Sophia's Reviews > Faust: First Part

Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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Oct 12, 07


Goethe’s Faust is a novel rich in metaphor, elaborate verse, imagery, depth, and meaning that not only employs symbolic characters and scenes, but also through such literary techniques weaves its main philosophy of striving and experience as mankind’s rightful path.

Ironically, Faust reveals his disapproval for books as a true source of knowledge in understanding the world; we must turn to life and living, and experience instead. I call this ironic because while he denounces books, Faust is a book. The text itself seems to imply that although it’s imbued with intense profundity, one must “live” it in order to truly understand it. That is to say, reading doesn’t do its inherent meaning justice.

This does not, however, mean that Goethe’s Faust is inaccessible and as useless as the moth and cobweb infested library of Faust’s room, instead, Goethe breaks this obstacle to grant the reader a qualitative experience of his philosophy that sidesteps the barriers of denotation. since Goethe presents us a Play as opposed to a documentation of thought on his philosophies, he doesn’t tell us about striving and experience, he shows us.
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message 1: by Andrew (new)

Andrew sophia,

a terrific review of a literary masterpiece. i too get a kick out of faust denouncing book knowledge. im just beginning part two and am eager for more encounters between faust and mephistopheles.


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