Faust Questions and Answers
by Johann Goethe

Start Your Free Trial

In Goethe's Faust, why does God allow Mephistopheles to tempt Faust?

Expert Answers info

booboosmoosh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2003

write4,119 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In Goethe's Faust, in the "Prologue in Heaven," the Lord is in heaven, gathered with his heavenly host. Included among those there are the angels, Raphael, Gabriel and Michael; Mephistopheles is also present.

Each of the angels praises The Lord's creation, including the sun, the oceans and even the power of thunder and lightning storms. Since the primal (first) day of the world, all of The Lord's good works are as glorious and beautiful as they were on that first day.

Mephistopheles (Mephisto), claims that he has no words of praise for the sun or the ocean. He complains, instead, that since mankind saw the first glimmer of heaven in the knowledge they received in the Garden of Eden, they have been miserable.

You’ll get no word of suns and worlds from me.

How men torment themselves is all I see.

The little god of Earth sticks to the same old way,

And is as strange as on that very first day.

He might appreciate life a little more: he might,

If you hadn’t lent him a gleam of Heavenly light:


(The entire section contains 574 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial