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Course Hero, "Faust (Parts 1 and 2) Study Guide," July 20, 2017, accessed June 21, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Faust-Parts-1-and-2/.

Faust (Parts 1 and 2) | Section Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • Before

    Mephistopheles bets the Lord he can win Faust's soul.

    Part 1, Introduction
  • One night

    Faust is bored with his life as a scholar and contemplates suicide.

    Part 1, Scene 1
  • A day or two later

    Faust and Mephistopheles sign a contract for Faust's soul.

    Part 1, Scene 4
  • Soon afterward

    Mephistopheles has a witch make Faust a youth potion.

    Part 1, Scene 6
  • Sometime later

    Faust and Gretchen meet and fall in love.

    Part 1, Scene 12
  • A few days later

    Gretchen agrees to sleep with Faust and soon gets pregnant.

    Part 1, Scene 16
  • A few months later

    Valentine attacks Faust for ruining his sister; Faust kills him and must flee.

    Part 1, Scene 19
  • After Walpurgis Night

    Faust learns Gretchen will be hanged for infanticide and rushes to rescue her from prison.

    Part 1, Scene 23
  • Before dawn

    Gretchen refuses to go with Faust and Mephistopheles; she pleads with God for forgiveness and is forgiven.

    Part 1, Scene 25
  • Immediately afterward

    While Faust sleeps, spirits take away his memory of Gretchen; he wakes refreshed and happy.

    Part 2, Act 1, Scene 1
  • A few days later

    The Emperor has Faust take Helen of Troy from the underworld for the court's entertainment.

    Part 2, Act 1, Scene 5
  • That evening

    When Faust sees Helen, he falls in love at first sight, tries to rescue her from Paris, and swoons.

    Part 2, Act 1, Scene 7
  • The next day

    Unable to wake Faust himself, Mephistopheles takes him to Wagner, who has just created Homunculus.

    Part 2, Act 2, Scene 2
  • Immediately afterward

    Homunculus takes Faust to classical Greece; Faust wakes up and goes looking for Helen.

    Part 2, Act 2, Scene 3
  • Sometime later

    Mephistopheles takes Helen to Faust's castle to escape Menelaus; Helen falls in love with Faust.

    Part 2, Act 3, Scene 2
  • Next

    Faust and Helen marry and have a son, who dies trying to fly; Helen returns to the underworld.

    Part 2, Act 3, Scene 3
  • Immediately afterward

    Faust and Mephistopheles win a war for the Emperor, who gives Faust his empire's shoreline as a reward.

    Part 2, Act 4, Scene 2
  • Years later

    Faust has pushed back the sea and created a prosperous country of his own.

    Part 2, Act 5, Scene 1
  • One morning

    Faust realizes that his reclamation work is almost done; he feels fulfillment and dies.

    Part 2, Act 5, Scene 5
  • Immediately afterward

    Mephistopheles takes Faust's soul to Hell, but some young angels and Gretchen save Faust's soul.

    Part 2, Act 5, Scene 6

Section Summaries Chart

Section Summary
Part 1, Introduction The speaker addresses the "ghosts" of his youth who have returned to him, making his heart beat "with a youth's excite... Read More
Part 1, Scenes 1–2 As the poetic drama actually begins, Faust is sitting in his book-lined study bemoaning his situation. He has plenty o... Read More
Part 1, Scenes 3–4 Faust, feeling in good spirits, brings the dog to his study. But soon he is feeling down again and opens the New Testa... Read More
Part 1, Scenes 5–6 A group of students—Frosch, Brander, Siebel, and Altmayer—are drinking, singing, and complaining about their love live... Read More
Part 1, Scenes 7–13 In a very different and less fanstastical setting, Faust, apparently out for a walk, sees Gretchen passing and offers ... Read More
Part 1, Scenes 14–20 Alone in a cave, Faust thanks the Spirit of the Earth for giving him a new appreciation of the wonders of nature. He a... Read More
Part 1, Scenes 21–22 In another change of setting, Faust and Mephistopheles are walking in the Harz Mountains, heading for Mount Brocken, t... Read More
Part 1, Scenes 23–25 Back to the main action, Faust has heard what has become of Gretchen in his absence: she has been convicted of murder ... Read More
Part 2, Act 1, Scenes 1–3 Faust is sleeping restlessly in a field at twilight. Ariel and a group of nature spirits take his troubled memories aw... Read More
Part 2, Act 1, Scenes 4–5 Faust and Mephistopheles are chatting with the Emperor, who's very pleased with Faust's abilities. The Steward appears... Read More
Part 2, Act 1, Scenes 6–7 The Chamberlain and the Steward are pressuring Mephistopheles to produce Helen. He explains his "colleague" is off wor... Read More
Part 2, Act 2, Scenes 1–3 Mephistopheles has brought Faust back to his old study, where Faust is passed out on the bed "trussed in bonds of love... Read More
Part 2, Act 3, Scenes 1–3 Helen has just returned to Sparta after the Trojan War, attended by her servants—the Chorus of Trojan women, led by Pa... Read More
Part 2, Act 4, Scenes 1–3 The cloud deposits Faust on a mountain. As he ponders the view, Mephistopheles magically joins him. The two immediatel... Read More
Part 2, Act 5, Scenes 1–2 At this point a traveler comes to visit an old couple, Baucis and Philemon, who once saved him and his possessions aft... Read More
Part 2, Act 5, Scenes 3–4 Lynceus is on watch, enjoying the beauty of the night, when he sees the old couple's cottage catch on fire. Soon the c... Read More
Part 2, Act 5, Scenes 5–7 Mephistopheles is overseeing a team of lemurs (zombielike creatures) digging a grave. Faust joins them, happy to hear ... Read More
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