We moderns do not believe in demigods, but our smallest hero we expect to feel and act as a demigod.

[Wir Neuern glauben keine Halbgötter, aber der geringste Held soll bei uns wie ein Halbgott empfinden, und handeln.]

Gotthold Lessing (1729-1781) German playwright, philosopher, dramaturg, writer
Laocoön, or the Limitations of Painting and Poetry [Laokoön oder Über die Grenzen der Malerei und Poesie], ch. 4 (1767) [tr. Phillimore (1874)]

(Source (German)). Alternate translation:

We moderns are no believers in demi-gods, yet the least important hero among us is expected to feel and act like one.
[tr. Ross (1836)]

Added on 25-Jun-24 | Last updated 25-Jun-24
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