Faust the Romantic Period in Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Faust believes she is condemned, but a voice from heaven says she is redeemed. She is to die, and Faust flees from her cell and leaves her to her fate.

In this regard, the female is seen as weaker than the male and as more subject to the vicissitudes of existence. Faust and Gretchen have similar ideas in the beginning, and she is destroyed while he continues his pursuit. The way Gretchen is used in this story is complex, for she represents the power of love that is not really recognized as a power by Mephistopheles. It is not powerful enough to divert Faust from his pursuit of knowledge, as it happens, Gretchen is also a gateway of sorts, linking Faust to the wonders of Nature in a way he would have missed on his own. The feminine is associated with Nature as a beneficial force through their love, at least women like Gretchen.

At the same time, there is a certain ambivalence apparent in the way Faust reacts to this woman and to all women, and one reason for this is that women are also seen as lures for the male, seen here in the form of Helen in particular. Helen represents the ideal of beauty, but she is also a destructive force, as she was in the Iliad because of the war fought over her. Faust is attracted to her in a way very different from his attraction to Gretchen. She seems to mean nothing to Mephistopheles, who is not a Romantic figure in the way Faust would be and who is not attracted by beauty, though he is capable of using the fact of that attraction to get what he wants from a human male like Faust. For Faust, Helen is even more problematic because while she may serve as an inspiration, she is a vision and not a real woman. She is a clear representation of the imagination and of its limits. Before evoking the vision of Helen, Faust has been sent to the realm of the Mothers by Mephistopheles, another vision of the feminine, in this case as guardians of the past. Faust wants to reach the past of the Greek era and is first sent to the Mothers as part of this quest, an Helen is the next part because she is that past. The feminine becomes a gateway again, here a gateway to the past and to the knowledge that Faust seeks.

Faust first sees Helen as an image in a mirror and seeks her for himself. It is her beauty alone that draws him. This first meeting is at the house of the witch, where Mephistopheles tries to use the witches to seduce Faust. Faust is not attracted to that sort of debauchery, and Mephisopheles tries to use first Gretchen and then Helen for the same purpose. He does not control Gretchen, though, for she has not been corrupted. His use of Helen is more subtle and also more complex, and if Helen fails to be what Mephisopheles wants, it is because of how Faust views her. After all, he is the one who has conjured her as a vision and who pursues her, but he does so not simply as an object of lust but also as an ideal of beauty, which in the Romantic view means a great deal more than physical beauty. For Faust, though, neither feminine purity as seen in Gretchen nor feminine beauty as seen in Helen can suffice. Helen is an ethereal being and not as real as Faust wants. Her beauty does not satisfy in the Romantic conception because she lacks the necessary moral center. It would seem that the ideal woman would be a union of Gretchen and Helen, while either alone is insufficient.

The Romantic vision of woman is therefore idealized in a way that might show that no women can ever attain the ideal set for her. She is both a moral gateway to Nature and a beautiful lure that lacks the necessary moral foundation.

Works Cited

Abrams, M.H., E. Talbot Donaldson, Hallet Smith, Robert M. Adams, Samuel Holt Monk, George H. Ford, and David Daiches. The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volume 2. New York: W.W. Norton, 1962.

Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. New York: Penguin, 1991.

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von.…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Faust The Romantic Period In" (2007, November 24) Retrieved November 29, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/faust-the-romantic-period-in-34031

"Faust The Romantic Period In" 24 November 2007. Web.29 November. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/faust-the-romantic-period-in-34031>

"Faust The Romantic Period In", 24 November 2007, Accessed.29 November. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/faust-the-romantic-period-in-34031

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Effects of Social Network Sites on Romantic Relationships

    Social Network Sites on Relationships Describe the major research methodologies In the modern world, the social networking sites are key cons to the existence of trustworthy relationships that last for longer years. The essence of relationship between couples is gaining trust and love. The quality of romantic relationships in the current world has reduced, and the number of partners that are trustworthy has declined. The introduction of the social networks is

  • Transformation of the Promethean Myth in Byron Percy Bysshe and Mary...

    Promethean myth holds a very strong hold upon the literature of the romantic era, a collected era of the rekindling of the ideas and ideals of classical antiquity. Though within each evolving age there is the incorporation of propriety and modernity into the stories and ideal of the old. Though not alone, in their fascination with creation and even the promethean myth, as the forbearers of the Romantics had a

  • Romanticism Art Help Roger Fry

    All of the styles inspired by the Romantic current can be clearly traced from the Formalist point-of-view, as they had in common the use of image itself, leaving meaning and content to a secondary design. In the poetry and literature world, the Romantic period was a chance to explore the inner feelings of the artist, the development of his own soul and thoughts, where the author is the hero of the

  • Beethoven s Piano Sonata No 31

    In this movement he uses antiphonal, or equal bars of forte and equal bars of piano as the movement opens with a six note falling scale motif for this harmony. Finally there is a trio in D major, side by side, taking abrupt leaps and descents and which ends quietly with a modified recurrence of the scherzo. The first "repeat" was written out to allow an extra ritardando. There

  • Wolf Schubert Goethe it Is Often Useful

    Wolf Schubert Goethe It is often useful to compare artists within certain styles and forms in order to gain a greater understanding of those artists. Judging and comparing art is a beneficial method in determining what is good and acceptable within the academic standards of music and art. Three such artists deserving of such a comparisons and evaluations compose the theme of this essay. Essentially, the purpose of this essay is

  • Drama Analysis Dr Faustus and Streetcar Named Desire

    Everyman: Faustus and Blanche The concept of "Everyman" derives from the 15-century morality play "The Summoning of Everyman." The play was meant as a guide towards salvation and how a person might attain it. The name "Everyman" was meant to represent an everyday, ordinary person of the time, implying that Christian salvation was obtainable by any person. Today, the idea of "everyman" is used to indicate any ordinary person with ordinary

  • Frankenstein and Romanticism Having Long

    Her list includes the following: culture / Nature reason / Nature male/female mind/body ( Nature) master/slave reason/matter (physicality) rationality/animality ( Nature) human / Nature (non-human) civilised/primitive ( Nature) production/reproduction ( Nature) self/other At first glance, this list seems to capture the basic groupings and gender associations that are at work in Mary Shelley's novel. The Creature exemplifies animality, primitiveness, and physicality, whereas Victor represents the forces of civilization, rational production, and culture. Victor is part of a happy family

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved