Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - Quotes

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

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

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world. ---->>>

Character develops itself in the stream of life.

Character develops itself in the stream of life.

Correction does much, but encouragement does more.

Correction does much, but encouragement does more.

There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.

There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.

Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image. ---->>>

Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.

Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.

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

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

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

I love those who yearn for the impossible.

I love those who yearn for the impossible.

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

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

Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen. ---->>>

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.

All theory, dear friend, is gray, but the golden tree of life springs ever green. ---->>>

Nothing is worth more than this day.

Nothing is worth more than this day.

The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection. ---->>>

Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing.

Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing.

The mediator of the inexpressible is the work of art. ---->>>

If your treat an individual... as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be. ---->>>

I call architecture frozen music.

I call architecture frozen music.

In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm... in the real world all rests on perseverance. ---->>>

Ignorant men raise questions that wise men answered a thousand years ago. ---->>>

He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.

He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.

Love and desire are the spirit's wings to great deeds.

Love and desire are the spirit's wings to great deeds.

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

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

One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.

One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.

Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting. ---->>>

The most happy man is he who knows how to bring into relation the end and beginning of his life. ---->>>

A really great talent finds its happiness in execution. ---->>>

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

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

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

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

If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise.

If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise.

The coward only threatens when he is safe. ---->>>

Great thoughts and a pure heart, that is what we should ask from God. ---->>>

It is the strange fate of man, that even in the greatest of evils the fear of the worst continues to haunt him.

It is the strange fate of man, that even in the greatest of evils the fear of the worst continues to haunt him.

Nature knows no pause in progress and development, and attaches her curse on all inaction.

Nature knows no pause in progress and development, and attaches her curse on all inaction.

Piety is not a goal but a means to attain through the purest peace of mind the highest culture. ---->>>

No one would talk much in society if they knew how often they misunderstood others.

No one would talk much in society if they knew how often they misunderstood others.

One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude.

One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude.

Divide and rule, the politician cries; unite and lead, is watchword of the wise. ---->>>

It is after all the greatest art to limit and isolate oneself. ---->>>

Wisdom is found only in truth.

Wisdom is found only in truth.

We can't form our children on our own concepts; we must take them and love them as God gives them to us. ---->>>

Nothing shows a man's character more than what he laughs at. ---->>>

All things are only transitory.

All things are only transitory.

Know thyself? If I knew myself I would run away. ---->>>

Who is the wisest man? He who neither knows or wishes for anything else than what happens. ---->>>

Life is the childhood of our immortality. ---->>>

There is nothing insignificant in the world. It all depends on the point of view. ---->>>

Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.

Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.

A man's manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait. ---->>>

Nothing is more terrible than to see ignorance in action. ---->>>

Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest. ---->>>

Certain defects are necessary for the existence of individuality. ---->>>

Hatred is something peculiar. You will always find it strongest and most violent where there is the lowest degree of culture. ---->>>

A person hears only what they understand. ---->>>

Only by joy and sorrow does a person know anything about themselves and their destiny. They learn what to do and what to avoid.

Only by joy and sorrow does a person know anything about themselves and their destiny. They learn what to do and what to avoid.

The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything. ---->>>

Happiness is a ball after which we run wherever it rolls, and we push it with our feet when it stops. ---->>>

What is not started today is never finished tomorrow. ---->>>

Death is a commingling of eternity with time; in the death of a good man, eternity is seen looking through time. ---->>>

Character, in great and little things, means carrying through what you feel able to do. ---->>>

All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to try to think them again.

All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to try to think them again.

It is not doing the thing we like to do, but liking the thing we have to do, that makes life blessed. ---->>>

Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.

Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.

Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever.

Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever.

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

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

Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game. ---->>>

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

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

The decline of literature indicates the decline of a nation. ---->>>

The best government is that which teaches us to govern ourselves.

The best government is that which teaches us to govern ourselves.

Doubt grows with knowledge.

Doubt grows with knowledge.

A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself, it is a child of solitude. ---->>>

Live dangerously and you live right. ---->>>

The human mind will not be confined to any limits. ---->>>

There is nothing so terrible as activity without insight. ---->>>

Character is formed in the stormy billows of the world. ---->>>

Love does not dominate; it cultivates. ---->>>

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

It is better to be deceived by one's friends than to deceive them. ---->>>

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

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

In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it. ---->>>

He who possesses art and science has religion; he who does not possess them, needs religion. ---->>>

The right man is the one who seizes the moment. ---->>>

The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes. ---->>>

Personality is everything in art and poetry.

Personality is everything in art and poetry.

Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is. ---->>>

Talent develops in quiet places, character in the full current of human life. ---->>>

Where is the man who has the strength to be true, and to show himself as he is?

Where is the man who has the strength to be true, and to show himself as he is?

To witness two lovers is a spectacle for the gods. ---->>>

Be generous with kindly words, especially about those who are absent. ---->>>

A useless life is an early death. ---->>>

Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow. ---->>>

It seems to never occur to fools that merit and good fortune are closely united. ---->>>

He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm.

He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm.

We cannot fashion our children after our desires, we must have them and love them as God has given them to us. ---->>>

We will burn that bridge when we come to it. ---->>>

Who is the most sensible person? The one who finds what is to their own advantage in all that happens to them. ---->>>

We are never further from what we wish than when we believe that we have what we wished for. ---->>>

Precaution is better than cure. ---->>>

The man who occupies the first place seldom plays the principal part. ---->>>

What is important in life is life, and not the result of life.

What is important in life is life, and not the result of life.

Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.

Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.

Destiny grants us our wishes, but in its own way, in order to give us something beyond our wishes. ---->>>

Hatred is active, and envy passive dislike; there is but one step from envy to hate. ---->>>

There is nothing in the world more shameful than establishing one's self on lies and fables. ---->>>

Common sense is the genius of humanity. ---->>>

If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words. ---->>>

The Christian religion, though scattered and abroad will in the end gather itself together at the foot of the cross. ---->>>

Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.

Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.

There is nothing in which people more betray their character than in what they laugh at. ---->>>

Few people have the imagination for reality.

Few people have the imagination for reality.

We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves. ---->>>

Devote each day to the object then in time and every evening will find something done. ---->>>

A clever man commits no minor blunders. ---->>>

We usually lose today, because there has been a yesterday, and tomorrow is coming. ---->>>

A correct answer is like an affectionate kiss. ---->>>

In art the best is good enough.

In art the best is good enough.

Whoever wishes to keep a secret must hide the fact that he possesses one. ---->>>

Go to foreign countries and you will get to know the good things one possesses at home.

Go to foreign countries and you will get to know the good things one possesses at home.

Deeply earnest and thoughtful people stand on shaky footing with the public. ---->>>

The biggest problem with every art is by the use of appearance to create a loftier reality. ---->>>

Men show their character in nothing more clearly than what they think laughable. ---->>>

We know accurately only when we know little, with knowledge doubt increases.

We know accurately only when we know little, with knowledge doubt increases.

Every step of life shows much caution is required. ---->>>

If you start to think of your physical and moral condition, you usually find that you are sick. ---->>>

We don't get to know people when they come to us; we must go to them to find out what they are like. ---->>>

A noble person attracts noble people, and knows how to hold on to them. ---->>>

Fresh activity is the only means of overcoming adversity. ---->>>

He who does not think much of himself is much more esteemed than he imagines.

He who does not think much of himself is much more esteemed than he imagines.

Which government is the best? The one that teaches us to govern ourselves. ---->>>

He is dead in this world who has no belief in another. ---->>>

Error is acceptable as long as we are young; but one must not drag it along into old age.

Error is acceptable as long as we are young; but one must not drag it along into old age.

Love can do much, but duty more. ---->>>

What by a straight path cannot be reached by crooked ways is never won. ---->>>

Unlike grown ups, children have little need to deceive themselves. ---->>>

If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses. ---->>>

There is a courtesy of the heart; it is allied to love. From its springs the purest courtesy in the outward behavior. ---->>>

Every person above the ordinary has a certain mission that they are called to fulfill. ---->>>

First and last, what is demanded of genius is love of truth. ---->>>

Objects in pictures should so be arranged as by their very position to tell their own story. ---->>>

To rule is easy, to govern difficult.

To rule is easy, to govern difficult.

Science arose from poetry... when times change the two can meet again on a higher level as friends.

Science arose from poetry... when times change the two can meet again on a higher level as friends.

Age merely shows what children we remain.

Age merely shows what children we remain.

Passions are vices or virtues to their highest powers. ---->>>

Wood burns because it has the proper stuff in it; and a man becomes famous because he has the proper stuff in him.

Wood burns because it has the proper stuff in it; and a man becomes famous because he has the proper stuff in him.

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

Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will. ---->>>

Mastery passes often for egotism. ---->>>

An unused life is an early death. ---->>>

The deed is everything, the glory is naught. ---->>>

What is uttered from the heart alone, Will win the hearts of others to your own.

What is uttered from the heart alone, Will win the hearts of others to your own.

I never knew a more presumptuous person than myself. The fact that I say that shows that what I say is true. ---->>>

One cannot develop taste from what is of average quality but only from the very best. ---->>>

Self-knowledge comes from knowing other men. ---->>>

The people who are absent are the ideal; those who are present seem to be quite commonplace. ---->>>

Whatever you cannot understand, you cannot possess. ---->>>

Nothing is to be rated higher than the value of the day. ---->>>

On all the peaks lies peace.

On all the peaks lies peace.

Superstition is the poetry of life.

Superstition is the poetry of life.

The world remains ever the same. ---->>>

I can tell you, honest friend, what to believe: believe life; it teaches better that book or orator. ---->>>

I do not know myself, and God forbid that I should. ---->>>

A person places themselves on a level with the ones they praise. ---->>>

No one has ever learned fully to know themselves. ---->>>

One always has time enough, if one will apply it well. ---->>>

The artist alone sees spirits. But after he has told of their appearing to him, everybody sees them.

The artist alone sees spirits. But after he has told of their appearing to him, everybody sees them.

We always have time enough, if we will but use it aright. ---->>>

Every spoken word arouses our self-will. ---->>>

For a man to achieve all that is demanded of him he must regard himself as greater than he is. ---->>>

If a man or woman is born ten years sooner or later, their whole aspect and performance shall be different. ---->>>

If a man writes a book, let him set down only what he knows. I have guesses enough of my own. ---->>>

The unnatural, that too is natural. ---->>>

I will listen to anyone's convictions, but pray keep your doubts to yourself. ---->>>

Sowing is not as difficult as reaping. ---->>>

Talk well of the absent whenever you have the opportunity. ---->>>

To hard necessity ones will and fancy must conform. ---->>>

He who has a task to perform must know how to take sides, or he is quite unworthy of it. ---->>>

Mysteries are not necessarily miracles. ---->>>

Upon the creatures we have made, we are, ourselves, at last, dependent. ---->>>

What life half gives a man, posterity gives entirely. ---->>>

Music is either sacred or secular. The sacred agrees with its dignity, and here has its greatest effect on life, an effect that remains the same through all ages and epochs. Secular music should be cheerful throughout. ---->>>

Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them. ---->>>

If you must tell me your opinions, tell me what you believe in. I have plenty of doubts of my own. ---->>>

What is my life if I am no longer useful to others. ---->>>

I think that I am better than the people who are trying to reform me. ---->>>

Nothing is more fearful than imagination without taste. ---->>>

The formation of one's character ought to be everyone's chief aim. ---->>>

Everything in the world may be endured except continual prosperity. ---->>>

He who enjoys doing and enjoys what he has done is happy. ---->>>

To appreciate the noble is a gain which can never be torn from us. ---->>>

For just when ideas fail, a word comes in to save the situation. ---->>>

It is in self-limitation that a master first shows himself. ---->>>

If you modestly enjoy your fame you are not unworthy to rank with the holy. ---->>>

The credit of advancing science has always been due to individuals and never to the age. ---->>>

When ideas fail, words come in very handy. ---->>>

The little man is still a man. ---->>>

Those who hope for no other life are dead even for this. ---->>>

To create something you must be something. ---->>>

To the person with a firm purpose all men and things are servants. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: German
Born: August 28, 1749
Birthplace:
Die: March 22, 1832
Occupation: Poet
Website:

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (; German: [ˈjoːhan ˈvɔlfɡaŋ fɔn ˈɡøːtə]; 28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German writer and statesman. His works include epic and lyric poetry; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels (wikipedia)