Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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1. Faust is a play written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe . He published part I of the tradgedy in 1808, and Part II was published in 1832. The play was originally written in the German language. In summary, an old scholar, Faust is dissatisfied and yearns to comprehend not just all knowledge, but all experience. In such a quest, Faust makes a bargain with a spirit named Mephistopheles. The pact provides for the loss of Faust's soul in the event that Mephistopheles should provide him with any sensuous experience to his liking. Among the temptations offered by Mephistopheles is a young girl by the name of Margaret (Gretchen), whom Faust seduces and abandons, indirectly causing her death and that of the child they conceived together. In Part II, Faust continues his association with Mephistopheles and, among other adventures, has a love affair with Helen of Troy and fathers a son with her. Later, still with the aid of Mephistopheles, Faust reclaims lands from the sea which he intends to turn into a paradise on earth -- his legacy to humankind. Happy with his efforts and a vision of the future, Faust is caught in a moment of satisfaction which Mephistopheles claims as his victory. At the last moment, however, God's angels save Faust and bear his soul to heaven where he is reunited with Gretchen and appointed as teacher of the blessed.
     This piece reflects the some superstisions of the people. For instance, St Andrews Eve was the traditional time for the young girls to consult the fortune-tellers about their future lovers or husbands. The people also practice Christianity.

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     The story is framed by statements of God in the Prologue in Heaven: "Man errs as long as he strives", “a good man in his darkling aspiration remembers the right road throughout his quest” and by the angels who save Faust in the end: "Whoever strives with all his might, him we can save." The universal theme in this piece of literature is that good always overcomes evil.
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