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.
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
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)
...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)