Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(Johann Wolfgang)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Born: August 28, 1749
  • Died: March 22, 1832
  • Nationality: German
  • Profession: Poet









Quote Topics Cited
A great deal may be done by severity, more by love, but most by clear discernment and impartial justice. Justice & Injustice
A great revolution is never the fault of the people, but of the government. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
A judge who cannot punish, associates himself in the end with the criminal. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
A man hears only what he understands. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
A state of true and universal tolerance is best ensured by leaving alone the peculiarities of men and peoples. States. Nations & Nationhood
All professional men are handicapped by not being allowed to ignore things which are useless. Management & Managing Government
Always to distrust is an error, as well as always to trust. Management & Managing Government ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
And only law can give us freedom. Freedom & Liberty
Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game. Miscellaneous
Democracy does not race, it reaches the finish slowly but surely. Democracies & Republics
Early convictions must give way to more mature ones. Miscellaneous
Genius develops in quiet places; character out of the full current of human life. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
Genius is knowing where to stop. Human Nature
He only earns his freedom and existence Who daily conquers them anew. Freedom & Liberty
If a man knows where to get good advice, it is as though he could supply it himself. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
If a poet would influence politics he must join a party, and then he is lost as a poet: goodbye to his free spirit and his open mind. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
If we grant freedom to man, there is an end to the omniscience of God. Freedom & Liberty
If you believe in the Devil, it means that you are already in his grip. Religion & God
If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
It is a maxim of wise government to deal with men not as they ought to be but as they are. Human Nature
Necessity is mightier than the law. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
No limit, no definition, may restrict the range or depth of the human spirit's passage into its own secrets or the world's. Freedom & Liberty ;Secrecy & Transparency
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. Human Nature
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. Freedom & Liberty
One must be something in order to do something. Management & Managing Government
There is no past that we can bring back to us by the longing for it. History
Thinking is easy; action is difficult; to act in accordance with one’s thought is the most difficult thing in the world. Management & Managing Government
What government is best? That which teaches us to govern ourselves. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
When ideas fail, words come in very handy. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
You must either conquer and rule or lose and serve, suffer or triumph, and be the anvil or the hammer. Leaders & Leadership
A clever man commits no minor blunders.
A correct answer is like an affectionate kiss.
A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself, it is a child of solitude.
A man's manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait.
A noble person attracts noble people, and knows how to hold on to them.
A person hears only what they understand.
A person places themselves on a level with the ones they praise.
A really great talent finds its happiness in execution. Happiness & Unhappiness
A useless life is an early death. Life ;Death
Age merely shows what children we remain.
All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to try to think them again. Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
All theory, dear friend, is gray, but the golden tree of life springs ever green. Life
All things are only transitory.
An unused life is an early death. Life ;Death
As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live. Trust
Be above it! Make the world serve your purpose, but do not serve it.
Be generous with kindly words, especially about those who are absent.
Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever.
Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.
Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.
Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing. Respect
Certain defects are necessary for the existence of individuality.
Character develops itself in the stream of life. Life
Character is formed in the stormy billows of the world.
Character, in great and little things, means carrying through what you feel able to do.
Common sense is the genius of humanity.
Correction does much, but encouragement does more.
Death is a commingling of eternity with time; in the death of a good man, eternity is seen looking through time. Time ;Death
Deeply earnest and thoughtful people stand on shaky footing with the public.
Destiny grants us our wishes, but in its own way, in order to give us something beyond our wishes.
Devote each day to the object then in time and every evening will find something done. Time
Divide and rule, the politician cries; unite and lead, is watchword of the wise.
Do not give in too much to feelings. A overly sensitive heart is an unhappy possession on this shaky earth.
Doubt grows with knowledge. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men. Power
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.
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. Inspiration
Every person above the ordinary has a certain mission that they are called to fulfill.
Every spoken word arouses our self-will.
Every step of life shows much caution is required. Life
Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.
Everything in the world may be endured except continual prosperity.
Few people have the imagination for reality.
First and last, what is demanded of genius is love of truth. Truth ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
For a man to achieve all that is demanded of him he must regard himself as greater than he is.
Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Relationships
Go to foreign countries and you will get to know the good things one possesses at home.
Great thoughts and a pure heart, that is what we should ask from God. Religion & God
Happiness is a ball after which we run wherever it rolls, and we push it with our feet when it stops. Happiness & Unhappiness
Hatred is active, and envy passive dislike; there is but one step from envy to hate.
Hatred is something peculiar. You will always find it strongest and most violent where there is the lowest degree of culture.
He is dead in this world who has no belief in another.
He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home. War & Peace
He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm. Life ;Freedom & Liberty
He who does not think much of himself is much more esteemed than he imagines.
He who enjoys doing and enjoys what he has done is happy.
He who has a task to perform must know how to take sides, or he is quite unworthy of it.
He who possesses art and science has religion; he who does not possess them, needs religion. Religion & God ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I call architecture frozen music. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I can tell you, honest friend, what to believe: believe life; it teaches better that book or orator. Life
I do not know myself, and God forbid that I should. Religion & God
I love those who yearn for the impossible. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Inspiration
I never knew a more presumptuous person than myself. The fact that I say that shows that what I say is true.
I think that I am better than the people who are trying to reform me.
I will listen to anyone's convictions, but pray keep your doubts to yourself.
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.
If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses.
If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise. Religion & God
If I love you, what business is it of yours? Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Business, Commerce & Finance
If you modestly enjoy your fame you are not unworthy to rank with the holy.
If you must tell me your opinions, tell me what you believe in. I have plenty of doubts of my own.
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.
Ignorant men raise questions that wise men answered a thousand years ago.
In art the best is good enough. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
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
In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm... in the real world all rests on perseverance.
It is after all the greatest art to limit and isolate oneself. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
It is better to be deceived by one's friends than to deceive them.
It is in self-limitation that a master first shows himself.
It is not doing the thing we like to do, but liking the thing we have to do, that makes life blessed. Life
It is the strange fate of man, that even in the greatest of evils the fear of the worst continues to haunt him.
It seems to never occur to fools that merit and good fortune are closely united.
Know thyself? If I knew myself I would run away.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. Motivation
Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.
Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them.
Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes. Life
Life is the childhood of our immortality. Life
Live dangerously and you live right.
Love can do much, but duty more. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Love does not dominate; it cultivates. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.
Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.
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. Time ;Money, Coins & Minting
Mastery passes often for egotism.
Men show their character in nothing more clearly than what they think laughable.
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. Life ;Music, Chants & Rapps
Mysteries are not necessarily miracles.
Nature knows no pause in progress and development, and attaches her curse on all inaction. Nature
No one has ever learned fully to know themselves.
No one would talk much in society if they knew how often they misunderstood others. Society
Nothing is more fearful than imagination without taste.
Nothing is more terrible than to see ignorance in action.
Nothing is to be rated higher than the value of the day.
Nothing is worth more than this day. Inspiration
Nothing shows a man's character more than what he laughs at.
Objects in pictures should so be arranged as by their very position to tell their own story.
On all the peaks lies peace. War & Peace
One always has time enough, if one will apply it well. Time
One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude. Society
One cannot develop taste from what is of average quality but only from the very best.
One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste. Nature
Only by joy and sorrow does a person know anything about themselves and their destiny. They learn what to do and what to avoid. Sympathy
Passions are vices or virtues to their highest powers.
Personality is everything in art and poetry. Literature, Writers & Writing ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Piety is not a goal but a means to attain through the purest peace of mind the highest culture. War & Peace
Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting. Life
Precaution is better than cure.
Science arose from poetry... when times change the two can meet again on a higher level as friends. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology ;Literature, Writers & Writing
Self-knowledge comes from knowing other men.
Sowing is not as difficult as reaping.
Superstition is the poetry of life. Life ;Literature, Writers & Writing
Talent develops in quiet places, character in the full current of human life. Life
Talk well of the absent whenever you have the opportunity.
The artist alone sees spirits. But after he has told of their appearing to him, everybody sees them.
The best government is that which teaches us to govern ourselves. Government
The biggest problem with every art is by the use of appearance to create a loftier reality. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The Christian religion, though scattered and abroad will in the end gather itself together at the foot of the cross. Religion & God
The coward only threatens when he is safe.
The credit of advancing science has always been due to individuals and never to the age. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
The decline of literature indicates the decline of a nation.
The deed is everything, the glory is naught.
The formation of one's character ought to be everyone's chief aim.
The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes. Human Nature ;Philosophy
The human mind will not be confined to any limits.
The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.
The little man is still a man.
The man who occupies the first place seldom plays the principal part.
The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.
The mediator of the inexpressible is the work of art. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
The most happy man is he who knows how to bring into relation the end and beginning of his life. Life
The people who are absent are the ideal; those who are present seem to be quite commonplace.
The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it. Happiness & Unhappiness
The right man is the one who seizes the moment.
The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.
The unnatural, that too is natural.
The way you see people is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become.
The world remains ever the same.
There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings. Hope ;Families, Children & Parenting
There is a courtesy of the heart; it is allied to love. From its springs the purest courtesy in the outward behavior. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
There is nothing in the world more shameful than establishing one's self on lies and fables.
There is nothing in which people more betray their character than in what they laugh at.
There is nothing insignificant in the world. It all depends on the point of view.
There is nothing so terrible as activity without insight.
Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.
Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.
This is the highest wisdom that I own; freedom and life are earned by those alone who conquer them each day anew. Life ;Freedom & Liberty
Those who hope for no other life are dead even for this. Life ;Hope
To appreciate the noble is a gain which can never be torn from us.
To create something you must be something.
To hard necessity ones will and fancy must conform.
To rule is easy, to govern difficult. Government
To the person with a firm purpose all men and things are servants.
To witness two lovers is a spectacle for the gods. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Unlike grown ups, children have little need to deceive themselves.
Upon the creatures we have made, we are, ourselves, at last, dependent.
We always have time enough, if we will but use it aright. Time
We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.
We are never further from what we wish than when we believe that we have what we wished for.
We cannot fashion our children after our desires, we must have them and love them as God has given them to us. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Religion & God
We can't form our children on our own concepts; we must take them and love them as God gives them to us. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Religion & God
We don't get to know people when they come to us; we must go to them to find out what they are like.
We know accurately only when we know little, with knowledge doubt increases. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
We usually lose today, because there has been a yesterday, and tomorrow is coming.
We will burn that bridge when we come to it.
What by a straight path cannot be reached by crooked ways is never won.
What is important in life is life, and not the result of life. Life
What is my life if I am no longer useful to others. Life
What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.
What is uttered from the heart alone, Will win the hearts of others to your own.
What life half gives a man, posterity gives entirely. Life
Whatever you cannot understand, you cannot possess.
Where is the man who has the strength to be true, and to show himself as he is?
Which government is the best? The one that teaches us to govern ourselves. Government
Who is the most sensible person? The one who finds what is to their own advantage in all that happens to them.
Who is the wisest man? He who neither knows or wishes for anything else than what happens.
Whoever wishes to keep a secret must hide the fact that he possesses one.
Wisdom is found only in truth. Truth
Wood burns because it has the proper stuff in it; and a man becomes famous because he has the proper stuff in him. Fame