Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (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. 

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We are shaped and fashioned by those we love.

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

I have so much in me, and the feeling for her absorbs it all; I have so much, and without her it all comes to nothing.

A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of being.

Live dangerously and you live right.

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

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

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.

Few people have the imagination for reality.

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

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

Talk well of the absent whenever you have the opportunity.

Age merely shows what children we remain.

Mysteries are not necessarily miracles.

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

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

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

The people who are absent are the ideal, those who are present seem to be quite commonplace.

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

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.

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

A correct answer is like an affectionate kiss.

The coward only threatens when he is safe.

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

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

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

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

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

Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.

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

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

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

Trust yourself, then you will know how to live.

I love those who yearn for the impossible.

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

Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.

Sowing is not as difficult as reaping.

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

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

Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.

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

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

Doubt grows with knowledge.

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

I call architecture frozen music.

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.

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

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

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

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

On all the peaks lies peace.

Personality is everything in art and poetry.

Love can do much but duty more.

Character is formed in the stormy billows of the world.

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

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

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

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

Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing.

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

The unnatural that too is natural.

Nothing is more fearful than imagination without taste.

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

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

Certain defects are necessary for the existence of individuality.

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

The human mind will not be confined to any limits.

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

Whatever you cannot understand you cannot possess.

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

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

The world remains ever the same.

The little man is still a man.

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

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

Life is the childhood of our immortality.

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

To witness two lovers is a spectacle for the gods.

Every spoken word arouses our self-will.

Love does not dominate, it cultivates.

Every step of life shows much caution is required.

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

No one has ever learned fully to know themselves.

A really great talent finds its happiness in execution.

Wisdom is found only in truth.

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

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

Unlike grown ups children have little need to deceive themselves.

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

To rule is easy to govern difficult.

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

Everything in the world may be endured except continual prosperity.

Passions are vices or virtues to their highest powers.

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

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

Common sense is the genius of humanity.

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

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

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

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

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

Mastery passes often for egotism.

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

Fresh activity is the only means of overcoming adversity.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

The deed is everything the glory is naught.

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

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

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

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

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

All things are only transitory.

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

Character develops itself in the stream of life.

An unused life is an early death.

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

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

The mediator of the inexpressible is the work of art.

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

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

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

A clever man commits no minor blunders.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everybody wants to be somebody, nobody wants to grow.

First and last what is demanded of genius is love of truth.

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

I do not know myself and God forbid that I should.

We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves.

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

To create something you must be something.

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

Precaution is better than cure.

There is nothing so terrible as activity without insight.

A useless life is an early death.

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

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.

Nothing is worth more than this day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Correction does much but encouragement does more.

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

We will burn that bridge when we come to it.

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

What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.

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

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

To hard necessity ones will and fancy must conform.

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

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

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

Self-knowledge comes from knowing other men.

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

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

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

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

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

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

In art the best is good enough.

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

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

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

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

What life half gives a man posterity gives entirely.

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

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

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

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

Superstition is the poetry of life.

The right man is the one who seizes the moment.

Nothing is more terrible than to see ignorance in action.

When ideas fail words come in very handy.

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.

A person hears only what they understand.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If I love you what business is it of yours?

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

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

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

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

The decline of literature indicates the decline of a nation.