Faust

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Anaxagoras Character Analysis

Anaxagoras is a pre-Socratic philosopher whom Homunculus consults about achieving a proper existence. In contrast to Thales, Anaxagoras believes that nature was created violently, by fire and volcanic explosion (a theory called Vulcanism). He encourages Homunculus to become a king of a mountain, but Homunculus instead follows Thales to the sea.
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Anaxagoras Character Timeline in Faust

The timeline below shows where the character Anaxagoras appears in Faust. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: Act 2: Classical Walpurgis Night: The Pharsalian Fields
Reason and Passion Theme Icon
The Human Desire for Meaning and Transcendence Theme Icon
Parts, Wholes, and Limits Theme Icon
Intellectualism and the Value of Words Theme Icon
Homunculus tells Mephistopheles that he’s on the trail of two pre-Socratic philosophers, Anaxagoras and Thales, from whom he hopes to learn about Nature, real existence, and the wisest... (full context)
The Human Desire for Meaning and Transcendence Theme Icon
Parts, Wholes, and Limits Theme Icon
Politics Theme Icon
Anaxagoras and Thales enter, arguing about the creation of the mountain on which the Pygmies have... (full context)
Parts, Wholes, and Limits Theme Icon
Politics Theme Icon
...a black cloud of cranes is menacing the Pygmies on their mountain, avenging the herons. Anaxagoras, who has always praised the subterranean powers, now begs the moon to relieve the distress... (full context)