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Faust. First Part Chapter Summary & Analysis - Dedication, Prelude on the Stage, and Prologue in Heaven Summary

This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Faust. First Part.
This section contains 597 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)

Dedication, Prelude on the Stage, and Prologue in Heaven Summary

The play Faust is a tragedy with the main character fighting against both Mephistopheles and his own lack of self-confidence. Faust signs a pact with Mephistopheles to serve him if Mephistopheles finds something that makes Faust want to live. Faust's search for earthly happiness ultimately leads to the destruction of a young girl through an unwed pregnancy and murder.

In his "Dedication" Geothe addresses a generation and a time long gone. However, he feels as if spirits of this long gone time and reviving to greet him. Geothe is saddened by the knowledge that the people who surrounded him when he was compiling Faust are no longer around or alive while a group of strangers instead enjoys his work. Geothe remembers these people and places with love and realize their memory is more important than his current fame.

The "Prelude on the Stage" returns to the present time as a director, poet and clown debate what type of performance they ought to bring their audience. The director's only interest is in pleasing the people who have bought tickets to the show. The poet wants peace where he can create a work that will bring him fame in the future. The clown campaigns for a play that will entertain the people currently in their midst. The three continue to argue their own viewpoints throughout this prelude until in the end the director declares their work should take the audience on a journey from heaven to hell.

The "Prologue in Heaven" begins with three archangels praising God for the enduring beauty of His great works. Mephistopheles interrupts the chorus of praise with one of his invited visits. He is disdainful of mankind and the lack of challenge he finds in tormenting these people. At this point the Lord draws Mephistopheles' attention to Faust, a doctor who serves the Lord, but serves Him in confusion. Mephistopheles believes he can draw Faust away from the Lord while the Lord believes allowing Mephistopheles to have his way with Faust will only bring the doctor closer to his Lord.

Dedication, Prelude on the Stage, and Prologue in Heaven Analysis

In this "Dedication" Geothe speaks directly to the people, experiences and days of his now gone youth. This dedication's mystical tone of spirits and memories of the dead reviving sets the tone for the remainder of the play. The dedication consists of four eight-line stanzas each with a rhyme scheme of a-b-a-b-a-b-c-c.

"Prelude on the Stage" sets a dramatic contrast from the wistful longings of the "Dedication." In this prelude a director and poet debate what type of performance they should bring the audience. The director wants a work that will awe and astound the people while the poet wants to be left alone to create a good work. The poet feels pressed and blocked by the director's pressure. The clown participates in the discussion as a form of comic relief, to keep the debate between the poet and director from becoming too heavy.

It is the "Prologue in Heaven" that sets the stage for the plot of the play. Mephistopheles has been issued a challenge to try to draw Faust away from the Lord. Note that Mephistopheles' nature has been firmly established in this introductory section of the play. He is a haughty character who is disdainful of humans, angels and God as well as the creation as a whole. Mephistopheles believes, of course, humans would have been better off without the intervention of God. This opening scene personifies the battle between good and evil in the world.

This section contains 597 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Copyrights
Faust. First Part from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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