Faust

Faust

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The Dramatic Poet Character Analysis

The Dramatic Poet, along with the Manager and Player of Comic Roles, is staging a production of Faust for a German theater in the “Prelude on the Stage” scene. He believes, in contrast to the pragmatic Manager, that it is the poet’s fundamental right to express his dreams and visions in an eternal poetic form, to be handed down to posterity. Scorning the idea of merely entertaining people, the Dramatic Poet represents the aesthetic, visionary perspective on art: creating true, beautiful poems that exist only for their own sake.

The Dramatic Poet Quotes in Faust

The Faust quotes below are all either spoken by The Dramatic Poet or refer to The Dramatic Poet. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Reason and Passion Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Princeton University Press edition of Faust published in 2014.
Prelude in the Theater Quotes

When Nature, unconcerned, twirls her endless thread
and fixes it upon the spindle,
when all creation’s inharmonious myriads
vex us with a potpourri of sound,
who then divides the strand monotonously unreeling
and gives it life and rhythmic motion,
who summons single voices to the general choir
where music swells in glorious accord?

Related Characters: The Dramatic Poet (speaker)
Page Number: 142-149
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, two of the "form characters" of the poem, the Dramatic Poet and the Stage Manager, bicker over how best to put on a play of Faust. The Manager takes the position that the goal of a play is simple: to entertain a drunk, lazy audience. The Poet, however, takes a lofty, Romantic view of things: he thinks of himself as a kind of mastermind, organizing the chaotic "parts" of a play (its characters, its singers, etc.), and of a play's story, into one organized whole. The Poet makes a complicated analogy, comparing his duty as a poet to that of God, who organizes the different discrete parts of the natural world into one harmonious whole.

Goethe arguably presents his own view most clearly here--he sees himself as the "God" of his fictional world, imposing order and control upon his characters in order to create something beautiful and harmonious. And as with God, Goethe doesn't see himself as a mere entertainer or a businessman: his goal is to transform his disorderly audience of drunks into a more pious, educated group--he hopes to pass on some lessons and observations about good and evil, art, life, etc.

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The Dramatic Poet Character Timeline in Faust

The timeline below shows where the character The Dramatic Poet appears in Faust. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prelude in the Theater
The Human Desire for Meaning and Transcendence Theme Icon
Pleasure and Love Theme Icon
Parts, Wholes, and Limits Theme Icon
In a German theater, the Manager, the Dramatic Poet , and the Player of Comic Roles are preparing a production of Faust. The Manager... (full context)
The Human Desire for Meaning and Transcendence Theme Icon
Pleasure and Love Theme Icon
Parts, Wholes, and Limits Theme Icon
The Dramatic Poet wants nothing to do with the public, however, which he fears will vulgarize his art.... (full context)
The Human Desire for Meaning and Transcendence Theme Icon
Pleasure and Love Theme Icon
Parts, Wholes, and Limits Theme Icon
The Manager reminds the Dramatic Poet that their audience will be expecting lots of action and variety. Only by including in... (full context)
The Human Desire for Meaning and Transcendence Theme Icon
Pleasure and Love Theme Icon
Parts, Wholes, and Limits Theme Icon
The Manager assures the Dramatic Poet that his feelings aren’t hurt by such accusations. Somebody who wants to be effective, he... (full context)
Reason and Passion Theme Icon
The Human Desire for Meaning and Transcendence Theme Icon
Pleasure and Love Theme Icon
Parts, Wholes, and Limits Theme Icon
Intellectualism and the Value of Words Theme Icon
The Dramatic Poet becomes indignant. He tells the Manager to hire someone else if he expects him to... (full context)
The Human Desire for Meaning and Transcendence Theme Icon
Pleasure and Love Theme Icon
Parts, Wholes, and Limits Theme Icon
The Player of Comic Roles tells the Dramatic Poet to manage his literary business like a poet, then. He compares what would happen in... (full context)
The Human Desire for Meaning and Transcendence Theme Icon
Pleasure and Love Theme Icon
The Dramatic Poet wishes for the days of his youth to return to him so that he, also,... (full context)