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Mephisto sits at the Lords side slightly below him which indicates a hierarchical structure which is uncharictaristic perhaps of the socialist, pantheon approach to cosmic order. The main element of contradiction in this respect is in the set design.
Goethe’s Faust raises constant questions concerning good and evil, causality and predetermination.
Goethe’s Faust is concerned with the “fundamental religious and and philosophical problems which have ever fascinated and tormented mankind, problems such as, the relationship between man and and the powers of good and evil; mans revolt against human limitations; the thirst for knowledge beyond mere information; the puzzeling disparity between the sublimity and misery of human life.” With all of these great attributes Goethe’s Faust emerges as a great German Literary acomplishment which due to its inherent ambiguity has been adopted by every major German social and political movement.
Man appears as a “strange creation which vascillates between heaven and earth, between the possible and the imposible, the most coarse and the most delicate or whatever other extremes the human imagination may conjure up.” Thus, in his attempt to defeat Faust it is imperative that “Mephistopheles desires to make Faust behave as though he were exclusively of this world, but Faust conscious that he possesses two souls in his breast, cannot possibly accept this point of view.” Due to this duality within man, which is present in Faust by the presence of elements of the metaphysical and the physical in one being, man will never be satisfied because he is an imperfect being.
Gillies in his analysis insists that “if we strive to grasp the finite we must do so within the bounds of our earthly existance, we learn or be destroyed.” This is the keystone to the Faust mystery.
” There are two bets with mephisto: the Lords who stakes Faust’s salvation on the ceaselessness of his striving and Faust’s, who offers his life if he should ever affirm any aspect of human existence.” As a result “Faust may attain salvation because Mephisto lost his bet with the Lord but he must also die, because he lost his bet with Mephisto,”or did he lose his bet with Mephisto when he died, as he would have if he refuses to engage in any activityoffered by Mephisto?
The Weimar production presents the world of Faust as one of cosmic harmony and social harmony.
Goethe’s Faust presents us with a competent world view. It presents man in the guise of faust as a social animal whose actions have deeper ramifications on those around him. Faust’s actions are the catalyst that lead to the downfall of his fellow characters, Gretchen, Valenitne, and Gretchens mother.
“Goethe’s view of evil as a force extending beyond the individual to the whole of society” is of paramount impotance when considering the alternatinve interpretations of the Weimar and Deiter Dorn Productiuons of Goethe’s Faust.
The Dieter Dorn production on the other hand produces Mephistopheles with overwhelming theatrics.
Mephistopheles breaches into heaven through the floor of the stage, ripping up the floor boads, spouting venemous red light into the serene blue of Heaven.