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Course Hero, "Faust (Parts 1 and 2) Study Guide," July 20, 2017, accessed September 23, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Faust-Parts-1-and-2/.

Faust (Parts 1 and 2) | Quotes

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1.

While still man strives, still he must err.


Lord, Part 1, Introduction

When Mephistopheles approaches the Lord and bets he can turn Faust to the dark side, the Lord makes it clear he understands that humans will make mistakes. What matters to him is that they keep trying to achieve good things. In the end, it is Faust's constant striving that will be his redemption.

2.

Two souls live in me, alas,/Irreconcilable with one another.


Faust, Part 1, Scene 2

Faust is caught between many opposites, such as his love of scholarship and his love of nature, his lust for knowledge and his lust for experience, word, and deed. This creates a dissatisfaction that Mephistopheles will exploit.

3.

In the beginning was the Deed!


Faust, Part 1, Scene 3

Faust considers the opening line of John's Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word." He's not happy with that translation of the Greek word logos. He finds he has lived too much in his books, that is, in words. He feels he should be doing and experiencing things. He thinks the correct translation of logos is deed, although he continues to try to refine the ultimate meaning all his days.

4.

Stop making love to your misery,/It eats away at you like a vulture!


Mephistopheles, Part 1, Scene 4

Mephistopheles returns to visit Faust in his study, and Faust is once again complaining nonstop about how dissatisfied he is. Mephistopheles exhorts Faust to stop feeling so sorry for himself and start living. Faust doesn't believe he can ever be satisfied, and Mephistopheles challenges him to "throw in with me." He will be his servant to help him live. And in the end, they agree to a hellish contract.

5.

Let her fate fall on me, too, crushingly,/And both together perish, her and me!


Faust, Part 1, Scene 14

Faust gives in to Mephistopheles's tempting and agrees to consummate his relationship with Gretchen. He knows that this may mean he becomes satisfied, which would mean his own death and eternal enslavement to the devil. He also knows it would be the end of Gretchen's innocent purity and risk the eternal damnation of her soul as well.

6.

A prisoner! In misery, irredeemable misery! Delivered up to evil spirits and the stony-hearted justice of mankind!


Faust, Part 1, Scene 23

After the Walpurgis Night celebrations, Faust learns that Gretchen has been sentenced to death for murdering their baby. She is in prison and is due to be executed in the morning. He realizes that being in prison is not the only source of her misery. Her conscience ("evil spirits") will be plaguing her for the terrible sin of having killed her child. And, of course, the courts have condemned her to death for the infanticide as well—a sentence she will ultimately embrace.

7.

Who's that rising up out of the ground?/It's him, him, oh drive him away!


Gretchen, Part 1, Scene 25

Faust has come to rescue Gretchen from prison, but at first she doesn't recognize him, and even once she does, Gretchen is reluctant to leave. Finally, Mephistopheles comes to the door to say there's no time to waste. As soon as she sees him, Gretchen recognizes him clearly as the devil and that he wants to claim her soul. This leads to her desperate prayer to God to save her and her final redemption.

8.

Mothers! That word's like a blow!/Why am I so affected by it?


Faust, Part 2, Act 1, Scene 5

Although Ariel had Faust bathed in the waters of the Lethe and he can no longer remember Gretchen, he still feels uneasy when he hears the word mother. Mephistopheles is quick to change the subject when Faust gets uneasy.

9.

There's nothing wise and nothing silly/Wasn't thought of long ago.


Mephistopheles, Part 2, Act 2, Scene 1

The young student Mephistopheles counseled in Part 1 returns in Part 2, having received his bachelor's degree. Now he is a know-it-all who thinks the old know nothing and the young know everything. But Mephistopheles knows that what the young man thinks and feels has all been thought and felt before. After all, given time, all the young grow old. It's a cycle that repeats endlessly.

10.

Body and soul ... fit so well together/... yet they are eternally in contention.


Wagner, Part 2, Act 2, Scene 2

Through alchemy Wagner has created life in a test tube. Now he wants the little man to explain why the human body and soul always seem to be pulling in different directions. This is the problem that constantly tortures Faust and brought about Gretchen's downfall. But soon readers learn this is not a problem for Homunculus, who favors classical lightheartedness.

11.

All's as the gods dispose ... let men think well or ill/of it.


Helen, Part 2, Act 3, Scene 1

Having run off and left her husband, Menelaus, the king of Sparta, to be with Paris in Troy, Helen is justifiably concerned about her fate when Menelaus brings her home again. But she recognizes she is also helpless. She knows her fate is not up to her husband alone. It is actually the gods who will finally decide if she lives or dies.

12.

Persephone, hear! Receive my boy and me.


Helen, Part 2, Act 3, Scene 3

When Euphorion dies, Helen tells Faust their son was what kept her alive. She asks the queen of the underworld to receive them both. Faust holds her until she fades away.

13.

Your chance is now—Faust, seize it!


Mephistopheles, Part 2, Act 4, Scene 1

Faust has just outlined his plan to reclaim land from the sea when the drums of war are heard in the distance. Mephistopheles, realizing he has just learned what will really make Faust content, recognizes that war will give Faust the opportunity to rise in the Emperor's esteem and make his dream a reality. When that happens, Mephistopheles will win their wager.

14.

How it haunts me/Knowing what I possess is/Less than all.


Faust, Part 2, Act 5, Scene 2

Faust has realized his dream of reclaiming a kingdom from the sea. But he doesn't own all the land. An old couple who used to live on the shore still own their cabin, a chapel, and a linden grove. This makes him furious, and he burns their cabin with them in it to achieve his final goal, leading to his death and, Mephistopheles believes, his damnation.

15.

It was no small thing, the childish folly/That got the better of me.


Mephistopheles, Part 2, Act 5, Scene 4

After Faust's spirit has been taken by the angels, Mephistopheles realizes that love is a much greater power than he thought. It was the power of love that vanquished the demons he'd called to help him and that overcame him as well. In the final scene, it will be love that brings Gretchen and Faust together again.

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