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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes

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Everything that emancipates the spirit without giving us control over ourselves is harmful.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Sprüche in Prosa, 1819)
By nothing do men show their character more than by the things they laugh at.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Maxims and Reflections, 1819)
There are but few who have ideas and are, at the same time, capable of action.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, 1795 - 1796)
The day of fortune is like a harvest day, We must be busy when the corn is ripe.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Torquato Tasso, 1790)
We are never further from our wishes than when we fancy we possess the object of them.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Maxims and Reflections, 1819)
You must be master and win, or serve and lose, grieve or triumph, be the anvil or the hammer.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Der Gross-Cophta, 1791)
The greatest happiness for the thinking man is to have fathomed the fathomable, and to quietly revere the unfathomable.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Sprüche in Prosa, 1819)
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.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The true poet is called to take in the splendor of the world and for that reason will always be inclined to praise rather than to find fault.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Anecdotes and maxims are rich treasures to the man of the world, for he knows how to introduce the former at fit place in conversation.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Beware of dissipating your powers; strive constantly to concentrate them. Genius thinks it can do whatever it sees others doing, but is sure to repent of every ill-judged outlay.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Our wishes are presentiments of the abilities that lie in us, harbingers of what we will be able to accomplish.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Poetry and Truth - Part II, 1814)
It is much easier to recognize error than to find truth; for error lies on the surface and may be overcome; but truth lies in the depths, and to search for it is not given to everyone.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Maxims and Reflections, 1819)
In science it is a service of the highest merit to seek out those fragmentary truths attained by the ancients, and to develop them further.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Maxims and Reflections, 1819)
In me there are two souls, alas, and their
Division tears my life in two.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust - Part I, 1808)
To every one Nature appears in a form of his own. She hides herself in a thousand names and terms, and is always the same.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Maxims and Reflections, 1819)
The world of reason is to be regarded as a great and immortal being, who ceaselessly works out what is necessary, and so makes himself lord also over what is accidental.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Maxims and Reflections, 1819)
Deny yourself! You must deny yourself!
That is the song that never ends.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust - Part I, 1808)
We can't form our children on our own concepts; we must take them and love them as God gives them to us. Raise them the best we can, and leave them free to develop.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Hermann and Dorothea, 1797)
A man must cling to the belief that the incomprehensible is comprehensible; otherwise he would not try to fathom it.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We live in the midst of Nature and are strangers. She speaks to us unceasingly and betrays not her secret.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Maxims and Reflections, 1819)
Love of truth shows itself in this, that a man knows how to find and value the good in everything.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Maxims and Reflections, 1819)
Let's plunge ourselves into the roar of time, the whirl of accident; may pain and pleasure, success and failure, shift as they will -- it's only action that can make a man.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust)
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.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Elective Affinities, 1809)
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.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Maxims and Reflections, 1819)
Nature goes her own way, and all that to us seems an exception is really according to order.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. (The Sorrows of Young Werther, 1774)
Hatred is active displeasure, envy passive. We need not wonder that envy turns to soon to hatred.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Maxims and Reflections, 1819)
Fools and wise-folk are alike harmless. It is the half-wise, and the half-foolish, who are the most dangerous.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Maxims and Reflections, 1819)
A gardener knows, one day this young green tree
Will blossom and bear fruit in rich profusion.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust - Part I, 1808)
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Goethe Biography

Born: August 28, 1749
Died: March 22, 1832

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German polymath. He was successful as an writer, dramatist, novelist, poet and scientist. He has had an great influence throughout Europe.

Top 10 Quotes
Notable Works
Goetz von Berlichingen (1773)
The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774)
Iphigenia in Tauris (1779)
Egmont (1788)
Metamorphosis of Plants (1790)
Faust: Part I (1808)
Elective Affinities (1809)
Maxims and Reflections (1819)
Faust: Part II (1832)
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