GERMAN 298C - FLNG 100
The Faust Tradition from Marlowe to Mann
Homework Assignments

Go to current week's assignments
Assignments for response papers appear in blue.

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Week 1: Aug. 23 / 25
Themes Homework

 Introduction - the course, Faust, 
 and the advent of the Faust legend 
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The following readings are available in the limited loan area of Meriam Library. 

Group 1: Read excerpts of the Simon Magus legend. 
     In what ways does Simon exhibit his magic ability? 
     How successful is he in performing magical acts? 
Group 2: Read excerpts of the Theophilus legend. 
     Note the sources of Theophilus' actions and thoughts. 
     What is the nature of his pact with the devil? 
Group 3: Read excerpts from documents about Faust, the man. 
     What facts of Faust's life can we derive from these documents? 
 

Questions? E-mail me


Week 2: Aug. 30 / Sept. 1
Themes Homework
 Johann Spiess: Faustbuch
 The English Faust book 
 Christopher Marlowe: Doctor Faustus
M
 Read the Faustbuch (English version - limited loan). 
 Response paper: Based on what you know about the 16th century, from what ideological perspective is the Faustbuch written?  What was the purpose of the Faustbuch? What did its author hope to attain?
 Everyone: Consider the following while reading: 
  What is the nature of Faust’s pact with the devil? 
  What does Faust achieve as a result of the pact? Does he achieve his goals? 
  What consequences does the pact bring for him? 

 In addition, German 298C: 
  The complete original German title of the Faustbuch read: 

"Historia von D. Johann Fausten, dem weitbeschreiten Zauberer und Schwarzkünstler: Wie er sich gegen dem Teufel auf eine benannte Zeit verschrieben / Was er hierzwischen für seltsame Abenteuer gesehen/ selbst angerichtet und getrieben / bis er endlich seinen wohl verdienten Lohn empfangen. Mehrerteils aus seinen eigenen hinterlassenen Schriften / allen hochtragenden, vorwitzigen und gottlosen Menschen zum schrecklichen Beispiel / abscheulichen Exempel und treuherziger Warnung zusammengezogen und in den Druck verfertiget." 
 What does the title already reveal about the book?
W
 See Monday’s assignment. 
 Also: What does Faust represent? 
 Pay attention to the language used in the text. Note passages that support your answers to these questions. 

 Questions? E-mail me


Week 3: Sept. 6 / 8
Themes Homework
 Marlowe: Doctor Faustus
 
M: Labor Day - no classes

 

W
 Read Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus (A-Text, pp. 137-83). 
 Note the elements of the Faust tradition present in the text. How is the text similar to the tradition thus far? How is it different? 

 

 Questions? E-mail me


Week 4: Sept. 13 / 15
Themes Homework
 Marlowe: Doctor Faustus
 G.E. Lessing: Faust fragment 
M
 Read Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus (B-Text, pp. 186-246). 
 Response paper: How does the B-Text differ from the A-Text? Speculate what the reasons might be for these differences. Why would there be two versions of the same text? What functions did the changes serve? 

 Considering what we know about Marlowe’s biography, how do you account for his treatment of the Faust material? If he was an atheist and skeptically critical of  Christian religious doctrine, why does his play seem to promote the cause of Christianity? 
 

W
 Read the extant documents re: G.E. Lessing’s Faust and the descriptions of 18th-century Faust puppet plays (handouts). 

 Surviving documents--namely, the assigned readings--tell us that Lessing wrote a Faust drama in the mid-18th century. Although this drama is not known in its entirety, Lessing’s Faust is repeatedly named as having an important place in the history and development of the Faust motif. What about Lessing’s Faust distinguishes it from the tradition as we know it thus far? Compare Lessing’s treatment of the theme to the content of the 18th-century puppet plays. Why do think scholars attribute such importance to Lessing’s Faust

 Also: The 18th century is the age of Enlightenment in Europe. What do you know about this time period? What key concepts define the Enlightenment? 
 

 Questions? E-mail me


Week 5: Sept. 20 / 22
Themes Homework
 J.W. Goethe: Faust I
 
M
 Read in Goethe’s Faust pp. 64-91 (“Zueignung,” “Vorspiel auf dem Theater,” “Prolog”). 

 Response paper, option 1: What realities of 18th-century existence are reflected in the “Vorspiel auf dem Theater” (“Prelude in the Theater”)? What tendencies of the late 18th century does the scene depict? Cite evidence from the text for your argument.

 Response paper, option 2: Characterize man as he is depicted in the “Prolog im Himmel.” Cite passages from the text to support your characterization. 

How is the cosmos of Goethe’s Faust structured? What function might the “Prolog” serve in the context of the entire work? 

 

W
 Read in Goethe’s Faust pp. 92-123 (“Nacht”). 

 Compare and contrast Faust and Wagner. Note their respective states of mind and world views. How does Faust view himself? 

 Response paper: What does Faust want? Cite evidence from the text to support your claims.
 

 

 Questions? E-mail me


Week 6: Sept. 27 / 29
Themes Homework
 Goethe: Faust I M
 Read in Goethe’s Faust pp. 124-208. 

 What effect does the Easter Day stroll have on Faust? 
 Characterize Mephistopheles’ role and position in the cosmos as constructued in Goethe’s Faust
 What is the function of the scene between Mephistopheles and the student (pp. 194-208)? 

Response paper: Delineate the terms and nature of the pact between Faust and Mephistopheles. What does each hope to achieve? Cite evidence from the text to support your claims.
 

W
 See Monday’s assignment. 

 Questions? E-mail me


Week 7: Oct. 4 / 6
Themes Homework
 Goethe: Faust I M
 See last Monday’s assignment. 
W
 CLASS CANCELLED DUE TO GERMAN DAY! 
 Attend German Day events in Trinity Hall 100!! 

 Questions? E-mail me


Week 8: Oct. 11 / 13
Themes Homework
 Goethe: Faust I M
 Read in Goethe’s Faust, pp. 209-277. 

 How do the scenes “Auerbach’s Keller in Leipzig” (pp. 209-33) and “Hexenküche” (pp. 234-57) contribute to the plot development? 

 How does Gretchen (Margarete) characterize Faust? 
 What is the meaning of the “Konig in Thule” ballad? 

 Response Paper: How does Faust characterize Gretchen (Margarete)? What does her room represent for him? What does she represent for him? Note specific words, phrases, passages in the text to support your arguments.

 

W
 Read in Goethe’s Faust pp. 276-323 (v. 2865-3413). 

 How does the discussion about the jewelry in the scene “Spaziergang” (v. 2805-64) reflect Faust’s attitude and intentions with regard to Gretchen? 

 What conflict between Faust and Mephistopheles becomes evident in the scene “Straße” (v. 3025-72)? 

 What does the “Garten” scene (v. 3073-3204) reveal about each of the four characters? What is the relationship between Mephistopheles and Marthe? Between Faust and Gretchen? How do they react to one another? On the reader level, what function do the two dialogues (M-M and F-G) have with respect to one another? 

 Response paper: Characterize the conflict(s) or contradiction(s) within Faust as a result of his dealings with Gretchen (see especially the scene “Wald und Höhle”). How is Gretchen affected by her dealings with Faust (see especially “Gretchens Stube”)?  As always, cite EVIDENCE FROM THE TEXT to support your claims.
 

 Questions? E-mail me



Week 9: Oct. 18 / 20
Themes Homework
 Goethe: Faust I
 
M
 Read in Goethe’s Faust, pp. 324-398. 

 Characterize Gretchen’s and Faust’s respective attitudes toward religion as evident in the scene “Marthens Garten.” 

 What function do the scenes “Am Brunnen,” “Zwinger,” and “Dom” play in the context of the plot? 

 What occurs in the scene “Nacht. Straße vor Gretchens Türe”? What is the basis of Valentin’s actions (toward Faust and Mephistopheles) and words (to Gretchen)? 

 The “Walpurgisnacht” and “Walpurgisnachtstraum” contain many allusions which may baffle and escape readers of today. Don’t worry about details! Attempt to locate in general terms what this scene possibly lends to the dramatic plot as a whole. Why did Goethe include it? 
 

W
 Read in Goethe’s Faust, pp. 398-429. 

 What does Faust decide to do about Gretchen’s situation? Out of what motives? 
 How does Gretchen react to Faust’s visit? his plan? 

 Response paper option #1: What is Gretchen’s fate? Will she go to heaven or hell? Why?

 Response paper option #2: Recall Faust’s reasons for making a bet with Mephistopheles (in the second “Studierzimmer” scene). Does Faust’s encounter with Gretchen help him attain any of his goals? Explain. Cite textual evidence.

 Response paper option #3: Compare the first scene of Faust II (“Anmutige Gegend”) with the first scene of Faust I (“Nacht”). How has Faust changed? In what ways is he still the same? What other parallels and differences do you notice between the two scenes?
 

 Questions? E-mail me


Week 10: Oct. 25 / 27
Themes Homework
 Goethe: “Faust II” 
 
M
 Read in Goethe’s Faust II, pp. 422-29, and the summary of acts 1-4 on pp. 32-44. 

Response paper: Compare the first scene of Faust II (“Anmutige Gegend”) with the first scene of Faust I (“Nacht”). How has Faust changed? In what ways is he still the same? What other parallels and differences do you notice between the two scenes?

 

W
 Read in Goethe’s Faust II, Act V, pp. 430-503. 

 Response paper option #1: What is Faust’s role in Act V? What has he achieved? What are his aspirations? What role does Mephistopheles play in his achievements and aspirations?

 Response paper option #2: Based on the scene “Mitternacht,” how does Faust view his past life? Does he have any regrets? What insights does he have about life? What is the symbolic meaning of Faust’s becoming blind? Note that “Sorge” carries the dual meaning of ‘care’ and ‘worry’.

 Response paper option #3: What is Faust’s fate? Is he saved? Why (not)? How is his fate explicable in terms of the structure of the cosmos as depicted in Goethe’s work?

 

 Questions? E-mail me


Week 11: Nov. 1 / 3
Themes Homework
 Film: “Faust” 

 

M
 Response paper option #1: Does Faust show any character development or does he remain the same throughout Faust I and Faust II? Explain.

 Response paper option #2: Do you agree with the way Faust II ends? Do you think justice is served? Why (not)? Justify your answers with concrete arguments based on the text.
 

W
 HAND IN MID-TERM EXAM
 

 Questions? E-mail me


Week 12: Nov. 8 / 10
Themes Homework
 Heinrich Heine: “Doktor Faustus: 
                         Eine Tanzballade” 
 Faust in the 20th-century 
 Oswald Spengler 
  
M
 Read Heine’s Der Doktor Faust AND the letters Heine wrote about it.
 German:  Der Doktor Faust (Reclam-Heft), pp. 11-33
   Heine’s letters, pp. 5-9 and especially pp. 37-68.
 English: Doktor Faust (on reserve in course binder), pp. 41-64.
   Heine’s letters, pp. 9-12 and especially pp. 13-39

 Response paper: What is Heine’s attitude toward Goethe’s Faust? What does he see as positive and what does he criticize? What are his reasons? What did he do differently in his own version of the Faust material to remedy the faults he saw in Goethe’s work?
 

W
 

 Questions? E-mail me


Week 13: Nov. 15 / 17
Themes Homework
 Thomas Mann: Doktor Faustus        
                                   
M
 Read in Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus Chapters I-IV, VII-X.

 Response paper, option #1: Focussing especially on Chapters I-IV: Describe Adrian Leverkühn. What is he like? What influence do his parents have on his character and development? How does he relate as a child to others his age?

 Response paper, option #2: Focussing especially on Chapters VII-X: Describe Adrian Leverkühn’s relationship to music and how it develops.

 Response paper, option #3: What Faustian elements do you detect in the novel so far? How does Thomas Mann adapt these elements for his own purposes? What aspects of the Faust material remain the same? What changes?

Also: prepare by next Wednesday a brief statement of intent regarding your final project!
 

W
 Read in Mann’s Doktor Faustus Chapters XII (1st paragraph), XIII, XV- XVII, XIX, XXIII-XXV.

 Continue tracing elements of the Faustian in Mann’s novel. How does he adapt the tradition and weave elements from it into his own Faust tale?

 Who is Esmerelda? Under what circumstances does Adrian meet her? What role does she play for him?

 Response paper: Describe the terms and nature of the pact (Chapter XXV). What events lead up to it? What elements of the pact derive from the Faust tradition prior to Mann? What is new in Mann’s rendition of the pact scene? 
 

 Questions? E-mail me



 
November 22 - 26
THANKSGIVING BREAK
no classes

 
 

Week 14: Nov. 29 / Dec. 1
Themes Homework
 Thomas Mann: Doktor Faustus
                                      
 
 

 

M
 Read in Mann’s Doktor Faustus Chapters XXVI-XXIX, XXXII-XXXIV (all 3 parts).

Response paper: What subtextual (and sometimes more overt) commentary on the times--that is, both the time in which the story takes place (post-WWI) and the time in which Zeitblom is telling the story (WWII)--emerges in the narrative? Give examples.

How are Adrian’s life and development related to larger events in Germany?
 

W
Read in Mann’s Doktor Faustus Chapters XXXV-Epilogue.

Response paper, option #1: Describe Adrian’s relationship to music. What is the meaning of Adrian’s “Lamentation of Doctor Faustus”?

Response paper, option #2: What does Thomas Mann want to say with his novel? In what ways does the Faust motif lend itself to his message? What part(s) of the traditon does he use and what does he adapt from tradition to get his point across?

What is Rudi Schwerdtfeger’s relationship to Adrian? How are they similar?

 

 Questions? E-mail me


Week 15: Dec. 6 / 8
Themes Homework
Film:  “Mephisto”  
Synthesis and Review 
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FINAL PROJECT PRESENTATIONS:
Friday, December 17th, 12:00-1:50, Taylor 105
 

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