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Stella by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Summary (German Drama) - Act summaries of Stella by Goethe

Updated on August 16, 2013

Stella, a tragedy by Goethe

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Stella - Act One

Cäcilie (Madame Sommer) and her daughter Lucie arrive at a place, where they hope to become employed at the Baroness Stella. Cäcilie and Lucie have a talk with the postmistress. Cäcilie speaks about her loss that she once was deeply in love, but he left her and she has lost all of her belongings and home (even though she originated from a nobler family) and hopes to work here. The girl Annchen gives the two arrived females the message that Stella would like to see them as soon as possible.

The very same evening, another person arrives at the postmistress’ place. This person is called Fernando and he has a conversation with Lucie.


Stella - Act Two

Cäcilie and Lucie are brought to Stella. They have a conversation and talk about their losses. Also Stella was once deeply and passionately in love. She also had a child, but sadly, her baby died and is buried in Stella’s garden. Cäcilie and Stella get on very well together, because Cäcilie knows about the deep loss Stella has, because she experienced once one for herself. Stella says to them that the person she was so madly in love with is called Fernando and that he left her three years ago. And ever since he left, she has been waiting for him and never knew where he was.

Stella shows them a portray of her beloved Fernando and Lucie instantly says that a guy has arrived before at the postmistress’ place and that he looks very, very similar to him. Stella in her excitemend instantly orders that this person must come over to her.

Cäcilie and Lucie leave Stella’s home after this. Lucie asks her mother what is wrong with her, because she started to look very pale and sick. Cäcilie tells Lucie that Fernando is actually her spouse and Lucie’s father.


Stella - Act Three

Stella and Fernando meet and they break out in such happiness and blissfulness, because they haven’t seen each other for such a long time.

Fernando also has a talk with the caretaker of the house. The caretaker knows about Fernando’s secret and what he did to Stella and Cäcilie. Fernando doesn’t want to hear about his past, but the caretaker keeps talking anyway.

The last conversation Fernando has is with Cäcilie once again. Cäcilie knows that it is Fernando, but they act like they see each other for the first time. Cäcilie explains to him, what has happened to her that she has lost everything and had to raise a child all by her own. In the end, they finally recognize each other and they are very happy to see each other. Fernando seems that he can’t make up his mind.


Stella - Act Four

Stella is in her garden. Fernando comes to her and Stella reminds him of all the wonderful memories and days they shared together. But Fernando actually wants to tell Stella that Cäcilie and Lucie are leaving and that he wants to accompany them (and in fact, leave Stella another time). Annchen comes to them and tells them that everything is packed and they are ready to leave. Stella can’t believe this and afterwards, Cäcilie and Lucie come to them. Cäcilie tells Stella that she is Fernando’s wife and Lucie his daughter. Stella in an explosion of emotions nearly goes insane by that and runs away (Lucie follows her).


Stella - Act Five


The fifth act has two endings. First, you will read about the original ending of 1776. Afterwards, the changed version of 1806.

Stella holds Fernando’s portray in the night and has a monologue. The emotional burden nearly seems to kill her.

Fernando and Cäcilie talk with each other and Fernando is about to shoot himself to death, but Cäcilie prevents him from finishing himself, by telling him a story, similar to their situation now. The story ends that the male main person gets both of the women. New hope arises in Fernando and when Stella joins them, they end up in a ménage à trois.

The other end of the play is that Stella can’t bear the emotional burden. Fernando leaves and shoots himself and Stella, Cäcilie and Lucie hear that. Stella wants Cäcilie to go to Fernando as he was about to die and she, her wife, should be with him in his last minutes. Lucie wants to stay, but Stella insists that she also goes to him. Stella dies lonely from too much emotional stress.



Stefan Zweig – Fear

Hermann Hesse – the Steppenwolf

Hermann Hesse – Siddharta

Hermann Hesse – Demian

Hermann Hesse – Narcissus and Goldmund

Hermann Hesse – Glass Bead Game

Jean-Paul Sartre – Huis Clos

Molière – The Imaginary Invalid

William Golding – Lord of the Flies

Bernand Shaw – Pygmalion

Vsevolod Garshin – A red flower

Viktor Pelevin – The life of insects

Tolstoy – The Death of Ivan Ilyich

More Summaries

Novalis – Heinrich von Ofterdingen

Goethe – Faust I

Goethe – Clavigo

Goethe – Iphigenie auf Tauris

Goethe – Egmont

Goethe – Stella

E.T.A Hoffmann – The Sandman

Joseph von Eichendorff – Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts

Joseph von Eichendorff – The Marble Statue

Joseph von Eichendorff – Schloss Dürande

Georg Büchner – Woyzeck

© 2012 Slaven Cvijetic

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