Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe Quotes


Type: Poet, novelist, playwright, natural philosopher, diplomat, civil servant

Born: 28 August 1749

Died: 22 March 1832 (aged 82)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer. George Eliot called him "Germany's greatest man of letters... and the last true polymath to walk the earth." Goethe's works span the fields of poetry, drama, literature, theology, humanism, and science.

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe Quotes

He who moves not forward, goes backward.

If I love you, what business is it of yours?

The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks & feels with us, & who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.

Let mental culture go on advancing, let the natural sciences progress in even greater extent and depth, and the human mind widen itself as much as it desires: beyond the elevation and moral culture of Christianity, as it shines forth in the Gospels, it will not go.

The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.

If the whole world I once could see
On free soil stand, with the people free
Then to the moment might I say,
Linger awhile. . .so fair thou art.

The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.

Art is long, life short, judgment difficult, opportunity transient. To act is easy, to think is hard; to act according to our thought is troublesome.

nothing puts me so completely out of patience
as the utterance of a wretched commonplace
when I am talking from my inmost heart.

I was on the point of breaking off the conversation, for nothing puts me so completely out of patience as the utterance of a wretched commonplace when I am talking from my inmost heart.

The limits of my language are the limits of my universe.

Be above it! Make the world serve your purpose, but do not serve it!

Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.

This is the true measure of love: when we believe that we alone can love, that no one could ever have loved so before us, and that no one will ever love in the same way after us.

To be loved for what one is, that is the greatest exception. The great majority love in others only what they lend him; their own selves, their version of him.

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.

If you've never eaten while crying you don t know what life tastes like.

There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.

If you would create something,
you must be something.

In the colorful reflection we have what is life.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!

Difficulties increase the nearer we get to the goal.

At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you.

Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error also is being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude. In the Press and Encyclopaedias, in Schools and Universities, everywhere Error holds sway, feeling happy and comfortable in the knowledge of having Majority on its side.

Know thyself? If I knew myself, I'd run away.

Es ist nicht genug, zu wissen, man muß auch anwenden; es ist nicht genug, zu wollen, man muß auch tun.

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.

What matters creative endless toil, When, at a snatch, oblivion ends the coil?

Ohne Hast, aber ohne Rast. - Without haste, but without rest.

The way you see people is the way you treat them and the way you treat them is what they become.

All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, until they take root in our personal experience.

Age does not make us childish, as some say; it finds us true children.

A dim vastness is spread before our souls; the perceptions of our mind are as obscure as those of our vision... But alas! when we have attained our object, when the distant 'there' becomes the present 'here,' all is changed; we are as poor and circumscribed as ever, and our souls still languish for unattainable happiness.

Oh, I envy you!" he cried. "You are still nourished by yesterday's alms, but yesterday's happiness no longer nourishes me.

Wild dreams torment me as I lie. And though a god lives in my heart, though all my power waken at his word, though he can move my every inmost part - yet nothing in the outer world is stirred. thus by existence tortured and oppressed I crave for death, I long for rest.

A human being needs only a small plot of ground on which to be happy, and even less to lie beneath.

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.

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.

Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.

He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth.

I am not omniscient, but I know a lot.

By seeking and blundering we learn.

Instruction does much, but encouragement everything."

(Letter to A.F. Oeser, Nov. 9, 1768)

The Church has an excellent appetite.
She has swallowed whole countries and the question
Has never risen of indigestion.
Only the Church . . . can take
Ill-gotten goods without stomach-ache!

If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.

I know of enough cases in which a close and, as it seemed, indissoluble relationship was annulled by the casual arrival of a third party, and one of the pair, previously joined so beautifully, driven out into empty space.

When scholars study a thing, they strive
To kill it first, if its alive;
Then they have the parts and they’ve lost the whole
For the link that’s missing was the living soul.

Let this little book be thy friend, if, owing to fortune or through thine own fault, thou canst not find a dearer companion.

What you feed in yourself that grows.

Was Du in Dir nährst, das wächst.

Donde no hay mujeres no existen los buenos modales

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free

Wenn die Blattläuse auf den Rosenzweigen sitzen und sich hübsch dick und grün gesogen haben, dann kommen die Ameisen und saugen ihnen den filtrierten Saft aus den Leibern. Und so geht's weiter, und wir haben's so weit gebracht, daß oben immer an einem Tage mehr verzehrt wird, als unten in einem beigebracht werden kann.

Divide and rule, the politician cries;
Unite and lead, is watchword of the wise.

A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.

Beauty is a primeval phenomenon. It never makes an appearance itself, but is a visible reflection in a thousand different utterances of the creative mind. It is as various as nature herself.

Colors are light's suffering and joy

The town itself is disagreeable; but then, all around, you find an inexpressible beauty of nature.

It's in the anomalies that nature reveals its secrets.

All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own.

Do not give in too much to feelings. A overly sensitive heart is an unhappy possession on this shaky earth.

Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing.

Literature decays only as men become more and more corrupt.

Everything is hard before it is easy

Wer nicht von dreitausend Jahren
sich weiß Rechenschaft zu geben,
bleib im Dunkeln unerfahren,
mag von Tag zu Tage leben.

En helaas hebben huwelijken in het algemeen iets lomps. Ze bederven de tederste verhoudingen, en dat komt toch eigenlijk alleen door de botte zekerheid waarvan ten minste één partij profiteert. Alles is vanzelfsprekend en men lijkt de verbintenis alleen gesloten te hebben opdat beiden hun eigen gang kunnen gaan.

I will say nothing against the course of my existence. But at bottom it has been nothing but pain and burden, and I can affirm that during the whole of my 75 years, I have not had four weeks of genuine well-being. It is but the perpetual rolling of a rock that must be raised up again forever.

I will say nothing... against the course of my existence. But at bottom it has been nothing but pain and burden, and I can affirm that during the whole of my 75 years, I have not had four weeks of genuine well-being. It is but the perpetual rolling of a rock that must be raised up again forever.

If you ask what the people here are like, I must tell you, "Like people everywhere!" Uniformity marks the human race.

There occurs the beautiful feeling that only humanity together is the true human being, and that the individual can be cheerful and happy only if he has the courage to feel himself in the Whole.

We look back on our life as a thing of broken pieces, because our mistakes and failures are always the first to strike us, and outweigh in our imagination what we have accomplished and attained.

Niemand ist mehr Sklave, als der sich für frei hält, ohne es zu sein.

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.

For in music there is no material to be deducted.

Nothing can be compared to the new life that the discovery of another country provides for a thoughtful person. Although I am still the same I believe to have changed to the bones.

Then indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting over lost days.
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

The heights charm us, but the steps do not; with the mountain in our view we love to walk the plains.

Even people who are entirely strange and indifferent to one another will exchange confidences if they live together for a while, and a certain intimacy is bound to develop.

But there are times," said Charlotte, "when it is necessary and an act of friendship to write nothing rather than not to write.

Ältere Bekanntschaften und Freundschaften haben vor neuen hauptsächlich das voraus, dass man sich einander schon viel verziehen hat.

Grant me one hour on love’s most sacred shores
To clasp the bosom that my soul adores,
Lie heart to heart and merge my soul with yours.

When a human awakens to a great dream and throws the full force of his soul over it, all the universe conspires in your favor.

This is the highest wisdom that I own; freedom and life are earned by those alone who conquer them each day anew.

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.

That is the true season of love, when we believe that we alone can love, that no one could ever have loved so before us, and that no one will love in the same way as us.

Niemand ist hoffnungsloser versklavt als jene, die fälschlicherweise glauben, frei zu sein.

No one is willing to believe that adults too, like children, wander about this earth in a daze and, like children, do not know where they come from or where they are going, act as rarely as they do according to genuine motives, and are as thoroughly governed as they are by biscuits and cake and the rod.

We often feel that we lack something, and seem to see that very quality in someone else, promptly attributing all our own qualities to him too, and a kind of ideal contentment as well. And so the happy mortal is a model of complete perfection-which we have ourselves created.

The affairs of the world are no more than so much trickery, and a man who toils for money or honour or whatever else in deference to the wishes of others, rather than because his own desire or needs lead him to do so, will always be a fool.

To end the greatest work designed,
A thousand hands need but one mind.

God knows I often retire to my bed wishing (at times even hoping) that I might never wake up; and in the morning I open my eyes, see the sun once again, and am miserable.

Evet Wilhelm, bazen bir an için kalkıp gitme, bağları koparma cesareti buluyorum kendimde, keşke nereye gideceğimi bilsem! heralde giderdim.

Buradaki insanların nasıl bir karaktere sahip olduklarını merak ediyorsan söyleyeyim ki, her yerde olduğundan farksız. Insan cinsi değişmez, her yerde aynıdır. Aşağı yukarı hepsi yaşamak için çalışıyorlar. Calışmaktan geriye kalan çok az vakitlerinde de korkuyorlar, zamanın hemen geçmesi için her şeyi y

We really learn only from those books that we cannot judge. The author of a book that we were able to judge would have to learn from us.

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