A dull, warm student just beginning his studies under Faust, the student comes knocking at his professor’s study seeking wisdom but is instead received by Mephistopheles, who is disguised as a scholar in cap and gown. The devil advises the student to focus on words over meanings, among other generally unsound intellectual habits, and the student takes his bad words to heart. Later, after graduating and becoming the baccalaureate, the student complains to Mephistopheles, again in disguise, that his education has been nothing but lies told by the old to the young, with the old not even believing the lies they told. Mephistopheles calls him a pompous ass for thinking that original thoughts still exist.
The timeline below shows where the character The student/the baccalaureate appears in Faust. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Faust’s Study 3
Part 2: Act 2: A High-Vaulted, Narrow Gothic Room (Faust’s Study 4)
...his soul away with, and there’s the gown Mephistopheles disguised himself in when he told the student all that nonsense. The devil takes down the gown and shakes it out. Insects fly... (full context)