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Wolfgang Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832 ,  German poet & philosopher
Wolfgang GoetheGerman poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theater director, critic, and amateur artist, considered the greatest German literary figure of the modern era.

His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; four novels. Also, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings.

His magnus opus was “Faust”, a tragic play in two parts on which he worked for 60 years.

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A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.

A talent is formed in stillness, a character in the world's torrent.

A useless life is an early death.

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

Among all peoples, the Greeks have dreamt life's dream most beautifully.

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

At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you.

Blood is a juice of rarest quality.

Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one.

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

Everything is hard before it is easy.

Faust: Who holds the devil, let him hold him well, He hardly will be caught a second time.

For I have been a man, and that means to have been a fighter.

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

He who does not speak foreign languages knows nothing about his own.

He who moves not forward, goes backward.

Hypotheses are scaffoldings erected in front of a building and then dismantled when the building is finished. They are indispensable for the workman; but you mustn't mistake the scaffolding for the building.

I love those who yearn for the impossible.

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

If I love you, what business is it of yours?

If you inquire what the people are like here, I must answer, “The same as everywhere!”

If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.

In limitations he first shows himself the master, and the law can only bring us freedom.

Instruction does much, but encouragement everything.

It is ever true that he who does nothing for others, does nothing for himself.

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

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

Love does not dominate, it cultivates. And that is more.

Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing.

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

Music is liquid architecture; Architecture is frozen music.

Night is the other half of life, and the better half.

Nothing is more damaging to a new truth than an old error.

Nothing is more frightful than to see ignorance in action.

Nothing is worth more than this day.

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

One must be something in order to do something.

One never goes so far as when one doesn't know where one is going.

One of the most striking signs of the decay of art is the intermixing of different genres.

One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.

Remember to live.

The decline of literature indicates the decline of a nation.

There are two things children should get from their parents: roots and wings.

There is strong shadow where there is much light.

They should be ashamed of themselves, all these sober people!

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.

To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking.

Truth is contrary to our nature, not so error, and this for a very simple reason; truth demands that we should recognize ourselves as limited, error flatters us that, in one way or another, we are unlimited.

We all of us live upon the past, and through the past we are destroyed.

We are our own devils; we drive ourselves out of our Edens.

What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

You ask which form of government is the best? Whichever teaches us to govern ourselves.

You really only know when you know little. Doubt grows with knowledge.

Latin Quotes

Living by the power of truth I conquered the universe.

Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.

Non-English Quotes

Mehr Licht!

More light!

his last words


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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou