Faust. First Part - Study Guide A Witch's Kitchen and A Street Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 25 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Faust. First Part.
This section contains 560 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)

A Witch's Kitchen and A Street Summary

Faust and Mephistopheles visit a witch for a potion to make Faust appear young. A female baboon tends the witch's caldron while a male baboon watches their children. The baboons say the witch is dinning out and is late. Mephistopheles banters with the baboons about the contents of the boiling pot as well as a sieve on the shelf. Meanwhile, Faust moves back and forth in front of a mirror where he sees the image of a beautiful girl. He believes she holds paradise in her body. Mephistopheles promises to find the girl for him once they finish their business with the witch. The baboons have made Mephistopheles sit down, and have given him a whisk and broken crown.

The female baboon has forgotten the pot and it boils over just as the witch enters through the chimney. The witch is burnt by the flames from the pot. In her foul mood, she greets Faust and Mephistopheles unkindly. Mephistopheles curses her for not recognizing her master. The witch begs pardon and appeases the devil with praise. Mephistopheles asks the witch for the potion for Faust. The witch makes a circle and motions Faust to step inside. Faust is skeptical of the magic, but Mephistopheles makes him step into the circle. The witch reads from a book of spells and then gives Faust a potion to drink. Before they leave Faust wants to see his lady in the mirror one more time but Mephistopheles pulls him away saying they must keep moving in order for the potion to take full effect.

In the following scene Faust sees his mirror lady in person as Mephistopheles promised. The two meet on the street. Faust greets the young lady but she is rude. Mephistopheles tells Faust the young lady has just been to confession and that he has no power over her. Faust tells Mephistopheles if he does not get the girl for Faust that night, Faust will leave Mephistopheles. Mephistopheles convinces Faust to give him more time and attempts to appease him with a visit to the girl's bedroom. Faust consents and makes plans to take the girl a gift. Mephistopheles thinks of gifts he can arrange for Faust to leave for the girl.

A Witch's Kitchen and A Street Analysis

Although the witch's kitchen scene is important to the plot of the play, it is also inserted as a form of comic relief. Faust and Mephistopheles have just left the tavern and Mephistopheles appears to have no stronger hold over Faust than before. Faust is highly skeptical of the witch's ability to make him appear younger. With the devil in this unlucky position, the baboons crown him in a comical fashion. He is given a whisk as a scepter and a broken crown. As Faust feels himself becoming overwhelmed by his desire for the girl in the mirror, Mephistopheles feels overwhelmed by the baboon's antics.

It is interesting to note that Faust chooses a girl for his conquest over whom Mephistopheles says he has no power. She is described as being young, innocent and having just made confession to her priest. While Faust wants to take the girl right away, an idea that should have appealed to Mephistopheles, Mephistopheles is forced to convince Faust to go slow because of this lack of power over the young girl.

This section contains 560 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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