This week I had to read Goethe‘s Faust for my Literature seminar.
Dr. Faust sold his soul to the Devil in order to obtain the answer to the question that the human being has been making throughout his whole existence: what is the purpose of living. He had studied his entire life Philosophy, Religion, Medicine but on the summit of his career he realized that all that knowledge was totally useless and the myriad of books he had read wouldn´t let him get to the threshold of the truth.
Spending the rest of his lifetime incarcerated into the gaol that was his gloomy study was not at all satisfying. The urge to know wouldn´t let him rest. Ergo he acceded to sell to the Devil the most precious possession a man has: his soul.
Isn´t it pathetic to condemn yourself to the abyss of Hades just for knowledge? Albeit, is it any better to live doomed to wander without any sense the Earth having no certainty of being admitted to Heaven afterwards?
I think that Goethe intended to show us the peculiarity of the human being, that ignores the evident answer and goes over more intricate paths to get to the same conclusion. In the early years of our life we all learn the simplest rules as not to lie, be good with each other, etc, etc…This is the basis of everything. But somehow we forget it as the years pass by. Our minds get occupied with money, success, fame, power…The system itself is quite tricky. We belong to the society, we cannot picture ourselves out of this vicious circle. How not to care for money, when everybody else has it? How not to care for success when it gives you respect and love? How not to care for fame if it makes you seem better than everybody else? How not to pursue the idea of power when it gives you all the aforementioned?
Goethe introduced the character of Margarita as a key, as an answer that Faust longed so much to obtain. He wouldn´t find it in the books he read but discovered it in the simplicity of this young creature. She knew nothing about Philosophy yet she knew more about life itself. She knew about love, about forgiveness, about mercifulness.
Due to this book I have learned a significant lesson: simplicity, love, selflessness and courage will always be stronger than the ruses of the wicked.
´´I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures´´.(Lao Tzu)
Faust or Faustus?
question ... asking, not making.
purpose of life, not of living.
but on the summit - at the peak
to the threshold - even to the threshold
into the gaol - in the gaol
into the gaol that was his gloomy study -> in the gloomy study that had become his gaol
Ergo - is Latin, Ergo so is english
to wander without any sense the Earth -> to wander without any sense the Earth senselessly
evident answer and goes over - obvious answer, and instead takes
rules as not to lie -> rules such as not to lie
to the society -> to the society
care for money -> care about money
ourselves out of this vicious circle -> how to get ourselves out of this vicious circle
mercifulness -> mercy
This is not simple English - did you read Dr Faustus in English?
Have you finished reading The Faust? 你今天应该是回家了吧? Have a nice trip and enjoy time with your family.
simplicity, patience, compassion.thank you
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