Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (August 28, 1749 – March 22, 1832) was a German poet, playwright, novelist and scientist. He is considered one of the greatest literary figures of his age, and not only.

In 1765, Goethe left home to study law, as his father wished, but due to his illness (probably tuberculosis), he returned home without a degree. However, while at the university, Goethe was much more absorbed with writing, but he presumably burned some of his works as he considered them unworthy.

Often regarded as Germany’s Shakespeare, Goethe achieved fame at the age of 25 after the release of his novel The Sorrows of Young Werther. It is said that the novel had such an influence on men of sensibility, that it has made suicide fashionable for them.

But Faust remains Goethe’s masterpiece. He started the two-part poetic drama around the age of 23 and finished it only months before his death. The legend of the erudite who sells his soul to the Devil for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures has been the basis for many other artistic works.

Here are 25 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe quotes that will change the way you see yourself and others.

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

Johann-Wolfgang-von-Goethe-Quotes

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.

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

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.

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.

A person hears only what they understand.

I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather…

Courage is the commitment to begin without any guarantee of success.

In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm… in the real world all rests on perseverance.

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

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

We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.

Instruction does much, but encouragement everything.

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.

There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

By seeking and blundering we learn.

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

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

Nothing is worth more than this day. You cannot relive yesterday. Tomorrow is still beyond your reach.

Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.

Love does not dominate; it cultivates.

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

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

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

Everything is hard before it is easy


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