Essay on Faust: Tragedy of the Innocence

Essay on Faust: Tragedy of the Innocence

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In Faust, a two-part play written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, depicts human tragedy through the character of Margaret. The protagonist, Faust, loves and then later destroys Margaret's life, with the help of Mephistopheles. Mephistopheles is one the seven archangels cast out of heaven. Margaret, who is also known as Gretchen in the play, is a small-town girl with realistic characteristics. She is a simple and modest girl who lives with her mother, and is from the lower class. Margaret has simple religious faith and is shown to know right from wrong. Margaret's innocent faithful characteristics lead to her downfall in her life, with the help of Faust.

In the beginning of the play Margaret's innocence is clearly visible when Faust made his first attempt to seduce her. Faust secretly gives her a casket full of jewelry, and instead of keeping the beautiful jewels, Margaret immediately tells her mother of the gift. Her mother donates the gifts to the church. After learning this, Faust makes a second attempt to give Margaret a casket of jewelry. This time after consulting her friend Martha, she keeps the jewelry for herself, and does not tell her mother of the second set of jewelry. Afterwards, Mephistopheles arranges a way for Faust and Margaret to meet in Martha's garden. Margaret is full of excitement and disbelief because someone of the noble class finds her attractive. Margaret says,

"Think only for a moment's time of me,

I shall have time enough to think of you."

(Faust, Lines 3106-3107)

She implies that he is only interested in her for a short period of time, still in disbelief that Faust may be attracted to her. Margaret's seduction, by Faust initiates a chain of tragic events in her life.

Soon afte...


... middle of paper ...


... Regardless of the tragic events in Margaret's life, she still kept her faith, which in the end saved her immortal soul.

Bibliography

1. Cooksey, Thomas L. `"Talk Not of a Wife" - American interpretations of the Faust legend in 'The Devil and Daniel Webster,' 'Cabin in the Sky' and 'Damn Yankees.' Fall 1999

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0412/is_3_27/ai_58470120

2. Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. "Faust", In: Davis et al.

The Bedford Anthology of World Literature book 5. Boston/NewYork pp. 29-178

3. Editors Introduction to Faust. In Davis et al.

The Bedford Anthology of World Literature, Book 5. Boston/New York 2003 Pages. 23-28

4. Devils Advocate. Dir. Taylor Hackford. Perf. Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron.

Warner Brothers 1997. Regency

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