Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes

Most popular Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes

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

children funny growing up parenting

Man errs as long as he strives.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Faust

error

To act is easy; to think is hard.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Do the duty that lies nearest thee.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Youth is intoxication without wine.

youth

The smallest hair throws its shadow.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
As our inclinations so our opinions.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Beauty is a welcome guest everywhere.

beauty

Love does not dominate; it cultivates.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A clever man commits no minor blunders.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Mysteries are not necessarily miracles.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Common sense is the genius of humanity.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

common sense genius

He who cannot love must learn to flatter.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

cynical love

A man's errors are what make him amiable.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

mistakes

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

words

Boldness has genius, power, and magic to it.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
What we do not understand we do not possess.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

understanding

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

deeds glory

We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.

deceit

We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Nature is the living, visible garment of God.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

how to live life wise

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

answers proverbs

What is not fully understood is not possessed.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
But what is your duty? The demands of every day.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Ambition and love are the wings of great actions.

ambition love

All of us have life; few of us have an idea of it.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Correction does much, but encouragement does more.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

criticism parenting

I sing as the bird sings
That lives in the boughs.

singing

Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

ignorance proverbs

In all things it is better to hope than to despair.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The society of women is the element of good manners.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Everything living forms an atmosphere around itself.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If you would create something, you must be something.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Education does much, but encouragement is everything.

education

Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Passions are vices or virtues to their highest powers.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

passion

Instruction does much, but encouragement is everything.

encouragement

Those who hope for no other life are dead even for this.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

enthusiasm

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

life

We always have time enough, if we will but use it aright.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
He who is ignorant of foreign languages knows not his own.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

language

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

genius truth

There is nothing more fearful than imagination without taste.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

imagination proverbs

A man doesn't learn to understand anything unless he loves it.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
What is important in life is life, and not the result of life.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

kindness

Genius is formed in quiet, character in the stream of human life.

genius

The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
One says a lot in vain, refusing;
The other mainly hears the "No."

saying no

A man who is firm and resolute in will molds the world to himself.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

reality

Everything in the world can be endured, except continual prosperity.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
He only earns his freedom and existence who daily conquers them anew.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Whatever necessity lays upon thee, endure; whatever she commands, do.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

perseverance

A reasonable man needs only to practice moderation to find happiness.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

aim high dreams

Generosity always wins favor, particularly when accompanied by modesty.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

charity generosity Giving modesty

The best of all governments is that which teaches us to govern ourselves.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A great revolution is never the fault of the people, but of the government.

revolution

If you call a thing bad you do little; if you call a thing good you do much.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

parenting praise

If you call a thing bad you do little, if you call a thing good you do much.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We know accurately only when we know little, with knowledge doubt increases.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

knowledge

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

character talent

Enthusiasm is of the greatest value, so long as we are not carried away by it.

enthusiasm

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Life is a quarry, out of which we are to mold and chisel and complete character.

character life

No one would talk much in society if he knew how often he misunderstands others.

misunderstanding

It seems to never occur to fools that merit and good fortune are closely united.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

fortune merit

Everything has been thought of before, but the difficulty is to think of it again.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

originality

All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Men show their character in nothing more clearly than by what they think laughable.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

character humor

Everything that frees our spirit without giving us control of ourselves is ruinous.

self-control

The best thing which we derive from history is the enthusiasm that it raises in us.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Perfection is the measure of heaven, and the wish to be perfect the measure of man.

perfection

Individuality seems to be nature's whole aim-and she cares nothing for individuals.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

nature

They are the happiest, be they king, queen or peasant, who finds peace in their home.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Go to foreign countries and you will get to know the good things one possesses at home.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
There is nothing in which people more betray their character than in what they laugh at.

character humor laughter

There is no outward sign of true courtesy that does not rest on a deep moral foundation.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Error is acceptable as long as we are young; but one must not drag it along into old age.

error

Happy the man who early learns the wide chasm that lies between his wishes and his powers!
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
All is created and goes according to order, yet over our lifetime rules an uncertain fate.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Nature knows no pause in progress and development, and attaches her curse on all inaction.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

nature

Nature goes on her way, and all that to us seems an exception is really according to order.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

nature

The man who acts never has any conscience; no one has any conscience but the man who thinks.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Science and art belong to the whole world, and the barriers of nationality vanish before them.

art science science & art

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

potential

Riches amassed in haste will diminish, but those collected by little and little will multiply.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We are never further from our wishes than when we imagine that we possess what we have desired.

wish

What you have inherited from your fathers, earn over again for yourselves, or it will not be yours.
Talents are best nurtured in solitude; character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It is better to be doing the most insignificant thing than to reckon even a half-hour insignificant.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
In the realm of ideas, everything depends on enthusiasm; in the real world, all rests on perseverance.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

perseverance

I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to try to think them again.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

ideas

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Science has been seriously retarded by the study of what is not worth knowing, and of what is not knowable.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

science

Correction does much, but encouragement does more. Encouragement after censure is as the sun after a shower.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

encouragement for teachers

Every situation — nay, every moment — is of infinite worth; for it is the representative of a whole eternity.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Everyone believes in his youth that the world really began with him, and that all merely exists for his sake.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

for teachers parenting

There is nothing by which men display their character so much as in what they consider ridiculous or laugh at.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
He who posseses science and art, has religion; he who possesses neither science nor art, let him get religion.

art science science & art

The highest happiness of man . . . is to have probed what is knowable and quietly to revere what is unknowable.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Love is an ideal thing; marriage is a real thing. A confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

marriage

There is no better deliverance from the world than art; and a man can form no surer bond with it than through art.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The work of art may have a moral effect, but to demand moral purpose from the artist is to make him ruin his work.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

art

A vain man can never be utterly ruthless. He wants to win applause, and therefore he accommodates himself to others.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

vanity

Error is to truth as sleep is to waking.  I have observed that one turns, as if refreshed, from error back to truth.

mistakes truth

Give me the benefit of your convictions, if you have any; but keep your doubts to yourself, for I have enough of my own.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

conviction doubt

If you 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.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

parenting

There is no surer method of evading the world than by following Art, and no surer method of linking oneself to it than by Art.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

art

Every man supposes that he directs his life and governs his actions, when his existence is irretrievably under the control of destiny.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

how to live life

Let us not dream that reason can ever be popular. Passions, emotions, may be made popular, but reason remains ever the property of the few.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Three things are to be looked to in a building: that it stand on the right spot; that it be securely founded; that it be successfully executed.

architecture

Certain defects are necessary for the existence of individuality.  We should not be pleased if old friends were to lay aside certain peculiarities.

individuality

Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

hope

We are so constituted that we believe the most incredible things; and, once they are engraved upon the memory, woe to him who would endeavor to erase them.

beliefs

When young, one is confident to be able to build palaces for mankind, but when the time comes one has one's hands full just to be able to remove their trash.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

cynical mankind youth

It is well for us that man can only endure a certain degree of unhappiness; what is beyond that either annihilates him or passes by him and leaves him apathetic.

unhappiness

Man is born not to solve the problems of the universe, but to find out where the problem begins, and then to restrain himself within the limits of the comprehensible.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

universe

Austere perseverance, harsh and continuous, may be employed by the least of us and rarely fails of its purpose, for its silent power grows irreversibly greater with time.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
He who would study organic existence first drives out the soul with rigid persistence. Then the parts in his hand he may hold and class, but the spiritual link is lost, alas!
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
This is the true measure of love: when we believe that we alone can love, that no one could ever have loved so before us, and that no one will ever love in the same way after us.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

love

All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take firm root in our personal experience.

thinking thoughts

Vanity is a desire of personal glory, the wish to be appreciated, honored, and run after, not because of one's personal qualities, merits, and achievements, but because of one's individual existence.

vanity

Whoever, in middle age, attempts to realize the wishes and hopes of his early youth, invariably deceives himself.  Each ten years of a man's life has its own fortunes, its own hopes, its own desires.

middle age

We lay aside letters never to read them again, and at last we destroy them out of discretion, and so disappears the most beautiful, the most immediate breath of life, irrevocably for ourselves and for others.

letters

There is no trifling with nature; it is always true, grave, and severe; it is always in the light, and the faults and errors fall to our share. It defies incompetency, but reveals its secrets to the competent, the truthful, and the pure.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

nature