Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832) was a German poet, playwright, novelist, statesman, artist, and natural philosopher. A prolific and varied writer, he is best known for his two-part poetic drama Faust. Goethe was educated at home by private tutors and although his great passion was drawing, he quickly became interested in literature. He earned a law degree from the University of Strasbourg in 1771, but his focus was on writing. In 1775 Goethe was invited, on the strength of his fame as the author of The Sorrows of Young Werther, to the court of Karl August, Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, who would become Grand Duke in 1815. He remained in Weimar for the rest of his life, where he held a succession of offices, becoming the Duke’s friend and chief adviser. His journey to the Italian peninsula and Sicily from 1786 to 1788 was of great significance in his aesthetic and philosophical development. After 1793 devoted his endeavours primarily to literature.
Quotes by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe…
Nothing is more disgusting than the majority: it consists of a few powerful predecessors, of rogues who adapt themselves, of weak who assimilate themselves, and the masses who imitate without knowing at all what they want.
Do you wish always to stray further? See, good lies as near; learn only to grasp happiness, for happiness is always here.
He who is firm in will moulds the world to himself.
What is the true test of character, unless it be its progressive development in the bustle and turmoil, in the action and reaction of daily life?
We are accustomed to see men scorn what they do not understand, and snarl at the good and the beautiful because it lies beyond their sympathies.
There is no trifling with nature; it is always true, dignified, and just; it is always in the right, and the faults and errors belong to us. Nature defies incompetence, but reveals its secrets to the competent, the truthful, and the pure.
On every mountain height is rest.
The world means something to the capable.
Beware of dissipating your powers; strive constantly to concentrate them.
What we do not understand we do not possess.