Faust (First Part, Translated by Peter Salm)
Write a short essay (approx. 1100 words) on the topic below. Secondary sources are neither required nor permitted, aside from Goethe’s Faust (First Part, translated by Peter Salm). Choose a few passages from the text that you will explicate (i.e., read CLOSELY) in the course of your essay: the close readings you produce will be the building blocks of your argument. Because you only have a few pages, choose a few representative passages to read closely rather than trying to survey an entire text. Remember to be specific in your analysis and clear in stating your conclusions. Topic: In Plato’s Symposium, Aristonphanes argues that humans are perpetually incomplete, living in a constant state of desire for their missing halves; similarly, in the 1001 Nights, Shahrazad leaves her nightly stories uncompleted, perpetuating King Shahrayar’s desire to hear their conclusions. What does it mean for something – a self, a story, a society – to be “complete”, and what are the consequences of seeking such satiety? In this essay, explore the desire for completion in Faust. Note: since “completion” is a potentially vague term, be sure to define it specifically at the outset of your essay. ————— Here are some points I made to myself (though I don’t know if they’ll help…). They’re really all over the place so you please don’t feel the need to use them: -definition of complete: “to come to an end” -p. 103: the devil is an egoist and does not easily (…) do what is useful for another. state clearly your conditions. -p. 105: if you ever lure me with your lying flatteries, and I find satisfaction in myself, (…) then let this be my final day! -Faust knows dealing with the devil is dangerous, and yet he makes the deal anyway. does that mean he is so sure he will never be fulfilled? -aren’t humans born with an innate sense of never being fulfilled, and yet desiring it endlessly? -Faust deals with the devil in order to satisfy his creativity, his intellect -> but then Mephistopheles turns him into a young handsome man and makes him desire a woman, sex – turning his desire into something primal -p. 35: “primal, joyful energy compels the heart of all your listeners” – was he onto something? -is there significance in the animalistic behaviors of men in Auerbach’s Cellar? Faust is so disgusted he leaves, but then he becomes sexual as well Bibliography is not required. Sorry for the short notice and thank you for your time!!!