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201 Thought-Provoking Quotes By Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Famous As: Novelist Best Known for 'The Sorrows of Young Werther', the First Novel of The Sturm Und Drang Movement
Born On: August 28, 1749
Died On: March 22, 1832
Born In: Goethe House, Frankfurt, Germany
Died At Age: 82
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was an eminent German statesman and writer. His writings, thoughts and works include approximately 10,000 letters, umpteen scientific and literary fragments, epic and lyric poetry, aesthetic and literary criticism, verse and prose dramas, an autobiography and memoirs. In addition to it, approximately 3,000 drawings, treaties on color, botany and anatomy and four novels are also associated with him. He was a devout Christian yet opposed many preaching and teachings of the Christian churches as he believed the Christian theology was quite distinct from the teachings of Jesus Christ. Goethe has been an inspiration to many philosophers including Carl Jung, Friedrich Hegel and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Here are best of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s thoughts and quotes on various subjects that were close to his heart. Take a look at some motivating and popular quotes and sayings by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe on soul, motivational, beauty, behaviour, mirror, portrait, positive, point-of-view, hope, children, parenting, sdom, peace, unite, lead, wise, art, poetry, inspirational, respect, happiness, knowledge, music, frozen, freedom, believe etc which have been extracted from his works, thoughts, writings, poems, works and life.
Which government is the best? The one that teaches us to govern ourselves.

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

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

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

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

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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.

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.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The man who occupies the first place seldom plays the principal part.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It is in self-limitation that a master first shows himself.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The world remains ever the same.

The world remains ever the same.

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

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A person places themselves on a level with the ones they praise.

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

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

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

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

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Be above it! Make the world serve your purpose, but do not serve it.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Upon the creatures we have made, we are, ourselves, at last, dependent.

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

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

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Superstition is the poetry of life.

Superstition is the poetry of life.

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

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

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

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Hatred is active, and envy passive dislike; there is but one step from envy to hate.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If you must tell me your opinions, tell me what you believe in. I have plenty of doubts of my own.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Mastery passes often for egotism.

Mastery passes often for egotism.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Unlike grown ups, children have little need to deceive themselves.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A useless life is an early death.

A useless life is an early death.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
To create something you must be something.

To create something you must be something.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If you start to think of your physical and moral condition, you usually find that you are sick.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
He is dead in this world who has no belief in another.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
He who enjoys doing and enjoys what he has done is happy.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The formation of one's character ought to be everyone's chief aim.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The people who are absent are the ideal; those who are present seem to be quite commonplace.

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

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

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We can't form our children on our own concepts; we must take them and love them as God gives them to us.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A noble person attracts noble people, and knows how to hold on to them.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
First and last, what is demanded of genius is love of truth.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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 don't get to know people when they come to us; we must go to them to find out what they are like.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The deed is everything, the glory is naught.

The deed is everything, the glory is naught.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Talk well of the absent whenever you have the opportunity.

Talk well of the absent whenever you have the opportunity.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
To appreciate the noble is a gain which can never be torn from us.

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

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

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A clever man commits no minor blunders.

A clever man commits no minor blunders.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.

Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The little man is still a man.

The little man is still a man.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
He who possesses art and science has religion; he who does not possess them, needs religion.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Whoever wishes to keep a secret must hide the fact that he possesses one.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The best government is that which teaches us to govern ourselves.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Sowing is not as difficult as reaping.

Sowing is not as difficult as reaping.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Wisdom is found only in truth.

Wisdom is found only in truth.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Nothing is to be rated higher than the value of the day.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Know thyself? If I knew myself I would run away.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
No one has ever learned fully to know themselves.

No one has ever learned fully to know themselves.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
What is my life if I am no longer useful to others.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
To hard necessity ones will and fancy must conform.

To hard necessity ones will and fancy must conform.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
To the person with a firm purpose all men and things are servants.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Passions are vices or virtues to their highest powers.

Passions are vices or virtues to their highest powers.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The unnatural, that too is natural.

The unnatural, that too is natural.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I will listen to anyone's convictions, but pray keep your doubts to yourself.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself, it is a child of solitude.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Christian religion, though scattered and abroad will in the end gather itself together at the foot of the cross.

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

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

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
What life half gives a man, posterity gives entirely.

What life half gives a man, posterity gives entirely.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Age merely shows what children we remain.

Age merely shows what children we remain.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I do not know myself, and God forbid that I should.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
All things are only transitory.

All things are only transitory.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If you modestly enjoy your fame you are not unworthy to rank with the holy.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It is better to be deceived by one's friends than to deceive them.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A correct answer is like an affectionate kiss.

A correct answer is like an affectionate kiss.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Death is a commingling of eternity with time; in the death of a good man, eternity is seen looking through time.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will.

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

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

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
That I be not as those are who spend the day in complaining of headache and the night in drinking the wine which gives the headache!

That I be not as those are who spend the day in complaining of headache and the night in drinking the wine which gives the headache!

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
When ideas fail, words come in very handy.

When ideas fail, words come in very handy.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.

We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Happiness is a ball after which we run wherever it rolls, and we push it with our feet when it stops.

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

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

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Deeply earnest and thoughtful people stand on shaky footing with the public.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We always have time enough, if we will but use it aright.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Talent develops in quiet places, character in the full current of human life.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Self-knowledge comes from knowing other men.

Self-knowledge comes from knowing other men.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Character, in great and little things, means carrying through what you feel able to do.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Whatever you cannot understand, you cannot possess.

Whatever you cannot understand, you cannot possess.

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

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Nothing is more fearful than imagination without taste.

Nothing is more fearful than imagination without taste.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Common sense is the genius of humanity.

Common sense is the genius of humanity.

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

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
For just when ideas fail, a word comes in to save the situation.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Live dangerously and you live right.

Live dangerously and you live right.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Love can do much, but duty more.

Love can do much, but duty more.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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 most sensible person? The one who finds what is to their own advantage in all that happens to them.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe