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Faust

Uploaded by Admin on Nov 24, 1999

In Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe builds a dramatic poem around the strengths and weaknesses of a man who under a personalized definition of a hero fails miserably. A hero is someone that humanity models themselves and their actions after, someone who can be revered by the masses as an individual of great morality and strength, a man or woman that never sacrifices his beliefs under adversity. Therefore, through his immoral actions and his unwillingness to respect others rights and privileges, Faust is determined to be a man of un heroic proportions. It is seen early in the poem, that Faust has very strong beliefs and a tight moral code that is deeply rooted in his quest for knowledge. Sitting in his den, Faust describes his areas of instruction, "I have, alas, studied philosophy, jurisprudence and medicine, too, and, worst of all, theology with keen endeavor, through and through..." It is obvious that through his studies he has valued deep and critical thinking, however with the help of Mephisto, he would disregard his values and pursue the pleasures of the flesh. Faust's impending downward spiral reveals the greed that both Mephisto and Faust share. Mephisto's greed is evident in the hope that he will overcome Faust's morality and thus be victorious in his wager with God; also because he is the devil and that is what he does. For Faust, greed emerges because of his desire to attain physical pleasures and therefore become whole in mind, body and spirit. Faust's goal to become the Überminche is an understandable desire, however, the means at which he strives for those ends are irresponsible and unjust. It is through this greed that Faust with the help of Mephisto exploit others in the pursuit of Faust's earthly desires. Enter innocent Gretchen, a poor lower class young woman who experiences the impossible, love. Under Mephisto's magical potion, Faust becomes intoxicated with passion and controlled by his hormones. It is under this spell that he approaches the "beautiful" Gretchen, however, the feeling of passion is not mutual between the two. Faust realizes then, that his simple looks and personality will not attract Gretchen, rather Faust must deceive and manipulate this woman in order to possess her. Thus, Faust turns to Mephisto for help in his quest for Gretchen, "Get me that girl, and don't ask why?"(257) Mephisto replies with a quote that establishes the nature at which...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   11/24/1999

Category:   Poetry

Length:   4 pages (872 words)

Views:   1748

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