“Niemand ist mehr Sklave, als der sich für frei hält, ohne es zu sein.

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Around in the 1808 the completed version of this play was printed in German, considered perhaps the greatest piece in German Literature, certainly I’ve the read English translated version.

Why did I pick up such an old play to start on new years?? Mostly because I’ve realized my main purpose of writing about reading is being shoved aside coz of no proper planning, so I’ve decided I will take on reading from the beginning, as far beginning as I can go in GoodReads.

I’ve searched the top books of the century and could go as far as 1800s and this is the first book I found and got to reading. I have no experience of reading plays, I am a complete prose girl. This is a total new perspective for me to grasp and I am sure I’ve grasped it wrong in a lot of situations. I did get a good idea of what has happened in every scene I read and here is my experience of reading:

Overall the review of this would be a good read, I know there are people who’d say it’s the most self revealing experience to read this, but I think it’s a not a new idea but I get that it would be a fresh idea back then.

Lead me where some Heavenly silence glasses

— Poet

Faust is a scholar and is highly successful, which is bound to lead you to loneliness and depression, which indirectly leads him in search of further knowledge and magic maybe. Eventually turning him towards the Evil side. From here on the story is kinda regular, he meets the Evil named Mephistopheles who makes him a sign deal to sell his soul, in which he would be working for Faust for a few years and then Faust’s soul will be the Devils.

You meet by accident; you feel, you stay

— Merry Andrew

After a few years of making the Devil do whatever he wishes for, Faust sees a woman named Gretchen, for whom he instantly takes a liking. He with the help of the Devil makes her fall in love with him, she then bears his child and gets insulted in the society when she drowns her illegitimate child. The story ends on the note where Faust tries to save Gretchen from the prison, coz she was being executed for murder of her child, Faust tries escaping her from the prison but she refuses to take freedom. Leaving no choice Faust let goes of her and is taken to hell by  Mephistopheles, while Gretchen because of her strong belief in God and her pure innocence is saved and send to heaven.

A mind once formed, is never suited after; one yet in growth will ever be grateful

— Merry Andrew

Now apart from my struggle of spelling the Devils name, I had quite a bit trouble getting to the deep  hidden meaning at the end. There are a few other characters like Gretchen’s brother who dies at the hands of Faust and Mephistopheles in a duel and Gretchen’s neighbor whose husband has died and she seems relieved when Mephistopheles delivers the message, are the one’s I can remember.

What’s left undone today; To-morrow will not do

— Manager

At the end there is a wedding of Oberon and Titania, which has no connection to the story of Faust, took me a while to understand.

The dearest child of Faith is Miracle

     — Faust

The book is real good to read, kinda compelling to hold on to it till the end. Now I couldn’t enjoy it as continuous read coz it was a work for the brain as well as heart. But I think it’s really enjoyable. The transition of Faust from a headstrong scholar to an obsessed lover is real smooth. The snarky comments and sarcastic lines of Mephistopheles keep you gritted. There is no surprise in saying that I always take a liking to the villain more than the hero. 

Man despises what he never comprehends

— Faust

There is something about the Villains that attracts me more than a hero. The way he compels Faust to sign the bond even though he isn’t sure is real clever.

Death is desired, and Life a thing unblest!


Even though he is a negative protagonist, he speaks of life truth that makes you wanna re-think issues. At times it feels better to just jump on to the Devils train, but as much compelling as that is, it is though clear in the story that staying on the good is real important.

I f you but in yourself confide; At once confide all others in you

— Mephistopheles

Would I read this again?? May be yes!! But I’d pick a few scenes rather than reading it as a whole.

Would I recommend this read?? Yes!! for people who have patient and time, wouldn’t make a quick read but will definitely be a good impact.

This being my first ever review post I promise to get better at this. Have a nice day/night everyone


Grace Anne


One thought on “Goethe’s Faust

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