The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910 discussion

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2012 Group Reads - Archives > Faust - Part I ~ Scene IV: The Study

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message 1: by Silver (new)

Silver What do you think the significance is of Mephistopheles disguising himself as Faust to speak to the student?

What is the meaning of his discussion with the student? Why did Goethe include this scene?


message 2: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) I think Goethe included this scene (and many others) because it's an integral part of his social and political satire. It's poignant and humorous at the same time. Goethe spoke through Mephistopheles instead of Faust, partly because he wanted to deflect any backlash, partly because it fit the character better-- Faust doesn't seem to have any humorous strain.


message 3: by Silver (new)

Silver I like the idea about the humorous side of it, and how Mephistopheles contrasts Faust in this way, who is quite somber and serious.

I also wondered if it was a contrast to Faust's earlier conversation with Wagner. Here we have Mephistopheles in the guise of Faust, acting a farce role as the scholar, treating the students intellectual pursuits with mockery.


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