Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

German author and poet
28 August 1749 — 22 March 1832

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Talents are best nurtured in solitude. Character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world.

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

The highest problem of any art is to cause by appearance the illusion of a higher reality.


Love does not dominate; it cultivates.

Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.

Doubt grows with knowledge.

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To have a positive religion is not necessary. To be in harmony with yourself and the universe is what counts, and this is possible without positive and specific formulation in words.

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.

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

The world is so empty if we think of it just as a collection of mountains, rivers and cities; but to find someone somewhere who sees eye to eye with us, someone with whom we can continue to commune in silence, makes the whole world into a populated garden.

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.

All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is exclusively my own.

Only by joy and sorrow does a person know anything about themselves and their destiny. They learn what to do and what to avoid.

Science and art belong to the world, and the barriers of nationality vanish before them.

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


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