Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832 / Frankfurt am Main)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes

  • ''The one who acts is always without conscience; nobody has a conscience but the contemplative person.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Art and Antiquity, V, 1 (1824).
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  • ''Which government is the best? The one that teaches us to govern ourselves.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Art and Antiquity, V, 3 (1826).
  • ''We said that the history of mankind depicts man; in the same way one can maintain that the history of science is science itself.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. On the Theory of Color, preface (1810).
  • ''If you don't know foreign languages, you don't know anything about your own.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Art and Antiquity, III, 1 (1821).
  • ''Where there is plenty of light there is strong shadow.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Philine, in Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, act I, Götz's castle (1771).
  • ''Translators can be considered as busy matchmakers who praise as extremely desirable a half-veiled beauty. They arouse an irresistible yearning for the original.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Art and Antiquity, V, 3 (1826).
  • ''What's it to you if I love you?''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Philine, in Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, bk. IV, ch. 9 (1795-1796).
  • ''More light!
    [Mehr Licht!]''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Attributed last words. According to Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, ed. Angela Partington (1992), Goethe's actual last words were: "Open the second shutter, so that more light can come in."
  • ''One of the most striking signs of the decay of art is the intermixing of different genres.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Propylaea, introduction (1798).
  • ''To be sure, a good work of art can and will have moral consequences, but to demand of the artists moral intentions, means ruining their craft.''
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Autobiography. Poetry and Truth, part III, bk. 12 (1814).

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Best Poem of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Erl-King

1.
WHO rides there so late through the night dark and drear?
The father it is, with his infant so dear;
He holdeth the boy tightly clasp'd in his arm,
He holdeth him safely, he keepeth him warm.

"My son, wherefore seek'st thou thy face thus to hide?"
"Look, father, the Erl-King is close by our side!
Dost see not the Erl-King, with crown and with train?"
"My son, 'tis the mist rising over the plain."

"Oh, come, thou dear infant! oh come thou with me!
Full many a game I will play there with thee;
On my strand, lovely flowers their blossoms unfold,
My ...

Read the full of The Erl-King

Longing

WHAT pulls at my heart so?

What tells me to roam?
What drags me and lures me

From chamber and home?
How round the cliffs gather

The clouds high in air!

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