Faust History Band Essays

Faust History Band Essays-49
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.

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.

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Goethe’s Faust raises constant questions concerning good and evil, causality and predetermination.

Goethe’s Faust is concerned with the “fundamental religious and and philosophical problems which have ever fascinated and tormented mankind, problems such as, the relationship between man and and the powers of good and evil; mans revolt against human limitations; the thirst for knowledge beyond mere information; the puzzeling disparity between the sublimity and misery of human life.”[2] With all of these great attributes Goethe’s Faust emerges as a great German Literary acomplishment which due to its inherent ambiguity has been adopted by every major German social and political movement.

In the western German interpretation Faust does not require guilt nor does he require remorse for a self realisation, because he is already saved due to the pact made between the Lord and Mephistopheles.

When one looks at the relationship between Faust and Mephisto in the two productions the harmony of the Weimar production and the chaos of the Dieter Dorn production can be seen as two clearly distinct interpretations regarding the nature of the world of Faust.

According to Allen Cottrell, “Faust’s career, as the prologue makes clear, was to resolve the question whether the mystery of being may be regarded as meaningful within the context of human exprience.”[5] But is this possible in the Weimar concept of the Faust universe, where Faust himself appears unaware of the meaning of experience?

And if Faust is to be saved regardless of his actions is there any meaning to be derived from the mystery of being in the context of human experience?

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.

But far from bring a fable with a moral, it is a tale of dubious moral character.

Due to its ambiguity, the ambiguity with which Faust deals with his actions, and the supernatural influence of mephistopheles, can the actions of Faust be judged as clearly immoral?

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