Goethe's Faust: Theatre of Modernity by Hans Schulte, John Noyes, Pia Kleber

By Hans Schulte, John Noyes, Pia Kleber

Faust has been known as the elemental icon of Western tradition, and Goethe's inexhaustible poetic drama is the center piece of its culture in literature, track and paintings. in recent times, this play has skilled anything of a renaissance, with a surge of reviews, theater productions, press assurance and public discussions. Reflecting this renewed curiosity, prime Goethe students during this quantity discover the play's amazing modernity inside of its theatrical framework. The chapters current new facets resembling the virtuality of Faust, the track drama, the modernization of evil, Faust's blindness, the homosexual Mephistopheles, vintage attractiveness and horror as phantasmagoria, and Goethe's anticipation of recent technology, economics and ecology. The ebook comprises an illustrated part on Faust in glossy functionality, with contributions by way of well known administrators, critics and dramaturges, and an incredible interview with Peter Stein, director of the uncut 'millennium construction' of Expo 2000.

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See FK 52. 3. Gert Mattenklott, ‘Der Medien-Mephistopheles. Gustav Gründgens als Mephistopheles in Goethes Faust’, Theater heute 2 (2000), 23–7. 4. All further references to Faust are by line number from FT. Unless otherwise indicated, all translations are taken from Goethe, Faust, trans. David Luke, Oxford University Press, 1987, 1994. 5. See Jochen Schmidt, Goethes Faust. Erster und Zweiter Teil. Grundlagen–Werk– Wirkung, Munich: C. H. Beck, 1999, 122. 6. ” Mephistopheles in der “Klassischen Walpurgisnacht”’, in Peter Stein inszeniert Faust von Johann Wolfgang Goethe, ed.

Mephistopheles achieves greatness first as ‘the beloved son of chaos’ (8026), secondly as an advocate of violence. But his third claim is to be in charge of ‘nonsense’. It is rather surprising to find nonsense affiliated to chaos and violence: a peculiar trinity. Mephistopheles here refers to his role as a fool, which prevails over many other roles. What is really new about Mephistopheles is that Goethe lets him take over a double role. He attaches the function of a fool to the traditional one of the devil.

Mephistopheles is a character who presents not only the coexistence of good and evil in one person, but also demonstrates that the good does not exist without the evil. Evil is the necessary precondition for good – and vice versa. Likewise, beauty cannot exist without ugliness. To underline their interrelation is a privilege that Goethe allows no one but Mephistopheles: ‘Though for ugliness they chide me, yet I know true beauty well’ (8912). This is his commentary in the mask of Phorkyas looking at Helena.

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