Goethe derives the Three Mighty Men from the Bible, where they assist the Biblical hero David defeat the Philistines. In Goethe’s drama, one of the Three Mighty Men is young and eager for bloodshed, one is mature and eager for treasure, while the last is old and conservative. Together, they work for Faust in assisting the Emperor to quell the Anti-Emperor’s rebellion. Later, the brutes go against Faust’s gentler orders by killing Baucis and Philemon.
The timeline below shows where the character The Three Mighty Men appears in Faust. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: Act 4: High Mountains
...Faust knows nothing of warfare, the devil assures him that he has created a war-council: the Three Mighty Men , like those who assisted the Biblical hero David defeat the Philistines. These three—one young... (full context)
Part 2: Act 4: On a Foothill
Part 2: Act 4: The Anti-Emperor’s Tent
Part 2: Act 5: Faust’s Palace (Before the Palace)
A splendid, richly laden vessel appears in a nearby canal, bearing Mephistopheles and the Three Mighty Men . They disembark, and the vessel’s cargo is unloaded. The devil praises the trinity of... (full context)
...he has created. So it is that, tired of being just, he orders Mephistopheles and the Three Mighty Men to evict Baucis and Philemon from their cottage. The devil says that Faust’s will shall... (full context)
Part 2: Act 5: Faust’s Palace (Faust on the Balcony)
...sad song. His inmost being is offended to see the linden grove burn. Mephistopheles and the Three Mighty Men enter. The devil excuses the bit of trouble they’ve all caused, but says Baucis and... (full context)
Faust is outraged and curses this senseless act of savagery. Mephistopheles and the Three Mighty Men simply respond that people should gracefully obey the commands of Force. All four exit. Alone,... (full context)