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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832) was a German writer and polymath. Goethe's works span the fields of poetry, drama, literature, theology, philosophy, pantheism, and science. His magnum opus, lauded as one of the peaks of world literature, is the two-part drama Faust.
Goethe was one of the key figures of German literature and the movement of Weimar Classicism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; this movement coincides with Enlightenment, Sentimentality, Sturm und Drang and Romanticism.
The author of the scientific text Theory of Colours, his influential ideas on plant and animal morphology and homology were extended and developed by 19th century naturalists including Charles Darwin.
Goethe's influence spread across Europe, and for the next century his works were a major source of inspiration in music, drama, poetry and philosophy. Goethe is considered by many to be the most important writer in the German language and one of the most important thinkers in Western culture as well.