Faust History Band Essays

Faust History Band Essays-68
In the Weimar production Faust appears not to learn the true nature of cosmic order simply because the body language between Mephisto and Faust goes un… Goethe’s view of evil and the search for a new image of man in our time. The Ambiguity presented by the pact of Faust and the bet made by the Lord is a a direct analogy to the ambiguous nature of man.

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The forces of good and evil battle over the soul of Faust as he contemplates suicide.

Where as in the Weimar production there is no evidence of the physical presence of any force involved in the saving of Faust but Faust himself. In the Weimar production Faust is hero because he participates unaware in the will of the greater cosmic order and in the Dieter dorn Faust is hero because he participates aware of his position in the greater cosmic chaos.

Goethe is a Geman literary hero: “he has no aims less large than the conquest of universal nature, of universal truth, to be his portion: a man not to be bribed, nor decieved, nor overawed; of a stoical self command and self denial, and having one test for all men – What can you teach me? Masters Series Oxford [1] Goethe’s view of evil (169) [2]P.

”[3] In a German context the Faust tale, and especially Gothe’s Faust, is too great to be left alone and becomes automatically hijacked and adapted to suit the true history which is written by none other than the victorious.

The Dieter Dorn production on the other hand produces Mephistopheles with overwhelming theatrics.

Mephistopheles breaches into heaven through the floor of the stage, ripping up the floor boads, spouting venemous red light into the serene blue of Heaven. Man appears as a “strange creation which vascillates between heaven and earth, between the possible and the imposible, the most coarse and the most delicate or whatever other extremes the human imagination may conjure up.”[8] Thus, in his attempt to defeat Faust it is imperative that “Mephistopheles desires to make Faust behave as though he were exclusively of this world, but Faust conscious that he possesses two souls in his breast, cannot possibly accept this point of view.” Due to this duality within man, which is present in Faust by the presence of elements of the metaphysical and the physical in one being, man will never be satisfied because he is an imperfect being. Gillies in his analysis insists that “if we strive to grasp the finite we must do so within the bounds of our earthly existance, we learn or be destroyed.”[9] This is the keystone to the Faust mystery. The Weimar production presents Faust as social hero and the Dieter Dorn production presents Faust as a social reprobate. I will attempt to reach the source of this ambiguity which allows such radical interpretation by concentrating my reading on the pact made between the Lord and Mephisto and the Pact made between Faust and Mephistopheles. “Otar Dishonora furnished the first unequivical Soviet defense of Faust’s ruthlessness by establishing him as a hero of social progress whose tragic fate it was to have been born into a world unprepared for the realisation of his dreams.” [4] This interpretation also seems compatible with the Weimar production which presents Faust as the soft spoken, nieve erudite who appears blissfully unaware of the tragedy of which he is a part, and as the prologue in heaven reveals the whole meaning of life is to be involved in the process of the tragedy. From the outset of the Dieter Dorn production the world of Faust is seen to be one of cosmic and social chaos. It is a world where the people at the city gate treat Faust wihout an ounce of courtesy; they even transform directly into the witches who turn Faust away from his piety and into a creature of the foulest magnitude. Even the soldiers which are present in the scene at the city gates are removed to give a sense of social harmony. Faust is the hero of this harmonious world where good and evil are all part of the greater simbiotic cosmic order. What lies at the heart of Goethe’s Faust is an ambiguity.The dual nature of the pact Faust makes with Mephistopheles in Fausts study and the bet which is made between the Lord and Mephistopheles in the prologue in Heaven. [3] Goethe’s view of Evil (167) [4] Geza von Molnar The English Goethe Society(51) [5] ibid.


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