, parodies, poems, etc.)