A lighter vein is to be observed in various dramatic satires written at this time, such as Cotter, Helden and Wieland (1774), Hanswursts Hochzeit, Fastnachtsspiel vorn Pater Brey, Satyros, and in the Singspiele, Erwin and Elmire (1775) and Claudine von Villa Bella (1776); while in the Frankfurter Gelehrte Anzeiger (1772- 1773), Goethe drove home the principles of the new movement of Sturm and Drang in terse and pointed criticism.
With the aid of the vast body of Faust literature which has sprung up in recent years, and the many new documents bearing on its history above all, the so-called Urfaust, to which reference has already been made - we are able now to ascribe to their various periods the component parts of the work; it is possible to discriminate between the Sturm and Drang hero of the opening scenes and of the Gretchen tragedy - the contemporary of Gotz and Clavigo and the superimposed Faust of calmer moral and intellectual ideals - a Faust who corresponds to Hermann and Wilhelm Meister.
Thus the elements of which Faust is composed were even more difficult to blend than were those of Wilhelm Meister; but the very want of uniformity is one source of the perennial fascination of the tragedy, and has made it in a peculiar degree the national poem of the German people, the mirror which reflects the national life and poetry from the outburst of Sturm and Drang to the well-weighed and tranquil classicism of Goethe's old age.
But Egmont depends for its interest almost solely on two characters, Egmont himself and Klarchen, Gretchen's counterpart; regarded as a drama, it demonstrates the futility of that defiance of convention and rules with which the Sturm and Drang set out.
The zeal of the crusader came upon Bohemund: it is possible, too, that he saw in the First Crusade a chance of realizing his father's policy (which was also an old Norse instinct) of the Drang nach Osten, and hoped from the first to carve for himself an eastern principality.
While Gotz inaugurated the manlier side of the Sturm and Drang literature, Werther was responsible for its sentimental excesses.
Under the influence of this reading he now finally broke with classicism and became one of the leaders of the new Sturm and Drang movement.