Faust Questions and Answers
by Johann Goethe

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In Goethe's  Part I of Faust, "Prologue in Heaven," what is the outcome of the discussion between Mephistopheles and God?

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In Goethe's Faust, Part I, the outcome of the conversation between God and Mephistopheles is a wager. Mephistopheles presents himself in heaven before God and proceeds to complain about the state of humankind on Earth, as he always does, saying that humankind is so bad that he has given up plaguing them.

In a Biblical allusion to the Book of Job, God responds by bringing Mephistopheles attention to Faust, with whom Mephistopheles is familiar, describing Faust's overreaching efforts at attaining understanding. Mephistopheles dares to wager with God that although Faust may be God servant (believer), Mephistopheles could lead him down the path of earthly pleasures to ruin and damnation, if God will grant permission to thus tempt him.

God agrees to the wager saying that let Mephistopheles do what he will, Faust will in the end recognize virtue and right. If Faust does not in the end still cling to virtue, then Mephistopheles wins the wager and Faust is dammed.

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