Lunchtime read: The Sorrows of Young Werther

The inevitable happens and Werther is told by Lotte to stop coming to see her so often. The request is prompted by her husband Albert who points out that the love struck man keeps coming round and it is rather spoiling their marriage and is the subject of gossips in the village.

Lotte tells Werther not to come for a few days – which is Christmas Eve – and this is the final straw for him and he then plans to commit suicide. His letters/diary breaks off and another voice picks up the threads of the last few days piecing it together through fragments of unsent letters and the suicide note.

Although no doubt the suicide is meant to haunt Lotte as much as the early days of their friendship still haunts Werther you can understand why he has been asked to back off a bit.

There is one physical reminder of the pain of unrequited love when Werther comes across a former servant at Lotte’s house who has also fallen in love with her. The madness of love has caused him to lose his mind and he finally murders a fellow servant. Werther, who probably more than anyone can sympathise with his malaise, is the only one to defend the man, something else that goes against him with Albert.

Last bit tomorrow…

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