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     Literature Goethe: Faust IV.9 Hexenküche (Witch's kitchen)

Goethe: Faust

  IV.9 Hexenküche (Witch's kitchen)

Faust has the impression that he has not really lived his life, that he has lost a lot of time in his study, that he has spent his best years in useless things. To really live, to catch up the things that he left to pass, one has to be younger. This he wants to achieve with help of the magic of the witch. It is one thing that is throughout the drama that Faust does not believe in the power of Mephistopheles. In the beginning he looks very sceptical at those things the witch is doing, but in the end the witch achieves that he is young again.

In the ugliness of the kitchen of the witch a young, beautiful woman appears in the mirror of the witch. Faust falls immediately in love with her. It can be seen as a sign towards a problem that this woman always disappears whenever Faust gets closer to the mirror. Often it is easier to dream of happy moments than to live them to the full. The eternal cynicism of Mephistopheles that admits him to see the psychology of people but prevents him from seeing the beauty in things shows again when he says to Faust.

Natürlich, wenn ein Gott sich erst sechs Tage plagt,
Und selbst am Ende Bravo sagt,
Da muß es was Gescheites werden.
Für diesmal sieh dich immer satt;
Ich weiß dir so ein Schätzchen auszuspüren,
Und selig, wer das gute Schicksal hat,
Als Bräutigam sie heim zu führen!
Well, if a God for six whole days, my friend,
Toils hard and says "Ah, bravo!" at the end,
Then something rather neat must come to birth.
For this time gaze till you are satiate.
I know how I can find you such a treasure
And he who as a bridegroom has the happy fate
To lead her home, is blessed beyond all measure!

If wanted one could see Mephistopheles as a totally resigned person, who has nothing left but his cynicism. He has stopped fighting, because he is absolutely disillusioned. Faust is disillusioned, too, but he does not stop fighting. With this he earns the sympathy of the Lord.