The Salvation of Faust

January 11, 2017 Theology

Johan Wolfgang von Goethe was born in Germany in 1749, during the middle of the enlightenment. He studied at various German universities for years early in his life, as well as taking an interest in alchemy, theology, and philosophy, all of which play an important role in the creation of his version of Faust. During this time he began to become a writer of the “Sturm und Drang ” or “Storm and Stress ” literary a movement. This literary movement, which appeared during the second half of the enlightenment, is often considered to be a precursor to Romanticism. Although Goethe began his writing during the “Sturm und Drang”” movement, he was highly influenced by the enlightenment, and is often considered to be a writer of romanticism. Goethe devoted much of his life to writing Faust, composing it in two parts, and finishing it only shortly before his death. Part II of Faust was not published until after Goethe’s and a popular Opera had already been produced based entirely on the first half of the story. For this reason Part II is often overlooked ,and critics often focus on the Gretchen and Faust relationship as well as the bet with the devil.

Faust was originally a German folk story about a scholar and doctor who was supposedly a magician that had made a pact with the devil. In Goethe’s Faust, the lead character is a man named Faust who makes a bet with the Devil, referred to as Mephistopheles. The virtues of Faust are often argued. Many say that he deserved to spend eternity in hell rather than to be forgiven and accepted to heaven. This is a very common opinion, however there are many factors behind the fate of Faust. Although it is arguable what his fate “should” have been, Faust was deserving of his final place spending eternity in heaven.

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The first major point for the outcome of Faust is that he made a pact with Mephisto which supposedly will automatically damn a person to spend eternity to hell.

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