Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes

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Selected Poetry of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Penguin Classics)        The Metamorphosis of Plants          The Sorrows of Young Werther (Dover Thrift Editions)         Faust: A Tragedy (Norton Critical Editions)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) perhaps comes as close as any man to deserving the title of universal genius.

Poet, dramatist, critic, scientist, administrator and novelist, he was born at Frankfurt-am-Main in 1749, the son of well-to-do parents with intellectual interests; and he studied at the University of Leipzig and at Strassburg, where he wrote a play which initiated the important Sturm und Drang movement.

During the next five years he practiced law in Frankfurt and wrote The Sorrows of Young Werther, a remarkable novel autobiographical of one side of Goethe’s nature. In 1775 he went to visit the court of the young Duke of Weimar, and, except for an extended journey to Italy a decade later, stayed there the rest of his life, filling at one time or another all the major posts in the Weimar government.

Here a close friendship with Schiller developed, and here he conducted important scientific experiments and published a steady stream of books of the highest order and in many different forms. He became the director of the Weimar Theatre in 1791 and made it the most famous in Europe. His life held a number of ardent loves, which he celebrated in lyrics that are compared to Shakespeare’s, and in 1806 he married Christiane Vulpius whom he had loved for many years.

In later life Goethe became a generous patron of younger writers, including Byron and Carlyle. In 1790 he published the first version of his life work as Faust , a Fragment, but Part I of the completed Faust did not appear until 1808, while Part II was finished and published only a few months before Goethe’s death in 1832.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer, artist, and politician. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. Wikipedia

Faust, Part One
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This new translation, in rhymed verse, of Goethe's Faust--one of the greatest dramatic and poetic masterpieces of European literature--preserves the essence of Goethe's meaning without resorting either to an overly literal, archaic translation or to an overly modern idi...
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Faust: Part Two
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This is a new translation of Faust, Part Two by David Luke, whose translation of Faust, Part I was the winner of the European Poetry Translation Prize. Here, Luke expertly imitates the varied verse-forms of the original, and provides a highly readable and actable transl...
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J. W. Goethe
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The classic works of literature contained in each of these volumes represent each author's best and most famous writings. A wonderful introduction to world literature, this finely crafted and affordable series offers the works of these world-renowned authors to a wider ...
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Faust: Part One
$59.58 $6.95
This new translation, in rhymed verse, of Goethe's Faust--one of the greatest dramatic and poetic masterpieces of European literature--preserves the essence of Goethe's meaning without resorting either to an overly literal, archaic translation or to an overly modern idi...
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Be generous with kind words, especially about those who are absent.

— J.W. von Goethe

Belief is not the beginning of knowledge — it is the end.

— J.W. von Goethe

Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

— J.W. von Goethe

By nature we have no defect that could not become a strength; no strength that could not become a defect.

— J.W. von Goethe

Keep not standing fixed and rooted. Briskly venture, briskly roam.

— J.W. von Goethe

Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.

— J.W. von Goethe

Nothing is worth more than this day.

— J.W. von Goethe

Plunge boldly into the thick of life.

— J.W. von Goethe

Treat people as if they were what they should be, and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.

— J.W. von Goethe

Trust yourself and you will know how to live.

— J.W. von Goethe

We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves, otherwise we harden.

— J.W. von Goethe

What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.

— J.W. von Goethe

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

— J.W. von Goethe

A person hears only what they understand.

— J.W. von Goethe

Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.

— J.W. von Goethe

Doubt can only be removed by action.

— J.W. von Goethe

Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.

— J.W. von Goethe

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

— J.W. von Goethe

Lay hold of life with both hands, whenever thou mayest seize it, it is interesting.

— J.W. von Goethe

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

— J.W. von Goethe

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

— J.W. von Goethe

Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.

— J.W. von Goethe

Love does not dominate; it cultivates.

— J.W. von Goethe

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.

— J.W. von Goethe

Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.

— J.W. von Goethe