Source: German Quarterly Vol. 22, No. 4, Nov., 1949
Thomas Mann wrote a novel "Dr Faustus" which compares Faust’s pact with the devil to the way the German people supported Hitler.
Each angel represents a particular cyclical process of the earth (Gabriel) ,the sun(Raphael), night and day, and the power and calm of weather (Michael).
Goethe's faust lit and val
The Legend of Dr. Faust(us) Abhishek Jain R. Sumanth
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe• 1749 – 1832• Born in Frankfurt• Supreme Genius of Modern German Literature• Poet, Dramatist, Noveli st and Scientist• Major sources of inspiration for drama, poetry, Opera and even Music!!
Inspired Beethoven! You’re“…like an edifice erected by SPIRIT GAWD!!hands DRIVES me and exalts me toWRITE MUSIC. The SECRET of theHARMONIES is engrafted in it.”“When your poems reach mybrain, I am filled with pride sointense that I long to climb theheight of your grandeur….” Cmon! You’re no less.
Weimar Classicism• From 1772 until 1805• To establish a new humanism by synthesizing Romantic, classical and Enlightenment ideas.• Goethe and Schiller – main figures Weimar’s Courtyard of Muses
Reception of Goethe• In 19th c. Germany, he was admired for his breadth of vision & his liberal ideas• During Hitler’s time Goethe was appropriated as a nationalist, and was used for the Nazi propaganda• In England, he was translated by Thomas Carlyle, and impacted the English Romantic Age.
A wager with the Thomas Mann -Won NOBEL PRIZE for LITERATURE in 1929 -Compared Faust’s Pact with German people’s support to Hitler
CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE• 6th Feb 1564- 30th May 1593.• He foremost Elizabethan Tragedian.• An English Dramatist who is considered to be Father of English Tragedy.• Instaurator of Dramatic Blank Verse.• His plays known for their overreaching Protagonists.
Somewhere on Earth• Faust sitting in despair• Longs to live in harmony with nature• Summons a spirit and seeks higher knowledge• Spirit refuses to share. “Thourt like the spirit, thou dost Faust in his study comprehend, Not me!”• Faust attempts
Wager Again!!• Later, a dog interrupts Faust in his study.• Dog transforms into MEPHISTOPHELES.• Mephistopheles makes another WAGER – now with Faust• “If eer upon my couch, stretched at my ease, Im found, Then may my life that instant cease!”
The Devil promises to SERVE Faust and to give Faust a moment of transcendence, aMOMENT in which he hopes to STAY FOREVER. IfMephistopheles succeeds, Faust must then be his SERVANT for the rest of eternity in HELL.
Faust – The BadMan!?!• Faust goes crazy!• Tempts his student to pursue women.• Plays tricks on men at Auerbach‟s Cellar• Goes to Witches Cave and indulge in stupid games.• Meets Gretchen outside the cave! Auerbach’s Cellar
Love at First Sight• Faust falls in love with Gretchen, love beyond lust.• Faust had complex feelings. He wanted her body too.• He corrupts Gretchen and her Christian beliefs.• He gives sleeping potion to her mother and they consummate their relationship. Mother dies!• Gretchen is pregnant.• Faust visits her. Her brother Valentine rebukes.• They fight and Valentine is killed.• Gretchen runs away from Faust, to church. Evil spirits secure her damnation.
Walpurgis Night• Gretchen attends Walpurgis Night• Faust learns that Gretchen killed their infant• She was arrested• Faust curses Mephistopheles for creating such circumstances.• Faust orders him to help him free Gretchen from prison.
Rescuing his Love• Faust sneaks into prison and meets Gretchen• She has grown mad due to all the suffering and doesn‟t recognize him.• She confuses him with her executioner• He pleads her to escape with him• Filled with shame and guilt, she refuses and accepts death.• Gretchen surrenders her soul to GOD• Faust is left devastated. Even with all the power, he could not save her.
PLOT • Study of Necromancy (Dark Magic).RisingAction • Initial Conversation with Mephastophillis.Climax • Sealing the ‘Pact’ with Lucifer. • Faustus becomes the Clown among Clowns.FallingAction • Faustus soul is dragged to hell.
24 Years!?!• Time passes quickly when you are ignorant• Analogous to cycle of 24 hours• Tragedy is intensified
Utopianism and Enlightenment• Goethes Faust expressed the modern world- system coming into being.„ – Utopia • He wanted to create a social world in which persons were liberated from tradition and could experience the wonders which he did.
Science and Spirituality• Humanity would eventually perfect itself through the advancement of knowledge and technology – Technological Utopianism. Goethe REJECTED this!• Evident from the peom‟s beginning - Faust attempts to perfect himself through learning and science, yet he finds that at the end of his intellectual journey, he has destroyed his faith and his reason to live.• EXISTENTIAL CRISIS!!
Is Rationality Enough? - Modernism• Rational thought alone can never perfect or complete humanity, Goethe argues, because human knowledge has fundamental limits when it comes to the spiritual world.• Humanity would only have the question of whether life should be continued or simply ended.
Whether life is worth more than the peace that death offers?
Fate and Free Will• Salvation through Constant Striving• Goethe’s suggests that humans are free to err and that error, in fact, is inevitable for one who strives towards salvation. In short, Goethe advocated FREE WILL!
Is SOMEONE really watching over us?• If humanity cannot adequately name God, does God actually exist for humanity?• Faust‟s own subjective experience of this problem destroys his faith and leads him to an extreme nihilism and the verge of suicide at the play‟s beginning.
Morally ambivalent libertine!• Modern rationalism destroys the need for religion or social constraints, then this creates a moral vacuum in the human condition.• Faust destroys Gretchens faith and moral support through his own moral ambivalence.• Such a condition can only lead to tragedy, just as it does for both Faust and Gretchen.
“If god did not exist, everything is permitted”- Dostoevsky
Power corrupts• Once Faust(us) actually gains the practically limitless power that he so desires his horizons seem to narrow.• He indulges into petty tricks and somehow finds happiness in it.• The border between good and bad blurrs.
Conflict between Renaissance and Medieval ValuesRenaissance Medieval• Emphasis on individual • God was center of classical learning existence• Secularism took center • THEOLOGY was queen stage of sciences