Goethe’s Faust Essay Example
Goethe’s Faust Essay Example

Goethe’s Faust Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (946 words)
  • Published: November 1, 2017
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Scene seven of Faust two act V takes place on a steep, bouldery side of an unspecified mountain. The female characters dominate the scene, which occurs on Earth. It begins with a chorus of nature spirits describing the interdependent processes taking place. The chorus celebrates the idyllic conditions such as the growth of plants and animal life, as well as the presence of Earth and water. Next, four "anchorite fathers" enter, representing different levels of spiritual attainment. First is Pater Ecstaticus, who vibrates up and down in the air. Then comes Pater Profundus, who dwells in the depths of the Earth. He marvels at nature's creative processes and describes phenomena like lightning and trees reaching towards heaven, and water flowing from heaven to earth. Despite this, his heart is unsettled and he prays for divine illumination,


saying "Oh, God! Calm my thoughts, soothe us and bring light to my destitute heart!" The third father is Pater Seraphicus, residing in the intermediary spaces, likely between the air and Earth. He invites the spirits of young boys who died at birth and therefore never experienced earthly life to witness the world through his body. Subsequently, a group of angels pass by carrying Faust's soul and discuss why they rescued it.Faust's psyche was saved through his struggles in his endeavors, as it is said, "Whoever strives in his enterprise, we can deliver from the Satan." Additionally, Gretchen mediated for Faust by appealing to the Mother of God. The Younger Angels distracted Mephistopheles with roses of holy love, while the More Perfect Angels noted that although Faust's heart had escaped the flames, it remained impure, and the bond betwee

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his soul and body was left for "Eternal Love" to dissolve. Subsequently, the angels took Faust's soul to the blessed children above, who joyfully received him like a chrysalis after the removal of the surrounding threads, now that divine love had found him. The fourth hermit father, Doctor Marianus, resides in the purest cell and begins praising Mater Gloriosa upon seeing feminine shapes floating around. Alongside the choir of repentant women Magna Peccatrix, the Samaritan woman who anointed Jesus' feet, and Mary of Egypt, they plead to Mater Gloriosa not to envy Gretchen's true soul, explaining that she sinned unknowingly. Gretchen herself approaches Mater Gloriosa and pleads for Faust's sake, asking Mater Gloriosa to let her (Gretchen) intervene.The text talks about the scene where Faust is learning new ways in a place blinded by bright visible radiation. Mater Gloriosa accepts Faust's soul and beckons Gretchen and others to follow her into a higher sphere. This scene occurs by the Aegean Sea, where the Sirens address the Moon. The Nereids and Tritons swim around and even reach the Greek island of Samothrace, known as "the sphere of the mighty Cabiri," to show their superiority. Meanwhile, Thales and Homunculus seek advice from the sea god Nereus on how Homunculus can be reborn. Thales mentions that although Nereus is stubborn and complains, people respect him for his wisdom. They meet an angry Nereus who shares stories of how men never heed advice, including Paris laughing at him and Ulysses gaining nothing despite his warnings. Nereus advises them to go to Proteus, the shape-shifter, who is waiting for Dorides and Galatea. Thales and Homunculus observe the procession with

Cabiri carried in a turtle-shell as they await Proteus.Those who are close to the vibrating homunculus are highly attracted to the visible radiation it emits. Thales asks Proteus for advice on behalf of the homunculus, who suggests that the manikin can go through the human birth process by starting in the sea. Thales, Proteus, and the homunculus then leave together to witness the sea festival. During the procession, the Telchines, which are the nine dog-headed Children of the Sea, boast about being the first to create gods in the image of man. Galatea finally arrives and is joined by Nereus, the Sirens, and Thales, who comment on the doves of Paphos accompanying Galatea. Galatea approaches her father and in doing so, Homunculus draws near and breaks the glass holding him at Galatea's feet. Everyone is amazed as the light of Homunculus merges with the waves in a symbolic union with the sea.

In both of these acts, there is a notable emphasis on the presence of women. The female presence in Act V is represented by Mater Glorioso, Gretchen, Choir of Female Penitents, Magna Peccatrix, The Woman of Samaria, Mary of Egypt, and the female forms that hover in the sky above Dr. Marianus. The strong influence of women in this act, as well as throughout the play, showcases their empathetic side. The three penitent women plead for Gretchen while Gretchen pleads for Faust.The adult females in the text serve as a powerful symbol of life-givers. Mater Glorioso breathes new life into Faust's soul with just a few words. We also learn that Faust's soul is received by young boys in a "pupal" phase, much

like Homunculus, who is a half-being surviving in a bottle. Homunculus undergoes a metamorphosis when he joins Galatea in a sea wedding, completing him. Similarly, Gretchen's love completes Faust's soul. Her love finds him and guides him to a new place, even though he is still blinded by the new light. In Act Two, there is a dominant female presence with the Sirens, Nereids, Tritons, Galatea, and Dorides all representing female personalities. This act focuses on the three characters; Homunculus, Faust, and Mephistopheles as they search for what completes them, ultimately finding it in female personalities. Reference: Wolfgang Johann von Goethe, Faust (Berlin: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1867).

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