In this scene the tragedy comes to its climax. After a
dialogue that reveals anew the discrepancies between the
strong believe of Margaret and Faust's scepticism. She
is willing to give sleeping powder to her mother, that
Faust can visit her by night. Knowing that the social
conditions are as they are, both Mephistopheles and Faust
know that this will lead into the catastrophe.
Although Mephistopheles laughs openly about Faust and
put the situation clearly in front of Faust's eyes, Faust
cannot resist. In view of the tragedy, that is coming
and that could be avoided, Mephistopheles makes fun of
the victim of the tragedy. This ways he turns into the
devil, the personalisation of the evil. After Hanna Arendt
it is often spoken about the "banality of evil",
expressing in this way the infernal mechanics of a society,
which's members function like cogs. This kind of society
without real emotions, without proper personality, such
that opens to integrate in any system and always works.
With this type of persons the normality can turn into
madness, if they "function" within a mad mechanism.
Mephistopheles belongs to a type of persons that make
fun of everyone and everything in a clever way to cover
up his missing personality. If everything is smooth, it
is much easier to function as a cog.
Faust commits the same crime, but he is not a "neutralised"
person. And this is why Mephistopheles is going to lose
his bet. Faust has committed a crime, but he could not
make him a cynic. Actually Faust shows again his strong
personality and proves, what the Lord had said in the
beginning (Prologue in heaven).
Nun gut, es sei dir
Zieh diesen Geist von seinem Urquell
Und führ ihn, kannst du ihn erfassen,
Auf deinem Wege mit herab,
Und steh beschämt, wenn du bekennen
Ein guter Mensch, in seinem dunklen Drange,
ist sich des rechten Weges wohl bewußt.
'Tis well! So be it granted
Divert this spirit from its primal source
And if you can lay hold on him, you may
Conduct him downward on your course,
And stand abashed when you are forced to say:
A good man, though his striving be obscure,
Remains aware that there is one right way.