Goethe's Faust - Mocking Religion

Goethe's Faust - Mocking Religion

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Faust:  Mocking Religion   


The play Faust by Goethe is subtitled a tragedy. There's nothing in the play like Romeo and Juliet. So why would it be subtitled a tragedy? Well I don't know who or why they call it a tragedy, but I know why I would call it a tragedy. Some things in the play are very tragic: for example the mocking of religion (lines 290-295) the pregnancy of the girl, the loss of faith (line 388) the intelligent Faust losing hope (line 381) and though we didn't read this, the fact that Faust goes to Heaven after all he died (the very end of the play)

            Throughout this play religion is constantly mocked. The Devil and God are pretty buddy buddy. I mean they make bets, they have casual conversation (lines 275-302) They are just kind of friends. I am not the most religious person, but I know that the Devil and God are not friends. They do not talk, make bets, or hang out together. An obvious mocking right there. Also it seems that the powerful Devil is not powerful at all. He is repeatedly outsmarted by a mere mortal (line 2715) and has many limitation. If you grow up going to church and being taught religion you are under the impression that the Devil is so powerful, always tempting us mortals and finally buying our souls. God and the Devil are made fun of by showing how much little power they have. God over the Devil and the devil over mortals.

The girl, Grethen, getting pregnant is a tragedy for the simple fact that she and Faust are in love and would probably be in love for ever and ever had it not been for the Devil. Faust loves this girl and would love to be with her forever, but the Devil says that Faust can sleep with any girl without staying with her. So the Devil convinces Faust to tarnish this innocent girl. He sleeps with her getting her pregnant and thus sending her to jail (it is a crime back then for a woman to get pregnant without being married) Faust knows that the women he loves is in jail, possibly forever and he wants to help, but the Devil convinces him otherwise.

            Faust's loss of faith is another issue in this play that I feel was a tragedy.

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Faust is very smart (lines 362-395) and somewhat religious, but he just gives up on everything including God. Now some would say that a loss of faith is not very tragic, but I would have to strongly disagree. Everyone must have faith in something. Faith brings on hope and as we can see Faust lost his faith (among other things) and lost the hope of ever being happy. When someone as smart as Faust loses hope in something it can not be labeled anything but tragic. Faust has all those degrees (lines 362-370) all those years of schooling and yet he feels that there is no hope of him ever finding happiness or love. How tragic can that be, someone with so much to live for feels that he has nothing to live for. I think that that is just plain sad. The most tragic part of this whole play would have to be Faust going to Heaven. Again I think this is religion being mocked in some sort of way, but look at all the things Faust did throughout the play. First he lost his faith in God. Then he basically sold his soul to the Devil, who is supposed to be like God's enemy. Then he got that girl pregnant, let her go to jail and felt little or no remorse about it. After all these, not sins, but all these acts that totally deify God he is allowed into God's kingdom. A complete mockery of religion and tragic ending.

            The play Faust is not labeled a tragedy, but it is subtitled as so for reasons not specific. I, though, have my own specific reasons. First the play totally mocks and makes fun of religion and of religious people. Second a totally innocent girl is used and then left in jail. Third a man with so much to live for and offer the world, feels there is no longer a need to continue living. And fourth the complete loss of faith and religious beliefs by Faust. I don not know who subtitled this a tragedy or why they did, but I believe it is a tragedy.

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