Wertherism


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Wertherism

the condition of having romantic qualities like Werther, a character from Goethe’s The Sorrows of Werther. — Wertherian, adj.
See also: Literature
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Smith's efforts in her poetry to balance emotion and intellect, to temper the excess of sensibility inherent in Wertherism and the obsessive rationality celebrated in 1790s medical texts led her to paint a new portrait of melancholic genius for the culture.
These sonnets dramatize the events from The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) leading up to his dramatic suicide, offering an elegiac lament for this popular character that captures somewhat the flavor of the cultural phenomenon of Wertherism during this period.
The tears and cries found throughout this volume do not resound quite so much of Wertherism or Byronism, as of the "grones" and agonies of works like Quarles' "The Sufferings of Jerusalem" (a paraphrase of the Lamentations of Jeremiah).