Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes

Many hammer all over the wall and believe that with each blow they hit the nail on the head.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Art and Antiquity, III, 1 (1821).
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We can most safely achieve truly universal tolerance when we respect that which is characteristic in the individual and in nations, clinging, though, to the conviction that the truly meritorious is unique by belonging to all of mankind.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Letter to Thomas Carlyle (July 20, 1827).
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If society gives up the right to impose the death penalty, then self help will appear again and personal vendettas will be around the corner.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, from Makarie's Archive (1829).
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It is as certain as it is strange that truth and error come from one and the same source; for that reason one must often not do something to the detriment of error since one would do also something detrimental to truth.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Art and Antiquity, III, 1 (1821).
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The safest thing is always to try to convert everything that is in us and around us into action; let the others talk and argue about it as they please.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Letter to Zelter (October 30, 1828).
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Superstition belongs to the essence of mankind and takes refuge, when one thinks one has suppressed it completely, in the strangest nooks and crannies; once it is safely ensconced there, it suddenly reappears.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, Reflections in the Spirit of the Travellers (1829).
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One must not criticize that which is common since it remains always the same.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Art and Antiquity, V, 3 (1826).
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All poetry is supposed to be instructive but in an unnoticeable manner; it is supposed to make us aware of what it would be valuable to instruct ourselves in; we must deduce the lesson on our own, just as with life.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Letter to Zelter (November 26, 1825).
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Microscopes and telescopes really confuse our minds.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Wilhelm Meister's Travels, Reflections in the Spirit of the Travellers (1829).
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We really learn only from those books that we cannot judge. The author of a book that we were able to judge would have to learn from us.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet, dramatist. Art and Antiquity, V, 3 (1826).
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