Faust. First Part - Faust's Study (I & II) and Auerbach's Tavern in Leipzig Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Faust. First Part.
This section contains 788 words
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Faust's Study (I & II) and Auerbach's Tavern in Leipzig Summary

In the sixth scene Faust enters his study content with himself and God, but the poodle refuses to be calm. Faust entices the dog to be silent as he contemplates his new found contentment and begins to read and interpret a volume of Holy Scriptures. Faust tries to study but the poodle interrupts his study by howling and growling. As Faust watches, the poodle seems to transform into a hideous beast, then hides behind the stove. A mist or fog fills the room and the Mephistopheles steps from behind the stove in place of the dog. Faust at first believes his visitor to be a wandering student but as introductions are made learns he is affiliated with the devil himself.

Mephistopheles attempts to leave Faust's study but cannot do so because of a pentagram drawn on the threshold of the room. The rules of hell indicate he must leave by the same route he entered. For a short time Faust holds Mephistopheles prisoner. Faust requests a bit of entertainment from Mephistopheles, who conjures a chorus of spirits to sing for them. The song puts Faust to sleep and Mephistopheles is able to escape. Faust wakes believing his interview with the devil was merely a dream.

In the second scene entitled "Faust's Study" Mephistopheles pays Faust a second visit. Faust shares with Mephistopheles his dissatisfaction with his life and his desire for death. Mephistopheles asks Faust why he did not go through with his suicide plan. Faust admits his plans were disrupted by the hope the songs of the Easter celebration brought to him. He has now returned to his original despair and disillusionment with his life. It is at this point that Mephistopheles presents his deal to Faust. He will serve Faust on earth if Faust will promise to serve Mephistopheles in the afterlife. Faust agrees but adds that the devil must present him with some sort of amusement that will bring Faust enough pleasure that Faust will not want it to end. Faust signs the pledge with his own blood.

As this pact is signed, a student arrives wishing to meet Faust. Mephistopheles transforms into the image of Faust and "advises" the student on how he should go about his career in knowledge. The student leaves and Faust voices concern to the devil that he is too old and too antisocial to enjoy the pleasures of other people. Mephistopheles persuades him he will soon lose these inhibitions. They make their way through flight to a tavern in the town of Leipzig.

A group of revelers already fills this tavern as Faust and Mephistopheles enter. Mephistopheles sings for the crowd and then conjures up drinks to please each one of the group. After watching the drunken crowd for a while, Faust states he'd like to leave. Mephistopheles encourages him to stay a while longer in order to see the real fun. The men begin to hallucinate and are at the point of cutting each other with knives when Mephistopheles frees them from their hallucinations. At this same point Mephistopheles and Faust vanish.

Faust's Study (I & II) and Auerbach's Tavern in Leipzig Analysis

It is in this portion of the play that Faust makes his bargain with Mephistopheles. Mephistopheles is to serve him on earth and show him some pleasure that strikes Faust's fancy. Mephistopheles' first attempt fails as he tries to include Faust in the pleasures of drink and the related revelry.

After his initial fear of the black poodle, Faust brings the animal back to his study. His fear of the dog was a foreshadowing of who is masked by the dog's form. As Faust attempts to read and study the scriptures, the dog interrupts and frustrates his study by howling and growling, and then finally transforming into the form of Mephistopheles himself. The dog works as a form of distraction, keeping Faust from studying the Word and at the same time putting him into a frame of mind that will easily allow him to be influenced by the devil. Following Faust's deal with the devil a student comes in wishing to interview Faust. Instead Mephistopheles disguises himself as Faust and advises the student. The interview is intended as comic relief to lighten the otherwise dark mood of the play.

Note Faust's lack of confidence in Mephistopheles' ability to make him feel at ease in social situations. Faust argues he is both too old and too socially backward to enjoy the social scene. These fears are realized as Faust feels uncomfortable and out of place in the bar and finally asks Mephistopheles for permission to leave.

This section contains 788 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Faust. First Part from BookRags. (c)2017 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
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