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johann wolfgang von goethe Quotes

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes

Birth Date: 1749-08-28 (Thursday, August 28th, 1749)
Date of Death: 1832-03-22 (Thursday, March 22nd, 1832)


johann wolfgang von goethe life timeline

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe s Faust Part 1 premieres.Monday, January 19th, 1829


    • There is strong shadow where there is much light.
    • One lives but once in the world.
    • If you inquire what the people are like here, I must answer, 'The same as everywhere!'
    • Getting along with women, Knocking around with men, Having more credit than money, Thus one goes through the world.
    • When young one is confident to be able to build palaces for mankind, but when the time comes one has one's hands full just to be able to remove their trash.
    • Noble be man, Helpful and good! For that alone Sets hims apart From every other creature On earth.
    • In der Kunst ist das Beste gut genug.
    • A noble person attracts noble people, and knows how to hold on to them.
    • A talent is formed in stillness, a character in the world's torrent.
    • Untersuchen was ist, und nicht was behagt
    • We can't form our children on our own concepts; we must take them and love them as God gives them to us.
    • The spirits that I summoned up I now can't rid myself of.
    • One of the most striking signs of the decay of art is the intermixing of different genres.
    • The true, prescriptive artist strives after artistic truth; the lawless artist, following blind instinct, after an appearance of naturalness. The one leads to the highest peaks of art, the other to its lowest depths.
    • In limitations he first shows himself the master, And the law can only bring us freedom.
    • One never goes so far as when one doesn't know where one is going.
    • Who wants to understand the poem Must go to the land of poetry; Who wishes to understand the poet Must go to the poet's land.
    • For I have been a man, and that means to have been a fighter.
    • Should I not be proud, when for twenty years I have had to admit to myself that the great Newton and all the mathematicians and noble calculators along with him were involved in a decisive error with respect to the doctrine of color, and that I among millions was the only one who knew what was right in this great subject of nature?
    • All poetry is supposed to be instructive but in an unnoticeable manner; it is supposed to make us aware of what it would be valuable to instruct ourselves in; we must deduce the lesson on our own, just as with life.
    • One must be something in order to do something.
    • If I work incessantly to the last, nature owes me another form of existence when the present one collapses.
    • Ich die Baukunst eine erstarrte Musik nenne.
    • The artist may be well advised to keep his work to himself till it is completed, because no one can readily help him or advise him with it...but the scientist is wiser not to withhold a single finding or a single conjecture from publicity.
    • Willst du immer weiterschweifen? Sieh, das Gute liegt so nah. Lerne nur das Gluck ergreifen, denn das Gluck ist immer da.
    • Create, artist! Do not talk!
    • O'er all the hilltops Is quiet now, In all the treetops Hearest thou Hardly a breath; The birds are asleep in the trees: Wait; soon like these Thou too shalt rest.
    • Welche Regierung die beste sei? Diejenige, die uns lehrt, uns selbst zu regieren.
    • Amerika, du hast es besser-als unser Kontinent, das alte.
    • Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, And in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. Not in the morning alone, not only at mid-day he charmeth; Even at setting, the sun is still the same glorious planet.
    • Without haste, but without rest.
    • Mehr licht.
    • Ich singe, wie der Vogel singt Der in den Zweigen wohnet.
    • Wer nichts wagt, gerwinnt nichts. Wer nie sein Brod mit Tranen ass, Wer nie die kummervollen Nachte Auf seinem Bette weinend sass, Der kennt euch nicht, ihr himmlischen Machte.
    • Knowst thou the land where the lemon trees bloom, Where the gold orange glows in the deep thicket's gloom, Where a wind ever soft from the blue heaven blows, And the groves are of laurel and myrtle and rose?
    • What's it to you if I love you?
    • One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
    • To know of someone here and there whom we accord with, who is living on with us, even in silence-this makes our earthly ball a peopled garden.
    • Art is long, life short; judgment difficult, opportunity transient.
    • Seeking with the soul the land of the Greeks.
    • A useless life is an early death.
    • One says a lot in vain, refusing; The other mainly hears the 'No.'
    • Pleasure and love are the pinions of great deeds.
    • Life teaches us to be less harsh with ourselves and with others.
    • Tell me you stones, O speak, you towering palaces! Streets, say a word! Spirit of this place, are you dumb? All things are alive in your sacred walls Eternal Rome, it's only for me all is still.
    • I'm gazing at church and palace, ruin and column, Like a serious man making sensible use of a journey, But soon it will happen, and all will be one vast temple, Love's temple, receiving its new initiate. Though you're a whole world, Rome, still, without Love, The world isn't the world, and Rome can't be Rome.
    • Ah, how often I've cursed those foolish pages, That showed my youthful sufferings to everyone! If Werther had been my brother, and I'd killed him, His sad ghost could hardly have persecuted me more.
    • A world without love would be no world.
    • Beloved, don't fret that you gave yourself so quickly! Believe me, I don't think badly or wrongly of you. The arrows of Love are various: some scratch us, And our hearts suffer for years from their slow poison. But others strong-feathered with freshly sharpened points Pierce to the marrow, and quickly inflame the blood. In the heroic ages, when gods and goddesses loved, Desire followed a look, and joy followed desire.
    • I feel I'm happily inspired now on Classical soil: The Past and Present speak louder, more charmingly. Here, as advised, I leaf through the works of the Ancients With busy hands, and, each day, with fresh delight. But at night Love keeps me busy another way: I become half a scholar but twice as contented. And am I not learning, studying the shape Of her lovely breasts: her hips guiding my hand?
    • All Nine often used to come to me, I mean the Muses: But I ignored them: my girl was in my arms. Now I've left my sweetheart: and they've left me, And I roll my eyes, seeking a knife or rope. But Heaven is full of gods: You came to aid me: Greetings, Boredom, mother of the Muse.
    • Is it so big a mystery what god and man and world are? No! but nobody knows how to solve it so the mystery hangs on.
    • Much there is I can stand. Most things not easy to suffer I bear with quiet resolve, just as a God commands it. Only a few things I find as repugnant as snakes and poison. These four: tobacco smoke, bedbugs and garlic and Christ.
    • Much there is I can stand, and most things not easy to suffer I bear with quiet resolve, just as a god commands it. Only a few I find as repugnant as snakes and poison - These four: tobacco smoke, bedbugs, garlic, and �.
    • Doesn't surprise me that Christ our Lord preferred to live with whores & sinners, seeing I go in for that myself.
    • Three things are to be looked to in a building: that it stand on the right spot; that it be securely founded; that it be successfully executed.
    • The sum which two married people owe to one another defies calculation. It is an infinite debt, which can only be discharged through all eternity.
    • One is never satisfied with a portrait of a person that one knows.
    • The fate of the architect is the strangest of all. How often he expends his whole soul, his whole heart and passion, to produce buildings into which he himself may never enter.
    • Let us live in as small a circle as we will, we are either debtors or creditors before we have had time to look round.
    • No one would talk much in society, if he knew how often he misunderstands others.
    • A teacher who can arouse a feeling for one single good action, for one single good poem, accomplishes more than he who fills our memory with rows on rows of natural objects, classified with name and form.
    • Age does not make us childish, as they say. It only finds us true children still.
    • Es irrt der Mensch, so lang er strebt.
    • Da stehe ich nun, ich armer Thor! Und bin so klug als wie zuvor.
    • Am I a god? I see so clearly!
    • Two souls alas! dwell in my breast.
    • Ich bin der Geist der stets verneint.
    • Dear friend, all theory is gray, And green the golden tree of life.
    • Die Botschaft hor ich wohl, allein, mir fehlt der Glaube
    • Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.
    • A true German can't stand the French, Yet willingly he drinks their wines.
    • He who maintains he's right-if his the gift of tongues- Will have the last word certainly.
    • Meine Ruh' ist hin, Mein Herz ist schwer.
    • Schon war ich auch, und das war mein Verderben.
    • Blut ist ein ganz besonderer Saft.
    • Alles Gescheite ist schon gedacht worden. Man muss nur versuchen, es noch einmal zu denken.
    • Law is mighty, mightier necessity.
    • Once a man's thirty, he's already old, He is indeed as good as dead. It's best to kill him right away.
    • What wise or stupid thing can man conceive That was not thought of in ages long ago?
    • I love those who yearn for the impossible.
    • The deed is everything, the glory nothing.
    • Nur der verdient sich Freiheit wie das Leben der taglich sie erobern muss.
    • Wer immer strebend sich bemuht, Den konnen wir erlosen.
    • Alles Vergangliche ist nur ein Gleichnis.
    • Das Ewig-Weibliche zieht uns hinan.
    • Individuality of expression is the beginning and end of all art.
    • Nothing is more damaging to a new truth than an old error.
    • Doubt grows with knowledge.
    • The greatest happiness for the thinking man is to have fathomed the fathomable, and to quietly revere the unfathomable.
    • First and last, what is demanded of genius is love of truth.
    • A man's manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait.
    • All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to try to think them again.
    • Es ist nichts schrecklicher als eine tatige Unwissenheit.
    • Of all peoples the Greeks have dreamt the dream of life best.
    • Everything that emancipates the spirit without giving us control over ourselves is harmful.
    • A collection of anecdotes and maxims is the greatest of treasures for the man of the world, for he knows how to intersperse conversation with the former in fit places, and to recollect the latter on proper occasions.
    • A man can stand anything except a succession of ordinary days.
    • A reasonable man needs only to practice moderation to find happiness.
    • Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.
    • All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own.
    • As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
    • Correction does much, but encouragement does more.
    • Destiny grants us our wishes, but in its own way, in order to give us something beyond our wishes.
    • Distrust those in whom the desire to punish is strong.
    • Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one.
    • Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.
    • Even the lowliest, provided he is whole, can be happy, and in his own way, perfect.
    • Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.
    • Everything in the world may be endured except continued prosperity.
    • Everything is simpler than you think and at the same time more complex than you imagine.
    • He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.
    • He who wishes to exert a useful influence must be careful to insult nothing. Let him not be troubled by what seems absurd, but concentrate his energies to the creation of what is good. He must not demolish, but build.
    • How can you come to know yourself? Never by thinking, always by doing. Try to do your duty, and you'll know right away what you amount to.
    • If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul.
    • If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that.
    • If Switzerland were flat as a pancake, it would be larger than Prussia.
    • If you must tell me your opinions, tell me what you believe in. I have plenty of doubts of my own.
    • In art the best is good enough.
    • It's not that age brings childhood back again, age merely shows what children we remain.
    • Joy and sorrow both have part in my solitude.
    • Know thyself? If I knew myself, I'd run away.
    • Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
    • Live dangerously and you live right.
    • Man is not born to solve the problem of the universe, but to find out what he has to do; and to restrain himself within the limits of his comprehension.
    • Mathematicians are [like] a sort of Frenchmen; if you talk to them, they translate it into their own language, and then it is immediately something quite different.
    • Men show their characters in nothing more clearly than in what they think laughable.
    • None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
    • One has only to grow older to become more tolerant. I see no fault that I might not have committed myself.
    • Only when we know little do we know anything; doubt grows with knowledge.
    • [Prague is the] prettiest gem in the stone crown of the world...
    • Reason can never be popular. Passions and feelings may become popular, but reason will always remain the sole property of a few eminent individuals.
    • Should I not be proud, when for twenty years I have had to admit to myself that the great Newton and all the mathematicians and noble calculators along with him were involved in a decisive error with respect to the doctrine of color, and that I among millions was the only one who knew what was right in this great subject of nature?
    • Talent develops in quiet places, character in the full current of human life.
    • The best genius is that which absorbs and assimilates everything without doing the least violence to its fundamental destiny - that which we call character - but rather improving it and enhancing it as far as possible.
    • The deed is everything, the glory naught.
    • The effects of good music are not just because it's new; on the contrary music strikes us more the more familiar we are with it.
    • The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth.
    • The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.
    • The decline in literature indicates a decline in the nation. The two keep pace in their downward tendency.
    • The man is born with a talent which he has meant to use finds his greatest happiness in using it.
    • The phrases that men hear or repeat continually, end by becoming convictions and ossify the organs of intelligence.
    • The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities; but to know someone here and there who thinks and feels with us, and though distant, is close to us in spirit - this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.
    • There are two things children should get from their parents: roots and wings.
    • Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.
    • To be pleased with one's limits is a wretched state.
    • To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything.
    • We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.
    • We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.
    • We lay aside letters never to read them again, and at last we destroy them out of discretion, and so disappears the most beautiful, the most immediate breath of life, irrecoverable for ourselves and for others.
    • What one knows, one sees.
    • When a man stops to ponder his physical or moral condition, he generally finds he is ill.
    • When ideas fail, words come in very handy.
    • Whoever, in middle age, attempts to realize the wishes and hopes of his early youth, invariably deceives himself. Each ten years of a man's life has its own fortunes, its own hopes, its own desires.
    • You must be either the servant or the master, the hammer or the anvil.
    • There is nothing more dreadful than imagination without taste.
    • Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.
    • johann wolfgang von goethe

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