Faust and Margarete run from Martha’s garden to a summerhouse. Here, the girl warns her lover that Mephistopheles is coming. Faust calls her a teasing minx, kisses her, and again tells her that he loves her. Mephistopheles knocks at the summerhouse door, announcing himself as a friend. Faust calls him a beast. It’s almost time to leave, says Mephistopheles. Martha confirms that it’s late. Margarete bids Faust farewell until the two shall meet again, and Faust responds in kind. After Faust and Mephistopheles exit, Margarete says how astonished she is by the many ideas Faust has. She can’t imagine what he sees in a silly, poor young thing like her.
Although Faust and Gretchen truly are in love, they are also lustfully aroused, wanting to consummate their relationship with sexual intercourse. This consummation, however, will prove to be the beginning of the tragic end of their love. Love makes lovers feel like they’re dwelling in eternity, but sex brings them back into the world of time, birth, and death. Faust sees in Gretchen what, as a sinful man, he yearns for: innocence.