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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Faust

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the brilliant mind behind the 17th century’s epic poem “Faust”, illustrates a combining structure of desire and self-indulgence. His idea was to capture the ideal image of good vs. evil and how easily it can be misconstrued. “Of all the great dualities of hum an experience 'good and evil' have been the most instrumental in shaping the beliefs, rituals, and laws, of Homo Sapiens.”(Argano) As a resourceful poet and artiste during the Enlightenment Age; Goethe’s poetry debates on the far-reaching theory, that man is willing to go above and beyond to achieve his goals. According to Adina Bodrogean, “Enlightenment meant in the English literature a disruption from the previous trends in the literature and cultural philosophy, stand point and ideas. The new spirit of the age was the strong belief in light and culture as the only means of influencing the nature of man.”(Bodrogean). Faust himself represents the Enlightenment; in his pursuit of escaping his tasteless life. “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, "What's in it for me?”- Brian Tracy. Faust is illustrated to be an exceedingly sophisticated scholar and alchemist; a man of discontent, and is compelled to obtain a vast amount of the world’s knowledge that surrounds him. In spite of all his triumphs, Faust becomes strangely unsatisfied at his life accomplishments’, “Oh God, how hard I’ve slaved away, With what results? Poor foolish old man, I’m no whit wiser than when I began!”(Goethe Lines 121-20). At the beginning of the epic poem, The Lord and Mephisto are introduced in a very intricate conversation, openly discussing their thoughts over humanity. Here we learn that Mephisto tr... ... middle of paper ... ... through a pursuit of personal gain. “What if evil doesn't really exist? What if evil is something dreamed up by man, and there is nothing to struggle against except out own limitations? The constant battle between our will, our desires, and our choices?”(Bray) Works Cited • Aragno, Anna. "The Devil Within: A Psychoanalytic Perspective On Evil." Issues In Psychoanalytic Psychology 35.1 (2013): 101-123. Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. • Baym, Nina, and Mary Loeffelholz. "Faust." Norton Anthology of American Literature. 7th ed. Vol. C. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2007. 103-390. Print. • Bodrogean, Adina. "Enlightenment Ideas Reflected In The English Literature Of The Time." Scientific Journal Of Humanistic Studies 5.9 (2013): 64-66. Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. • Bray, Libba. Rebel Angels. New York: Delacorte, 2005. 150. Print.