What are Goethe's aims and goals in Part 2—what is he trying to achieve in the selections presented here in Faust?

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Goethe's Faust, Part Two, is broken down into five separate acts. His goals in several sections overlap with things he has tried to accomplish in an earlier section.

In Act One of Part Two, after having his spirit revitalized by Ariel, Faust is not interested in physical pleasure. He decides to travel the world to see what else he might find. He meets an Emperor in this section who asks Faust to summon Helen and Paris (of the Trojan War) to be seen by the Emperor. Faust agrees, but in doing so, he finds himself drawn to Helen, said to be one of the most beautiful women in the world. He enters the vision and tries to win Helen, but Paris stops him, the vision explodes, and Mephisto carries off Faust's unconscious body.

In Act Two of Part Two, Mephistopheles takes Faust and friends to Classical Walpurgis Night,

Homunculus:
Even now, thinks, quick as light,
It’s Classical Walpurgis Night: (6940-41)

which is very different from Walpurgis Night of Part I, which is the celebration of the witches' Sabbath.

In Germany, Walpurgisnacht, the night from 30 April to 1 May, is the night when witches are reputed to hold a large celebration on the Brocken and await the arrival of spring.

Walpurgis Night (in German folklore) the night of 30 April (May Day's eve), when witches meet on the Brocken mountain and hold revels with their gods..."

There are many things Faust sees this night, including the Sphinxes and Chiron who help him find Helen since has not given up his search for her. Chiron takes Faust to Manto who takes Faust down the "dark path" to the Underworld to liberate Helen:

Manto
I like the ones who want impossible things.
(Chiron is already far off.)
Use your chance better! Quick! Be sure!
(They descend.) (7489, 7494)

The next scenes find Faust and Mephistopheles in Sparta, trying to rescue captured Trojan women, among them, the liberated Helen. Mephisto tells them that a leader ("chieftain") in the land can protect them, so they go to Faust's castle. They arrive and Faust comforts them the best he can, but soon Menelaus (Helen's husband) and his army appear, and Faust and Helen escape to live as man and wife.

Helen and Faust have a son, Euphorion.

Their son is the combination of the Classical and Romantic, and he seeks to gain knowledge and experience beyond his years. He is warned of the dangers, but casts himself off a cliff to his death.

At Euphorion's death, Helen must leave to return to the Underworld because Euphorion is calling to her. Faust is devastated. So he decides that he wants to start a campaign to take on nature and bring back land the sea has taken away. However, the Emperor arrives, needing help in winning a war. Faust helps and, for his efforts, he is given his own ship.

With the final section of Part II, Act V, Faust is determined to get the land back from the sea. In order to complete his work, he needs to free a section of land from an old couple who are peasants; he asks if they will sell the land to him. They refuse, so he asks Mephistos to "evict" the old couple and transport them to a new home selected for them. However, when Mephistos does so, he not only kills the , but burns the cottage to the ground. For this, Faust feels an overwhelming sense of responsibility, and he begins to do penance to atone for his part in this tragedy.

Several entities visit Faust: the last is Care. No matter what Faust tries to do to reinstate the land, Care says man will not be satisifed, and he blinds Faust, but Faust has a vision that one day people will find a great deal of peace there, on the reclaimed land.

Faust dies, but God and the angels remove him to Heaven before Mephisto and his demons can detain him, so losing him, and Faust is saved.

These are Faust's major goals in Part II.

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