In Goethe's Faust, according to Mephistopheles, what is Faust like? Choose one from the options listed below.According to Mephistopheles Faust is: 1. wiser than most humans.2. a fool who doesn't...

In Goethe's Faust, according to Mephistopheles, what is Faust like? Choose one from the options listed below.

According to Mephistopheles Faust is:

1. wiser than most humans.
2. a fool who doesn't serve God.
3. a man who wants to serve men.
4. a teacher who leads into evil.

Expert Answers
Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is almost a trick question about Goethe's Faust because Mephistopheles doesn't say anything like any of these options. The best answer to the above is to approximate what Mephistopheles may be supposed to think of Faust based on his profession and accomplishments. In that case, then one would say that Mephistopheles thinks Faust is wiser than most humans, strictly because most humans haven't mastered enough knowledge to summon even a minor minion of Hell as Faust has done. And he surely doesn't think Faust is any of the other three options.

What Mephistopheles actually says about Faust is that he is not as great yet as he thinks he is. In Scene 1 of Act I, Faust is regaling at having inadvertently captured Mephistopheles through the unknown power of the pentagram above his doorway. At first Mephistopheles, the ironically humorous deceiver, goes along with Faust's boasting about his power over Mephistopheles, but then Mephistopheles summons his spirit agents who sing Faust to sleep allowing Mephistopheles to escape. His parting words are, "He’s not yet the man to hold devils fast!" proving that he thinks Faust is not as great as he himself thinks he is.

The other thing he says about Faust in Scene 2 of Act I is that once Faust leaves his academic halls where he has cloistered himself in prolonged study and teaching, he will discover that he is just a man among all the world's other men: "The worst society, you’ll find, will prompt belief, / That you’re a Man among the rest," which is to say that despite all of Faust's great achievements, he's just another mortal who will die and find reward or...Mephistopheles.

Read the study guide:
Faust

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question