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     Literature Goethe: Faust IV. Content

Exercise: Goethe, Faust

  IV. Content

As said before the Faust does not really have something that runs like thread through it. It is a work that is quite heterogenic. If a thread can be found it is the description of The cattle-type-person and Faust. However, the power does not come from this main story, because a piece of art fascinates the reader by making him identify himself with the work. If the reader feels himself 'understood' by the piece of art. The fact that Faust is quoted in thousands of different situations shows the strength of all its different parts, with many situations commonly known and experienced.

The powerful language of Faust that describes many different things quite precisely is most fascinating. Now you may ask what is a powerful language. The answer is not easy to give. A powerful language is poesy; - it is a language that are much higher than that language, which is actually spoken. It is a language, which plays on our emotions like a musical instrument. A powerful language transfers more than just words. Even if we fail to explain, what actually makes a powerful language, we know that we quote Faust so often because we find, that he has the right words for our situation, or feeling, or state of mind.

This web site is a web site about the German Language and we have included Faust because of its importance for the German speaking people. You as the reader of this pages may not have German as your mother tongue and, therefore, it is possible that only the translation is understood. Now it can be discussed whether a piece of art loses its power when it is translated. The author does not believe so. If you find the translation we have used insufficient, there are others available.

As already said the selection of the verses that will be presented is very subjective and arbitrary, or let us just say the author has taken the verses, he liked most. The decision to do so is to show the diamonds and not the rocks where the diamonds are to be found. We hope to find and keep your interest in this way.

Still these diamonds - even though they shine for themselves - are connected to each other. Therefore the structure of the work should be known and therefore we give a summary of the work. Faust actually consists of two books, Faust I and Faust II. Here we present only Faust I.

These are the chapters of FAUST I
Vorspiel auf dem Theater
Prolog im Himmel
Vor dem Tor
Auerbachs Keller in Leipzig
Straße (I)
Ein kleines reinliches Zimmer
Der Nachbarin Haus
Straße (II)
Ein Gartenhäuschen
Wald und Höhle
Gretchens Stube
Marthens Garten
Am Brunnen
Nacht. Straße vor Gretchens Türe
Trüber Tag. Feld
Nacht, offenes Feld