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     Literature Goethe: Faust IV.20 Am Brunnen (At the well)

Goethe: Faust

  IV.20 Am Brunnen (At the well)

This little scene is quite important to understand the whole drama, because in the text it is not said, whether Faust did visit Margaret this night not the consequences of this visit. What actually happened can only be deducted from the conversation between Margaret and another girl of the village. This girl, Lieschen, tells a story about a third on, Babbie, who became illegitimately pregnant by a boy of the village. The way Lieschen is telling the story shows the atmosphere of this village. In her heart Lieschen envies Babbie for her relationship, envies this woman, who took the freedom to do, what she felt like while she herself had to work. In this atmosphere of envy and neighbours pass their time spying on each other, Martha complains to Mephistopheles (in A Garden).

Ich bät Euch, länger hier zu bleiben,
Allein es ist ein gar zu böser Ort.
Es ist, als hätte niemand nichts zu treiben
Und nichts zu schaffen,
Als auf des Nachbarn Schritt und Tritt zu gaffen,
Und man kommt ins Gered, wie man sich immer stellt.
I'd ask you make a longer stay;
But it's a wicked place, here roundabout,
As if no one had naught to carry through
And naught to do
But gape at all the neighbours going in and out.
One's talked about, do all one may.

It can be assumed that Goethe describes here somehow the atmosphere of Weimar, when he was living there with Christiane Vulpius without being married to her.

Margaret is left confused of this story, because she noticed that this is actually also her own story and her own destiny. She will murder her child and therefore she will be imprisoned. In the last scene Kerker (Prison) the madness of what happened becomes clear.

Ich bin nun ganz in deiner Macht.
Laß mich nur erst das Kind noch tränken.
Ich herzt es diese ganze Nacht;
Sie nahmen mir's, um mich zu kränken,
Und sagen nun, ich hätt es umgebracht.
Und niemals werd ich wieder froh.
Sie singen Lieder auf mich! Es ist bös von den Leuten!
Ein altes Märchen endigt so,
Wer heißt sie's deuten?
You now have power over me.
Let me but nurse my baby once again.
I fondled it the livelong night;
They took it from me, just to give me pain,
And now they say I murdered it outright.
I never shall again be glad.
They're singing songs about me! That is bad
Of people! An old story ends just so.
Who bids them tell it of me, though?

She turned mad and killed her child in this madness.