Johann von Goethe Wolfgang Criticism: Faust - Essay

Frederick Burwick (essay date July-December 1988)

(Drama Criticism)

SOURCE: Burwick, Frederick. “Stage Illusion and the Stage Designs of Goethe and Hugo.” Word & Image 4, nos. 3-4 (July-December 1988): 692-718.

[In the following essay, Burwick examines Goethe's stage designs for Faust in order to trace his concern with “poetic imagination” and “mimetic reality.”]

The entire history of the drama could be studied in terms of the opposition of two basic elements: spectacle and mime. Certainly there have been periods in history when one or the other held dominance. Shakespeare's Globe, we know, provided only a naked stage with the barest minimum of props. The gimmicks of stagecraft, which began to dominate the...

(The entire section is 10478 words.)

F. J. Lamport (essay date April 1999)

(Drama Criticism)

SOURCE: Lamport, F. J. “Goethe's Faust: A Cautionary Tale?” Forum for Modern Language Studies 35, no. 2 (April 1999): 193-206.

[In the following essay, Lamport investigates the role of guilt and redemption in Faust.]

Goethe's Faust being what it is, the life's work of Germany's greatest poet, and German literary criticism being what it is, intimately bound up with the catastrophic “Sonderweg” of German history over the past two centuries, it was inevitable that Faust criticism should have become highly politicised. The history of Faustian interpretation has indeed been, as Hans Schwerte called it, “ein Kapitel deutscher...

(The entire section is 7160 words.)