Goethe's Faust - Triumph of Faust

Goethe's Faust - Triumph of Faust

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Triumph of Faust

 

In the beginning of Goethe's Faust, a bet is made between God and Mephistopheles, a character that some consider to be the Devil. Mephistopheles says that Faust, the doctor, will fall and God says in lines 15-16, "If today he's still confused, a soul astray, my light shall lead him into a true way." Soon Mephistopheles has to do anything for Faust if Faust, in return, gives Mephisto his soul. Although Faust, throughout the play, is irritated with Mephistopheles, he feels like it is also necessary to have around because he needs him to have a fulfilling life. Faust discovers in the end that he doesn't want to be a bad guy and therefore triumphs over Mephistopheles and God wins the bet.

            When the pact is first on, Faust doesn't seem to care about his soul or his life. He is Mephisto's sidekick for lack of anything better to do. In lines 1676-1678, Faust says, "If you pull this world down over my ears...who cares?" Faust sees himself as better than God, so therefore not worried about his welfare. In the scene, "Night", Faust even tried to kill himself. As the twosome begin hanging out together, Faust seems bored with all that Mephistopheles shows him. In lines 2377-2383 Faust says, "Are you telling me that I'll learn to be a new man stumbling around in this lunatic confusion?...If you can do no better, the outlook is black for me, the hopes I nursed are already dead."

            Faust suddenly starts taking interest when he lays eyes on Gretchen, a beautiful, poor, good, and modest young woman. Although Mephistopheles doesn't approve of pursuing the girl, he must do what Faust orders him to or he'll lose Faust's soul. So, Mephisto does what Faust says, although reluctantly. "Aren't you fed up with it by now, this mooning about? How can it still amuse you? You do it for a while, all right; but enough's enough, on to the new!" Mephisto says in lines 3310-3313. Throughout the rest of the play, Mephisto tries to talk Faust out of some ideas, but he always gives into him, so Faust doesn't call off the pact, and Mephistopheles doesn't lose his bet with God.

            In "An Overcast Day, A Field" Faust finds out that he got Gretchen pregnant, and that she's in jail.

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He's fed up with Mephistopheles for not telling him, Faust says in lines 4493-4496, "A condemned criminal, shut up in a dungeon and suffering horrible torments, the poor unfortunate child! It's come to this! And not a word about it breathed to me, you treacherous, odious spirit!" He makes Mephistopheles take him to Gretchen so he can save her. Faust has developed morals! What a surprise! He's learned over the time he has spent with Mephistopheles that he doesn't want to be a jerk. Part of Faust's conversion from evil to good could be due to Gretchen having a good impact on him.

            I believe Faust will triumph in the end because he realizes that Mephistopheles is only messing everything up for him, and realize that having a fulfilling life isn't the same as what he thought it was in the beginning. At first he was only thinking of himself and later on he was worried about others and his impact on others. Since he turns out being a pretty good guy when he goes to save Gretchen, he could even go to Heaven for it. Overall, Faust benefited from his relationship with Mephistopheles because it made him a better person than he was in the beginning.

 
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