Faust Questions and Answers
by Johann Goethe

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Please explain why Faust became a Romantic Hero in Faust by Goethe.

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Thanh Munoz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Goethe's position in the literary world is analogous to that of his contemporary and friend Beethoven, who was in the realm of music. Both men were the dominant artistic figures of their period whose art partook of both classical and Romantic elements, and both were declared (correctly) as the great geniuses of the age by the younger generation who fully embraced Romanticism.

Faust is a drama in which many philosophical and aesthetic meanings can be discovered—even existentialism. What appealed to the Romantics were Faust's traits of being a rebel and a searcher, a man who senses an insufficiency and an incompleteness at the bottom of life. This attitude was a reaction against both religion and the secular optimism of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, the Age of Reason.

Faust's quest is an irrational one. The rejection of reason, and the emphasis placed on the supernatural in the drama, are the essence of Romanticism. Faust's dream is to be able to say to "the moment," "Linger, you...

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