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29+ quotes from Faust: First Part by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Quotes from Faust: First Part

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ·  327 pages

Rating: (51.3K votes)


“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“Who are you then?"
"I am part of that power which eternally wills evil and eternally works good.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“You can’t, if you can’t feel it, if it never
Rises from the soul, and sways
The heart of every single hearer,
With deepest power, in simple ways.
You’ll sit forever, gluing things together,
Cooking up a stew from other’s scraps,
Blowing on a miserable fire,
Made from your heap of dying ash.
Let apes and children praise your art,
If their admiration’s to your taste,
But you’ll never speak from heart to heart,
Unless it rises up from your heart’s space.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“God help us -- for art is long, and life so short.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“All theory is gray, my friend. But forever green is the tree of life.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“Faust: Who holds the devil, let him hold him well,
He hardly will be caught a second time.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“Whatever is the lot of humankind
I want to taste within my deepest self.
I want to seize the highest and the lowest,
to load its woe and bliss upon my breast,
and thus expand my single self titanically
and in the end go down with all the rest.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“What I possess, seems far away to me, and what is gone becomes reality.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“I am the spirit that negates.
And rightly so, for all that comes to be
Deserves to perish wretchedly;
'Twere better nothing would begin.
Thus everything that that your terms, sin,
Destruction, evil represent—
That is my proper element.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“I am not omniscient, but I know a lot.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“You are aware of only one unrest;
Oh, never learn to know the other!
Two souls, alas, are dwelling in my breast,
And one is striving to forsake its brother.
Unto the world in grossly loving zest,
With clinging tendrils, one adheres;
The other rises forcibly in quest
Of rarefied ancestral spheres.
If there be spirits in the air
That hold their sway between the earth and sky,
Descend out of the golden vapors there
And sweep me into iridescent life.
Oh, came a magic cloak into my hands
To carry me to distant lands,
I should not trade it for the choicest gown,
Nor for the cloak and garments of the crown.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“Everything transitory is but an image.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“When scholars study a thing, they strive to kill it first, if it's alive; then they have the parts and the'be lost the whole, for the link that's missing was the living soul.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“Habe nun, ach! Philosophie,
Juristerei und Medizin,
Und leider auch Theologie
Durchaus studiert, mit heißem Bemühn.
Da steh ich nun, ich armer Tor!
Und bin so klug als wie zuvor;
Heiße Magister, heiße Doktor gar
Und ziehe schon an die zehen Jahr
Herauf, herab und quer und krumm
Meine Schüler an der Nase herum-
Und sehe, daß wir nichts wissen können!
Das will mir schier das Herz verbrennen.
Zwar bin ich gescheiter als all die Laffen,
Doktoren, Magister, Schreiber und Pfaffen;
Mich plagen keine Skrupel noch Zweifel,
Fürchte mich weder vor Hölle noch Teufel-
Dafür ist mir auch alle Freud entrissen,
Bilde mir nicht ein, was Rechts zu wissen,
Bilde mir nicht ein, ich könnte was lehren,
Die Menschen zu bessern und zu bekehren.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“I see my discourse leaves you cold;
Dear kids, I do not take offense;
Recall: the Devil, he is old,
Grow old yourselves, and he'll make sense!”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“Ich bin der Geist der stets verneint! Und das mit Recht; denn alles, was entsteht, ist wert, dass es zugrunde geht.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“I nothing had, and yet enough for youth--Joy in Illusion, ardent thirst for Truth. Give unrestrained, the old emotion, The bliss that touched the verge of pain, The strength of Hate, Love's deep devotion,--O, give me back my youth again!”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“There are but two roads that lead to an important goal and to the doing of great things: strength and perseverance. Strength is the lot of but a few priveledged men; but austere perseverance, harsh and continuous, may be employed by the smallest of us and rarely fails of its purpose, for its silent power grows irresistibly greater with time.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“Dear me! how long is art!
And short is our life!
I often know amid the scholar's strife
A sinking feeling in my mind and heart.
How difficult the means are to be found
By which the primal sources may be breached;
And long before the halfway point is reached,
They bury a poor devil in the ground.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“One mind is enough for a thousand hands.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“If the whole world I once could see
On free soil stand, with the people free
Then to the moment might I say,
Linger awhile. . .so fair thou art.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“I've often heard it said a preacher
might learn with a comedian for a teacher.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“[Ich bin] ein Teil von jener Kraft, die stets das Böse will und stets das Gute schafft.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“That which issues from the heart alone,
Will bend the hearts of others to your own.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“While Man's desires and aspirations stir, He cannot choose but err.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“Your suns and worlds are not within my ken,
I merely watch the plaguey state of men.
The little god of earth remains the same queer sprite
As on the first day, or in primal light.
His life would be less difficult, poor thing,
Without your gift of heavenly glimmering;
He calls it Reason, using light celestial
Just to outdo the beasts in being bestial.
To me he seems, with deference to Your Grace,
One of those crickets, jumping round the place,
Who takes his flying leaps, with legs so long,
Then falls to grass and chants the same old song;
But, not content with grasses to repose in,
This one will hunt for muck to stick his nose in.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


“Did we force ourselves on you, or you on us?”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, quote from Faust: First Part


About the author

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Born place: in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Born date August 28, 1749
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