Quotes by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Get quotes of the day

How do you feel today?    I feel ...

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 - 22 March 1832), commonly known as "Goethe", was a German poet, novelist, philosopher, and scientist who is considered one of the giants of the literary world. In addition, aside from being lawyer and known also as a dramatist, humanist, theorist, and painter, he is also one of few individuals considered to have been a polymath. For ten years, he was chief minister of state for the duchy of Weimar. In 1782 he was ennobled as 'von Goethe'. In his 1809 masterpiece Elective Affinities, he became one of the first to speculate on the nature of interpersonal chemistry.

Goethe was one of the key figures of German literature and the movement of Weimar Classicism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; this movement coincides with Enlightenment, Sentimentality ("Empfindsamkeit"), Sturm und Drang, and Romanticism. The author of Faust and Theory of Colours, he influenced Darwin with his focus on plant morphology. Goethe's influence spread across Europe, and for the next century his works were a primary source of inspiration in music, drama, poetry, and philosophy. He is widely considered to be one of the most important thinkers in Western culture.

Add to my favourites Get these quotes on a PDF
We always have time enough, if we will but use it aright.

Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.
Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting.
Life is the childhood of our immortality.
A clever man commits no minor blunders.
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.
It is in human nature to relax, when not compelled by personal advantage or disadvantage.
Our passion are the true phoenixes; when the old one is burnt out, a new one rises from its ashes.
We usually lose today, because there has been a yesterday, and tomorrow is coming.
It is delivery that makes the orators success.
Seldom in the business and transactions of ordinary life, do we find the sympathy we want.
Napoleon affords us an example of the danger of elevating one's self to the absolute, and sacrificing everything to the carrying out of an idea.
The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.
He is the happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.
Those are dead even for this life who hope for no other.
Difficulties increase the nearer we approach the goal.
There is nothing so terrible as activity without insight.
Only learn to seize good fortune, for good fortune's always here.
Certain flaws are necessary for the whole. It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.
Men are so constituted that every one undertakes what he sees another successful in, whether he has aptitude for it or not.
Unlike grown ups, children have little need to deceive themselves.
The person of analytic or critical intellect finds something ridiculous in everything. The person of synthetic or constructive intellect, in almost nothing.
No wise combatant underestimates their antagonist.
We cannot fashion our children after our desires, we must have them and love them as God has given them to us.
Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image
Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever.
Art is long, life short, judgment difficult, opportunity transient.
Age does not make us childish, as some say; it finds us true children.
How shall we learn to know ourselves? By reflection? Never; but only through action. Strive to do thy duty; then you shall know what is in thee.
The people who are absent are the ideal; those who are present seem to be quite commonplace.
Some of our weakness is born in us, some of it comes through education; it is a big question as to which gives us the most trouble.
This is the highest wisdom that I own; freedom and life are earned by those alone who conquer them each day anew.
We are never further from what we wish than when we believe that we have what we wished for.
Every spoken word arouses our self-will.
He who does not expect a million readers should not write a line.
Whatever you cannot understand, you cannot possess.
Nothing is to be rated higher than the value of the day.
Thought expands, but paralyzes; action animates, but narrows.
All truly wise thoughts have been thoughts already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take root in our personal experience.
Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them they translate into their own language, and forthwith it is something entirely different.
The world is for thousands a freak show; the images flicker past and vanish; the impressions remain flat and unconnected in the soul. Thus they are easily led by the opinions of others, are content to let their impressions be shuffled and rearranged and evaluated differently.
Girls we love for what they are; men for what they promise to be.
The human mind will not be confined to any limits.
The best fortune that can fall to a man is that which corrects his defects and makes up for his failings.
Out of moderation a pure happiness springs.
Who is sure of their own motives can in confidence advance or retreat.
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.
Nature understands no jesting. She is always true, always serious, always severe. She is always right, and the errors are always those of man.
No two men see the world exactly alike, and different temperaments will apply in different ways a principle that they both acknowledge. The same man will, indeed, often see and judge the same things differently on different occasions: early convictions must give way to more mature ones. Nevertheless, may not the opinions that a man holds and expresses withstand all trials, if he only remains true to himself and others?
The right man is the one that seizes the moment.
Passions are vices or virtues to their highest powers.
We can always redeem the man who aspires and strives.
The philosopher must station themselves in the middle.
Since Time is not a person we can overtake when he is gone, let us honor him with mirth and cheerfulness of heart while he is passing.
A collections 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.
To the person with a firm purpose all men and things are servants.
People may live as much retired from the world as they like, but sooner or later they find themselves debtor or creditor to some one.

Get Quotes of the Day

Your daily dose of thought, inspiration and motivation.