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     Literature Goethe: Faust IV.24 Walpurgisnacht (Walpurgis night)

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Goethe: Faust

  IV.24 Walpurgisnacht (Walpurgis Night)


The Walpurgis Night is not quite well integrated into the piece, because it is not quite plausible, that Faust leaves Margaret after all that happened.

It is quite likely that the expression "Walpurgis Night" does not mean anything to the reader, therefore we try to explain. Walpurgis night is something that belongs to the "general education", one should know. The night of Walpurgis is the night between April 30th and May 1st. In this night the witches await the devil in Blocksberg, which is another name for the mountain Brocken. The Brocken is 1141 m and the highest mountain in the Harz. In the beginning this fest was known under the name of Beltane, a German-Celtic festivity upon the arrival of spring. The name Walpurgis refers to a nun, who lived in the 8th century who was blessed on May 1st.

This scene is different from others in the book. It is the only scene in the book, in which there is something like unity between Faust and Mephistopheles. They do not fight and they even sing together. The fact that they understand each other may be due to the atmosphere, which is a bit psychedelic. This atmosphere can be noticed not only in the words themselves, but also in the acceleration of the rhymes. The psychedelic atmosphere is too much for Faust's reason. The only thing that prevents him from making love with a witch is the image of Gretchen that appears suddenly.

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