Quotes by 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 it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."
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"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."
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"A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul."
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"Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game."
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"We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe."
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Books by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  • Werther
  • 95,202 ratings
  • May 26th 2019

    (first published September 29th 1774)

  • Faust ..: 1
  • 62,430 ratings
  • August 2nd 2018 by Wentworth Press

    (first published 1808)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  • Date of birth: August 28, 1749
  • Died: March 22, 1832
  • Born: in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

  • Description: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer. George Eliot called him "Germany's greatest man of letters... and the last true polymath to walk the earth." Goethe's works span the fields of poetry, drama, literature, theology, humanism, and science. Goethe's magnum opus, lauded as one of the peaks of world literature, is the two-part drama Faust. Goethe's other well-known literary works include his numerous poems, the Bildungsroman Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship and the epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther.

    Goethe was one of the key figures of German literature and the movement of Weimar Classicism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; this movement coincides with Enlightenment, Sentimentality (Empfindsamkeit), Sturm und Drang, and Romanticism. The author of the scientific text Theory of Colours, he influenced Darwin with his focus on plant morphology. He also long served as the Privy Councilor ("Geheimrat") of the duchy of Weimar.

    Goethe is the originator of the concept of Weltliteratur ("world literature"), having taken great interest in the literatures of England, France, Italy, classical Greece, Persia, Arabic literature, amongst others. His influence on German philosophy is virtually immeasurable, having major impact especially on the generation of Hegel and Schelling, although Goethe himself expressly and decidedly refrained from practicing philosophy in the rarefied sense.

    Goethe's influence spread across Europe, and for the next century his works were a major source of inspiration in music, drama, poetry and philosophy. Goethe is considered by many to be the most important writer in the German language and one of the most important thinkers in Western culture as well. Early in his career, however, he wondered whether painting might not be his true vocation; late in his life, he expressed the expectation that he would ultimately be remembered above all for his work in optics.

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