Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Faust’s Study and Wagner’s Laboratory

Faust’s study symbolizes the failure of scholarship to satisfy the human desire for meaning. It is crammed with authoritative, dusty books that Faust, for one, dismisses as containing empty words. In fact, the study…

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Nature and the Earth Spirit

Early on in the play, Faust conceives of nature as posing the ultimate mysteries to the human mind, mysteries that he is hell-bent on solving. He desires to learn what binds the universe together in…

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Prisons and Keys

For Faust, as for Hamlet in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the world is a prison, confining him, shackling his imagination, and limiting his power. His study is a prison made out of books, dead authorities and…

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