Faust. First Part Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. In the "Dedication," why is Goethe so wistful?

Goethe discusses in his "Dedication" his feelings of sadness over the fact that the people who were alive when he was writing "Faust" have long since passed away. He dedicates his writing to them and decides that their memories are more important than his fame.

2. Describe the argument between the director, the clown, and the poet in "Prelude on the Stage."

The director, poet, and clown all have different ideas about what sort of show they want to put on for the audience. The director just wants to make the audience happy (after all, they bought tickets to the show), while the poet wants to write a piece that will bring him fame. The clown, meanwhile, just wants to entertain the audience.

3. What primary function does the clown serve during "Prelude on the Stage"?

The clown serves as comic relief between the quickly intensifying poet and director. The poet and the director get into a heated discussion about the nature of their show and the purpose of art, but the clown exists to keep the levity present.

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