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Le "Faust" de Goethe: Eine Tragödie by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; editions; First published in ; Subjects: Drama, Illustrations, Magicians, Stage . Free PDF, epub, site ebook. This edition includes Part I and Part II of this epic play. The story of Faust, an audacious man boldly wagering with the devil. Register Free To Download Files | File Name: Johann Wolfgang Goethe Urfaust Universal Bibliothek PDF. JOHANN WOLFGANG GOETHE URFAUST.
What use to bring them your complete intent? How little it suits the genuine creator! The finest master is a sloppy worker.
They rush here mindlessly, as to a Masque, And curiosity inspires their hurry: The ladies bring themselves, and in their best, Come and play their parts and ask no fee. What dream of yours is this, exalted verse? Have a good look at your patrons first! One half are coarse, the rest are chilly.
Why then do so many poor fools plague, The sweet Muse, for such a goal as this? Delight or Pain? Shall the poet throw away the highest right, The right of humanity, that Nature gave, Carelessly, so that you might gain!
But dramatically there is no difficulty about his role as devil or, as the Devil in the Gretchen affair. Whatever Goethes personal scepticism as to the Christian doctrine of the Devil, there is no doubt that here at least he understood its aesthetic and theatrical possibilities, and to this extent the Gretchen story has indeed successfully attached itself to the Faust story.
The Mephistopheles of the Urfaust is not simply the worldly companion of the hesitant seducer, cynically encouraging him to gratify his lust and then scoffing at the consequences. If he lacked the additional dimension of being at least so far as Gretchen with her simple Catholic belief is concerned the personal agent of transcendent evil, the drama would lose half its point: the ironies of the catechism scene Sc.
Dramatically essential, too, is the young Goethes identification of the Devil with a kind of absolute cynicism. This enables him, by contrasting Mephistopheles with Faust and still more strikingly with Gretchen, to give the drama weight and balanceto make it embody a paradoxically realistic double view of human emotions and relationships which both fully expresses romantic sentimentalism and critically transcends it.
This alone makes the Gretchen drama a profounder, more multidimensional work than the almost exactly contemporaneous Sorrows of Werther, in which Mephistopheles with his constant cynical commentary on the love-affair has no counterpart.
Moreover, this brilliantly established motif of the Devil as cynic, and his dialectical relationship with Faust as romantic or idealist, remains constant on various levels throughout the later- written scenes of Part One as the maturing Goethe came to create it, and has strong claims to be considered the unifying and integrating theme of the work as a whole. In came the main turning-point in Goethes outward career, when at the invitation of the reigning Duke Karl August he went to Weimar, eventually settling in this tiny principality on a permanent basis.
The young duke, one of the most enlightened of the numerous small-scale absolute monarchs in ancien rgime Germany, greatly admired Goethe and soon appointed him to a number of public offices.
The poet became involved in a host of practical affairs, partly as a result of which he began at this time also to develop a far-reaching interest in various scientific studies. For years he found he had too little time for creative literary work, but the constraints and responsibilities were also salutary. Before long he had lost sympathy with his Storm and Stress friends and grown away from this whole tendency.
He had brought the Urfaust manuscript with him from Frankfurt as an untidy jumble of papers, and is known to have given informal readings from it to members of the court circle; it was presumably after one such literary evening that Luise von Gchhausen, a lady-in-waiting to the dowager duchess, borrowed the precious autograph and copied it with or without the poets knowledge. For Goethe there was for the time being no question of continuing work on this strange and fragmentary youthful masterpiece.
But by he was increasingly chafing at the precarious accommodation he had reached with himself in these first Weimar years. In September he suddenly took temporary leave from his duties and travelled to Italy, where he remained, chiefly in Rome, until June He himself felt this flight to the south, more especially his stay in Rome and the contact with classical antiquity which this gave him, to be a new turning-point in at least his inner life, a deeply rejuvenating and transforming experience.
It seems that some kind of sexual self-liberation was also involved, in that immediately upon his return to Weimar he set up house with the beautiful if scantly educated Christiane Vulpius, who continued to live with him after officially as his wife until her death in The Italian journey, however, had also coincided with preparations for the first complete edition of his writings so far, and this practical stimulus had led him not only to collect and revise his poems, finish unfinished works including two major plays in the classical style, Iphigenia in Tauris and Torquato Tasso, both continued or completed in Italy and published respectively in and but also, in February , to reconsider the problem of Faust.
He evidently decided that he would not now attempt to finish it, but publish it as a fragment with a few revisions and additions.
The chief difficulty was still the great lacuna as he himself later called it between what are now lines and He had an effective beginning , and an ending so overwhelming that it must have been difficult to see what could ever be made to follow it.
What was to be done about the missing middle? At the very least, Mephistopheles must not be allowed simply to appear without explanation from nowhere, in a comic scene, with no hint of his standing or of the nature of his business with Faust.
Even if Goethe could not yet work out his own modernized version of the terms of their traditional bargain, the reading public must at least be given some hint that an unspecified bargain has taken place. He therefore wrote a short new piece of dialogue between Faust and Mephistopheles which now appears as lines of Sc.
To make it quite clear that a still unfilled gap precedes this passage, he inserted a row of dashes before the first line as may still be seen in the edition and began in the middle of a sentence with the word and, as well as in the middle of a rhymed quatrain In this new dialogue, and in the soliloquy by Mephistopheles which follows it , Goethe set out what at that stage seemed to him to be appropriate as the aims, or programmes, respectively of his hero and of the Devil.
Faust idealistically demands an expansion of his life to include all human experience; and Mephistopheles, left alone to reveal his true intentions in a soliloquy rather resembling those of Shakespeares lago, rejoices in the prospect of destroying Faust by a process of disillusionment, disgust, and frustration.
Goethe leaves it open what exactly is meant by Mephistopheles prediction that his victim will perish zugrunde gehn; by suicide? Nevertheless, this is still a comparatively straightforward Teufelspakt situation, though with the actual terms of the bargain left outindeed, Mephistopheles concluding lines f. We do not know exactly at what point between February and the appearance of Faust.
A Fragment in Goethe wrote this new Faust-Mephistopheles material, the most significant of the second-phase scenes; merely that it comes first in the sequence of the text. At least one of the new scenes was written in Rome, in the gardens of the Villa Borghese; this is thought to have been the one called A Witchs Kitchen Sc.
Its main theme is Fausts rejuvenation and sexual invigoration, and Goethe may have decided to add it because being now fifteen years older than when he had written the Urfaust he felt that the Urfausts transition between Faust the disillusioned professor of uncertain age and Heinrich, the passionate wooer of a young girl, was rather too sudden. We may also detect, in this scene as in Fausts new speech to Mephistopheles about human totality, and in the third of these new Fragment scenes A Forest Cavern, , a general tendency of this second composition-phase to ennoble Faust, to emphasize his intellectual and philosophical naturerather as if the post-Storm-and- Stress Goethe felt that there was here some kind of imbalance in the Urfaust version which now, for publication, needed redressing.
The Faust of the Witchs Kitchen is not seen to be at once pursuing a particular German girl of humble station, not seen to be initiating a German domestic tragedy, but to be longing for ideal Womanhood In Mephistopheles concluding comment f.
Goethe subtly contrives to suggest to the reader an association of this lofty abstraction both with the already-written story of Gretchen whose first appearance now follows, in and with the legendary Helen whose procurement, or that of a phantasm in her shape, had always been an essential motif in the Faustus tradition.
Here Goethe seems to suggest, en passant, his awareness that it would be desirable to include a Helen episode in his own version if he were to complete it.
Goethe, J - Faust, Part One [Luke, trans.] (OUP, 1987).pdf
The classical Goethe, moreover, now seems to have distanced himself from the kind of north-European, Germanic folkloristic element which had been so striking a feature of the youthful and romantic Urfaust. In the closing scenes of the latter there had been a savage devil-dog accompanying Faust Sc. Not only are all these closing scenes omitted from the Fragment, but the Faust of this version also finds witches ridiculous and contemptible ff.
Mephistopheles himself sums the matter up in f. Equally, in Sc.
The tendency is to dignify him, and to classicize the material at as many points as possible. Thus the next of the new scenes Sc. Faust here also gives thanks to the Earth Spirit for initiating him when?
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Since this has no relevance to the dramatic context, that is to say the seduction of Gretchen, it seems probable that in inserting this speech in or Goethe was more concerned with a poetic celebration of his own scientific studies, which he was then actively pursuing in Italy, than with keeping close to the events or atmosphere of the Urfaust.
Interestingly, he has retained the Earth Spirit, presumably for want of any more suitable idea for the time being, but the terrible vision of Scene 4 has become hard to recognize through the stately iambics. So, too, has Gretchen: her name in this classicizing speech has become stylistically unusable, so she is identified with the vision in the witchs magic mirror, that lovely womans image The Forest Cavern scene is in fact a rather strange amalgam of new material written at this time, and old motifs retained from the Urfaust.
One reason for the retentions is Goethes already mentioned decision not to include the last three scenes of the Gretchen tragedy Sc. Goethe evidently now regarded it as stylistically necessary to complete Faust as a verse drama if at all, yet for some reason he could not, at the Fragment stage, bring himself to rewrite these closing scenes in verse as he had done in the case of Auerbachs Tavern.
On the other hand, he felt it to be important, for purposes of the Fragment, to retain and publish in some form the passage Sc. This was after all, in the whole of his existing pre material, the only hint of Mephistopheles status and provenancea demonological question about which Goethe by had evidently still not made up his mind.
There is one further highly significant Urfaust retention in A Forest Cavern, namely the passage which is now lines Originally it had been part of that unfinished Urfaust sketch also omitted from the Fragment which was to become, in the final version, the scene of Gretchens brothers death Sc.
About This Work
In this speech Faust, with passionate and tormented eloquence, expresses his remorse at having ruined Gretchen, and compares himself to a kind of wandering Cain figure cursed by God, rushing like a mountain torrent down his course of destruction: a brilliant Storm and Stress outburst, anticipating as it did, in the early s, a whole nineteenth-century generation or more of English, French, and Russian late-Romantic villain-heroes and Byronic hommes fatals.
Goethe, in or , must have recognized that this inspired Urfaust passage was too good not to use. Accordingly, without significant textual alteration and preserving its irregular verse form, he simply shifted its dramatic position forwards and included it in A Forest Cavern cf. Notes 71 and Here it not only provided this scene with a dramatic climax but also, as a passage which showed Faust to be capable of remorse, further dignified him and thus served one of Goethes general purposes at the Fragment stage.
The new material added at this second phase of composition has something of a transitional and provisional character and makes a rather mixed and inconclusive impression. Faust as a character becomes more elevated and dignified, the stylistic changes tend in the same direction; magical and folkloristic themes, including that of the Devil in for instance , are treated more distantly, as occasions for miscellaneous satire and amusing ribaldry.
But the main problem, that of how to treat Fausts bargain with Mephistopheles, has still not been solved, and it appears that Goethe, while seeking to integrate earlier material into a modified and expanded conception, still wishes to keep his options open. The new Fragment scenes, more particularly Mephistopheles soliloquy, have elements of continuity with the Urfaust, and are at least as consistent with a tragic as with a non-tragic Salvationist treatment of the story as a whole.
By , when the third phase of work on Faust began, Goethe had been for about ten years the creator and central representative of what is now known as Weimar Classicism and generally regarded as the high noon of German literary history: a sophisticated literary culture emerging, in a manner not paralleled elsewhere in Europe, between the Storm and Stress which it had transcended but by which it was at a deeper level still nourished and the official German Romantic movement in which, from the late s onward, a generation of relatively minor talents attempted the thankless task of giving German creative writing a new direction in reaction against the still developing Goethe.
By this time the latters important published works included the Roman Elegies which appeared after some delay in , his second novel Wilhelm Meisters Apprenticeship , and above all his masterly symbolic answer to the French Revolution, Hermann and Dorothea , a small-scale idyllic epic in Homeric verse celebrating stability, normality, the values of German middle-class life, and the indestructible natural cycle.
Since Goethe had also been joined, as a close friend and literary ally, by Schiller whose development through his own Storm and Stress phase had by a different route reached a position very similar to Goethes, and who in the last few years of the decade produced his mature masterpieces, the classical historical tragedies Wallenstein and Maria Stuart first performed respectively in and Had it not been for the stimulus of Schillers active interest in the Faust project, it is doubtful if Goethe would ever have finished Part One or for that matter written Part Two.
As it was, when he turned his attention to Faust again in the summer of , just after completing Hermann and Dorothea, he did so with reluctance and mixed feelings.
In his letters to Schiller at this time he refers to the unfinished project in deprecating terms: This misty and murky path Dunst und Nebelweg, 22 June , this symbolic, ideal and nebulous world 24 June , airy phantoms a great proliferation of fungi these tomfooleries 1 July , the northern phantoms 5 July , this tragelaphus i.
By barbarian and northern he means unclassical.
Faust Parts I & II
He specifically concedes on 27 June that he does not think of Faust as a work governed by the highest principles of classical dramaturgy such as he and Schiller in their correspondence of those years had been trying to formulate but as a loosely constructed commodious dramatic poem: I shall see to it that its parts are pleasing and entertaining and give food for thought, whereas the whole will always remain a fragment Yet it is significant and moving that at this very time 24 June , and using the very same phrase Dunst und Nebel as in his letter of the 22nd, the year-old Goethe wrote the beautiful ottava rima stanzas called Dedication which were to preface the finished Part One: the ghosts of the Urfaust world here rise around him out of the mist and murk line 6 as with plangent nostalgia, over an interval of twenty-five years, he evokes his youth and its genius.
The ambivalence of his present feelings becomes all the clearer when we read a poem called Valediction, written in the same metre as Dedication and probably at the same time, which he intended as a corresponding epilogue to the whole work, but did not in the end publish. Here he takes leave of Faust in lines such as the following: Who would portray the hearts confusions, when His path has led him into clarity? Farewell now to the limitations Of this barbarian world of incantations!
The great personal importance which Faust evidently had for him, and his own considerable aesthetic doubts about this not wholly worthless poetic monstrosity to Schiller, 16 September , are both reflected in the continuation which he now nevertheless achieved, and we should lose sight of neither. Our impression that Goethe was by this time treating the Faust project not more than half seriously is reinforced by the curious prefatory conversation-piece also in all probability written in the summer of which he calls Prelude on the Stage.
This discussion of general theatrical and literary problems between a director, a poet, and a comic actor contains nothing specifically relevant to Faust as such; it has even been suggested that it originally had no connection with Faust at all but was written in as a prelude equally irrelevant in content to Goethes fragmentary sequel for the libretto of Mozarts Magic Flute.
The Dedication, Prelude, and Prologue in Heaven nevertheless were all placed as prefaces in front of Faust, and a common intention does arguably underlie all three of them. What is cursed, and yet is welcomed? What do you not dare appeal to?
What will all, happily, hear named? What stands on the step before you?
Faust; a Tragedy, Translated from the German of Goethe by Goethe
We meet beneath a lucky star, Since health and luck are written above. But ah! What help can human wit deliver, Or kindly heart, or willing hand, if fever Rages wildly through the state, and evil Itself is broodingly preparing evil?
Then they take their claims to court The judge, in pomp, on his high cushion, Meanwhile there grows a furious roar, From swelling tides of revolution. So all the world will slash and chop, Destroying just what suits themselves:.So it is, when to the thing we yearn for The highest wish so intimately rehearsed, We find fulfilment opening wide the door: And then, from eternal space, there breaks A flood of flame, we stand amazed before: We wished to set the torch of life ablaze, A sea of fire consumes us, and such fire!
What is cursed, and yet is welcomed? A shadowy historical figure existed to give it a name: from a few scattered sources we hear of a certain Georg Faust who lived between about and , a disreputable wandering academic charlatan who laid claim to out-of-the-way knowledge and healing gifts and was said to have come to a violent end.
But Goethes age, like Marlowes, was one of change and ferment, of emergent humanism, of challenge to cultural establishments; and it is evident that either during or shortly after his student days in Leipzig in the late s he perceived the expressive value of the Faust story, its relevance to his own generation and his own interests. Had it not been for the stimulus of Schillers active interest in the Faust project, it is doubtful if Goethe would ever have finished Part One or for that matter written Part Two.
Equally, in Sc.
Originally it had been part of that unfinished Urfaust sketch also omitted from the Fragment which was to become, in the final version, the scene of Gretchens brothers death Sc. Since Goethe had also been joined, as a close friend and literary ally, by Schiller whose development through his own Storm and Stress phase had by a different route reached a position very similar to Goethes, and who in the last few years of the decade produced his mature masterpieces, the classical historical tragedies Wallenstein and Maria Stuart first performed respectively in and Goethe's criticism of the limits of the Enlightenment to know and explain reality via reason and language leads him to a different approach to the mythological, one based on the primacy of image to language in approximating nature, in which the poet is free to construct a new mythology based on the manipulation of images into a new narrative.
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