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Thread: Der Faust

  1. #16
    Fragmented Personalities Kafka's Avatar
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    Does anyone know what The Walpurgisnight's dream scene (The one that follows the Walpurgis Night Scene) talks about?

    Why did Goethe choose to have so many characters appear on stage?

    I'm so confused!

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kafka
    Does anyone know what The Walpurgisnight's dream scene (The one that follows the Walpurgis Night Scene) talks about?

    Why did Goethe choose to have so many characters appear on stage?

    I'm so confused!
    Hello, Kafka, welcome to the forum.
    Goethe can seem quite mysterious in his writing, and seemingly toss in odd scenes here and there. 'Walpurgis Night's Dream' (also known as 'Oberon and Titania's Golden Wedding') makes a large allusion to the end of A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare when Oberon finally wins Titania's heart. Most of the characters come from Goethe's wide imagination of Romanticism, as you can see, including various forest animals, Puck, specific fairies found in A Midsummer Night's Dream, the dogmatist, the idealist, the realist, the supernaturalist, and the skeptic.
    The contents of this scene may make reference to Faust's love for Margaret, whom Mephistopheles promised to Faust, giving also great knowledge, further Romanticizing Faust's strong desire for Margaret, comparing it that to Oberon's for Titania. Oberon, however, eventually wins the heart of Titania, and I would rather not spoil what happens to Faust, if you have not completed reading the play.
    Good luck - one of my favorite plays of all time!

  3. #18
    Is there any significance behind the name change of Margaret/Gretchen? This confused me for a bit when I was reading it. I didn't sense a pattern, Goethe just seemed to switch to whichever he favored at the time.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chmpman
    Is there any significance behind the name change of Margaret/Gretchen? This confused me for a bit when I was reading it. I didn't sense a pattern, Goethe just seemed to switch to whichever he favored at the time.
    I wondered this, too, after reading it, and performed some research on the subject. Though the names 'Margaret' and 'Gretchen' have very little resemblance in the English language, I found that 'Gretchen' sometimes seems used as a shorter version of 'Margaret' in the German language.
    Odd, I know, but I found it from a relatively reliable source, which I cannot manage to retrieve at the moment (silly Google ).

  5. #20
    Fragmented Personalities Kafka's Avatar
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    Thank you for the explanation on the scene and the welcoming, Mono! I enjoy this forum very much.

    Magarete --> Gretchen
    In German, it is common to put a ...chen to someone's name to make it "cute", just like a pet name.
    For example: the word "Mädel" means Girl. "Mädchen" is a little girl.
    "Maus" is a mouse. "Mäuschen" is a little mouse.

    The name Katerina can be Katty or Kattchen.

    It's similar to Russian:
    Eugenia --> Zhenya or Zhenechka
    Tatiana --> Tanya
    Anastassia --> Nastya, Nastik

    So the name Magarete --> G(a)retchen --> Gretchen

    It has been suggested Magarete is a name that represents purity and innocence - an unchanged form, whereas when Faust refers to Magarete as Gretchen, then, that is when Faust wants her sexually - representing "pollution" to the character of Magarete. It is crucial to note that this use is not consistent throughout the play but it has been suggested.

  6. #21
    Fragmented Personalities Kafka's Avatar
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    What do you guys think of Gounod's opera "Faust"?

    Can be seen on google videos:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...838483&q=Faust

  7. #22
    Registered User Boris239's Avatar
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    I've heard parts of the opera and thought that it was great.

    Talking about Margaret thing- it's interesting that Bulgakov in his "Master and Margarita" also chose the heroine's name the same as Goethe. And she also saves Master like Gretchen in Faust. There are a lot of connections between two novels. Bulgakov even chose the epigraph from Faust
    '... who are you, then?'
    'I am part of that power which eternally wills evil and eternally works
    good.'
    And one of the guest at Woland's ball whose name is Frida reminds us of Gretchen as she also got rid of her child( also there was a real prototype).

  8. #23
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    ^ I wonder what the connection there is.

    It seems like there is a kind of goodness and righteousness in the character of Magarete that allows her to be saved from evil.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    How would you guys define Faustian beauty?
    Jede hat ihren privateingang zum Himmel! - Franz Kafka

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kafka
    How would you guys define Faustian beauty?
    Good question, Kafka (nice to see you around again, by the way).
    In terms of Faust himself, I find he owned a very unique beauty to say the least. Much like Dante Alighieri's beauty in The Divine Comedy, Faust's beauty seems in a constant progression, beginning as rather tainted, desiring ultimate knowledge, but evolving into a transcendent and forgiving wisdom. That Faust realizes this, too, I find especially significant; he perceived his own corruption in his past, and his mistake that nearly cost him his 'soul,' but, as Goethe seemed to agree, wisdom spawns out of suffering.

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    german booklist

    hi!
    to your question, kafka:
    in germany we all have to read faust.
    here is a list of the books we had to read in the last time:
    1. emilia galotti-lessing
    2. aus dem leben eines taugenichts-eichendorff
    3. irrungen, wirrungen-theodor fontane
    4. woyzek-büchner
    5. galileo galilei-bertolt brecht
    6. nathan der weise- lessing
    7. die leiden des jungen werther-goethe
    there are also books, where the teachers decide, what they want to read. we had to read:
    1. romulus der große-dürrenmatt
    2. wilhelm tell-schiller
    some theachers also read:
    1. das parfum-patrik süskind
    2. effi briest-fontane
    3. die judenbuche- anette von droste-hülshoff
    4. homo faber-max frisch
    5. andorra-max frisch
    6. die verlorene ehre der katharina blum-heinrich böll
    7. die geschichten von herrn keuner-bertolt brecht

    if you want more books, i can give you some advice, wich are good and important. i am very much intersted, what you have read in school!!!
    in english class we read:
    1. tortilla curtain-t.c.boyle
    2. macbeth-shakespeare
    3. high fidelity-hornby

  11. #26
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    gretchen

    It seems like there is a kind of goodness and righteousness in the character of Magarete that allows her to be saved from evil.

    that is very true. i found a quotation for that:

    es ist ein gar unschuldig ding,
    das eben für nichts zur beichte ging;
    über die hab ich keine gewalt!

    bacause gretchen is so pure and has a great faith and goes often to church, mephisto has no power over her. in herself is nothing evil, so that mephisto has nothing in her, what he could control.

    by the way, you are very right, gretchen is the cuter form of margarete.

    the connections between bulgakow an goethe seem to me very interesting!
    a lot of people wrote about the faust theme. there was realy a man, wo was called faust and people even believed, that he had magical powers. he lived from 1480 till 1540. then christopher marlowe wrote a theatre play about this theme! after him lessing wrote also a version. then, when marlowes play came from england to germany, goethe began to write faust. he wrote it from 1772 till 1832...in 1947 thomas mann wrote again a new version and called it doktor faustus. do you want to know some things about the real faust? we learnd all of this in our german class an when it interests you or can help you i can write it in this forum.

  12. #27
    Registered User Boris239's Avatar
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    We also studied the real Faust story in our literature college class- it was one of our homeworks. the class was "Sympathy for the devil" and included Marlowe's play, Goethe's Faust, Milton' "Paradise Lost" and Bulgakov's "Master and Margarita" among others. It was really a great class.

    Talking about Gretchen- she still had a weakness, which was her love of jewelry, and it was magnificently used by Mephisto.
    I remember trying to compare her to Ophelia- both of them became mad in the end of their life and could at least partly blame it on their lovers. Gretchen character is so much stronger and interesting than Ophelia's.

  13. #28
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    England had its own Doctor Faustus . I cant help but think Marlowe had this chararcter in mind when he wrote his play
    "Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents."

    - Feste, Twelfth Night


    "...till human voices wake us and we drown."

    - Eliot

  14. #29
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    Its true. Christopher Marlowe had referred to Goethe's Faust for scripting his "The Tragical Life & Death of Doctor Faustus". The final year students at University have to study the play for the final papers.

  15. #30
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    High School Textbooks

    Buddenbrooks, thanks for the list. It's great! I'll try to read more of those.

    I have only read "Der verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum" by Heinrich Böll, which I think is absolutely fantastic!

    For my school, the texts we studied are:

    Year 7
    7 Little Australians by Ethel Turner
    Onion Tears by Diana Kidd
    ...

    Year 8
    Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park
    Diary of Anne Frank - Anne Frank
    ...

    Year 9
    The Merchant of Venice - Shakespeare
    Little Woman
    Wiseman's Ferry
    Pygmalion - Bernard Shaw
    ...

    Year 10
    Taming of the Shrew - Shakespeare
    To Kill a Mocking Bird - Harper Lee
    The One day of the Year - Alan Seymour

    Year 11
    The Crucible - Arthur Miller
    Briar Rose - Jane Yolen
    poems by Bruce Dawe
    ...

    Year 12
    Away by Michael Gow
    The Truman Show (1998)

    ... and there are many more which I forgot I can dig them out if you want
    Jede hat ihren privateingang zum Himmel! - Franz Kafka

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