English 401
The Faust Theme


English 401
The Faust Theme

Study Guide

Unit 2  Goethe's Faust, Part I

Learning Objectives for Part 1

Faust's pact with Mephisto

Faust's pact with Mephisto, engraving by Julius Nisle after Goethe's Faust, ca. 1840. Wikipedia (public domain)

  1. Trace the genesis of Goethe's Faust.
  2. Explain the significance of the discussions between Mephistopheles and God in the Prologue in Heaven.
  3. Identify the differences between Marlowe's pact scene and Goethe's wager scene.
  4. Identify Faust's major goals in Part I.
  5. Identify Mephistopheles' essential characteristics.
  6. Compare Goethe's Mephistopheles with Marlowe's Mephastophilis.
  7. Explain Goethe's concept of polar opposites and cite examples of it.
  8. Identify the role and significance of magic in the play.
  9. Identify the different types of knowledge in Faust.
  10. State why Gretchen is saved.
  11. Identify the function of the Gretchen episode.