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…
We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.
Whatever Nature undertakes, she can only accomplish it in a sequence. She never makes a leap. For example, she could not produce a horse if it were not preceded by all the other animals on which she ascends to the horse’s structure as if on the rungs of a ladder. Thus every one thing exists for the sake of all things and all for the sake of one. For the one is of course the all as well. Nature, despite her seeming diversity, is always a unity, a whole. And thus, when she manifests herself in any part of that whole, the rest must serve as a basis for that particular manifestation, and the latter must have a relationship to the rest of the system.
Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.
Where there is plenty of light there is strong shadow.
And here I am at last, a very fool, with useless learning curst, no wiser than at first.
One must strive to become what one is.
Oh how the spell before my sight brings nature’s hidden ways to light. See! All things with each other blending, each to each its being lending, all on each in turn depending, heavenly ministers descending, and again to heaven ascending, floating, mingling, interweaving… Can the heart of man embrace Illimitable Nature?