Fist I

fist I
fist scene before Auerbachs cellar (Leipzig)

fist. The tragedy first part, fist I a drama of the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, which was published 1808 , is short. It is considered to that as onemost important and usually-quoted works of the German literature. The drama takes up the history doctor of the Faustus often described by other authors and expands it to a mankind parabola.

Fist I became of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the year 1806provisionally terminates. The publication of 1808 1828/29 the revised version in the expenditure of last hand followed. Had preceded 1790 the partial pressure fist. A fragment; the emergence of the text version of the Urfaust in such a way specified (between 1772 and 1775) leaves itselfdo not clarify any longer in detail.

Table of contents


fist I, just as how Fist II, developed over several years and is a cross section by Goethe's lives. Goethe called „fist “„summa summarum “its life. This is expressed in a multiplicity more differently and partly contradictory style directions, contentwise stresses and character interpretations.

Fist I is not a drama of the closed drama form (more), which can be assigned in addition, not perfectly the open drama form. Also it does not correspond to one literature epoch clearly: It points both elements the classical period, to the clearing-up, storm andUrge, and the romance up. Additionally Goethe avails himself of the satire and functions of the Mysterienspiels in some scenes.

The individual scenes possess altogether a rather loose binding to the total action. A rough structural arrangement becomes usually in thatOrganization into scholar tragedy, Gretchentragödie and into framework action made (see below), which however necessarily is not.

contents of

place and time

the place are Germany, among other things Leipzig and that resin. The time is for instance the lifetime historical fist (approx. 1480-1538), thus the turn from the Middle Ages to the modern times.

to Protagonisten

characterisations in more detail see down


  • Marthe, Gretchens neighbour
  • Valentin, Gretchens brother
  • Wagner, Fausts Famulus
  • earth spirit, of fist swore to
  • pupils, is embodiment young fist
  • witch
  • figures of the Walpurgisnacht and the Walpurgisnachtstraums


fist. Can be formally divided for the tragedy first part into two parts: The three Prologe and the actual main action. This usual-proves, accordingly, divided for contents in the scholar tragedy and the Gretchentragödie.


text example

thatPiece possesses three presented introduction, which give a framework to the total action.

Zueignung (1 - 32)

in „the Zueignung “ reports Goethe of the work process of the work and its auto+biographic dimension.

play on the theatre (33 -242)

A theatre manager, a poet and the “merry person” argue about purpose and function of the theatre. The director represents a business, the poet a aufklärerische, the merry person a maintaining intention. Their compromise is the following universal piece, the fist:“In such a way steps out in the close board house the whole circle of the creation, and changes with more bedächtger fast ones of the sky by the world to hell! ”

pro log in the sky (243-353)

of the pro logs in the sky is to the Hiobswette in Old will ajar. God brings the language on fist, and Mephistopheles bets to lead” and its soul win the dissatisfied and verworrenen scientist on “my road sacht. In view of the all knowledgeness and omnipotence of God it can itself however only overan illusory bet, a sample for fist, with their execution God Mephistopheles, which “Schalk” assigns quasi, act.

the tragedy first part

the scholar Heinrich fist

those doubts night (354-807) far of it the realization value of the science,is distant to explain „which the world in the internal one holds together “. It draws the sum of its studies of many years: “And it sees that we cannot know anything!” In order the material-scientific dead end too escaped, he operates magic after the model of the Nostradamus.

Faustslearn-eager and bornierter Famulus Wagner is the type, of the optimistic and fortschrittsgläubigen scientist building on pure book gel honouring SAMness. (It will appear in the second part fist as a test tube Genetiker.)

fist considers itself from despair and in a last desire for trespass beyond the border,the life to take, is held however by ringing the bells to the Ostersonntag from it, less by the Christian message, than by the memory to lucky child days.

before the gate (808-1177)

from the isolation of the study stepsFist on the next day with Wagner into the contrasting springful nature, which serves the promenierenden people for the social appearance. In the idyl of the Osterspaziergänger fist Wagner reveals its sinnlichen and mental thirst, its internal tearing upness between love and science: „TwoSouls live, oh! in my chest, which wants itself to separate one from the other one: the one adheres in crude dear desire to the world with clasping organs; the andre lifts itself by force from the smell to the Gefilden of high ancestors. “(1112ff.)Strange Pudel fist and Wagner seem to follow, finally call fist it and carry it forward.

study (1178-2337) the devil pact

fist translates at the beginning of the Johannesevangeliums, whereby it does heavily, the sense of the GreekTo seize word Logos; he suggests successively the translations word, sense and Kraft, translates however finally: “At the beginning was the act. ”

Meanwhile the approached Pudel jerky and emerges, sworn to by fist with spells, as the devil Mephisto,introduces itself as: „some of those Kraft, those always the bad wants and always property creates “and as „spirit, that always answered in the negative “.

From Fausts discontent with its terrestrial life develops the pact: Mephisto commits itself, fistto serve in the this life to meet to it all desires and grant deepest insights; fist commits itself to serve Mephisto in the the other world to thus surrender to the devil its soul. Due will is the return if fist by MephistosAnd, thus fist attains services final peace and satisfaction: “I calmed down per me on a putrid bed to put, then it is directly done around me! If you can deceive me flattering ever that I may myself please, you can do mewith benefit would amount to - its for me the last day! (...) I to instants will say: Stay nevertheless! you are so beautiful! Then you may strike me in chains, then I want to go gladly at the basis! “

(Pupil scene)

the following scenesshow the travel by the “small” and the “large” world. They confirm, what for fist in over-estimation of its power was clear: It cannot lose the bet, because it will not never be content and therefore also the “highest instant”will arrive. Mephisto seems not to be able to keep the pact, because he wants not to meet its desires to fist, but to divert him with “its world”. It never provides fist what it wants actually; always tries he, fist with superficial benefitsto betören and to involve it in further consequence into heavy debt.

Drinking students, for who Mephisto in-hunts by Weinzaubereien fear, are to maintain fist as first station of the world journey in the scene „Auerbachs cellar “, but this is only bored.Mephisto failed with its first seduction attempt, fist expects other one from it.

witch kitchen (2338-2604) fist tapers

the Gretchentragödie begins. Fist is tapered by switching Mephistos in a witch room by the charm drink of a witch. Becomes already beforeit by a dream woman (Helena), who it in the charm mirror sees, in spell struck and dear-madly made. This dream woman who he seen, is Helena from the Trojasage and in fist II still another important role will take. During itself before thatThe animals specify, behave scene of the witch kitchen humans such as animals here like humans. The drink is “soon Helenen in each woman” (2604) see to let it and affects fist a projection Helenas on each woman to make.

Work on []

Road, evening, walk (2605-2865) Gretchen

as fist in a small city on the road Margarete sees, requires it of Mephisto that it it “the Dirne create” (2619) is. Mephisto mentions difficulty regarding the unspoiledness Gretchens. As fistwith Mephisto in Gretchens room is, overcomes fist a “accumulation” by exaggeration in the representation Gretchens, since it regards it. Mephisto places a decoration small box in Gretchens cabinet, which wakes its curiosity; the girl brings the box from naive motivesand dominant factors Über-Ich to the nut/mother, that hands the small box again to the minister over. The devil is to procure now a new one, so that fist comes to success.

the neighbour house, road (Mrs. Marthe

Schwerdtlein the new shows 2865-3072) GretchenDecoration and this guesses it to carry it here with it secretly.

Mephisto brings the message, her missing person man to Mrs. Marthe died. Under the pretext to be able to teach a second witness it agrees with Marthe a meeting in the garden,with also the Gretchen to be present is.

Fist is not ready in the following scene road however first to lie. Only by Mephistos sent Rhetorik (Mephisto points out fist that even it needed a seduction as a devil for such longeras fist. As Mephisto points doubts out, does he stimulate fist however knowingly still more to entice Gretchen) he so far on Gretchen is steered (drive-steered or already somewhat falls in love?)that he finally consents to lie, in order to see it.

garden FF. (3073-3835) The Gretchenfrage

with the meeting hofiert Mephisto ironically Marthe and has all trouble to reject their unverhüllten requests. Gretchen confesses its love , it to fist feels however instinktiv that its companion (Mephisto) possesses insincere motives.

Gretchen asks the famous Gretchenfrage to fist: „Now say, how you have' s with the religion? “(3415) this is for the character picture fist a very elementary question. Gretchen would like to know on the one hand its attitude about church (to at that timeTime were socially outstanding connections from women to men and the sexual contact only after a marriage ceremony) and on the other hand as much them thereby on him in the future to count can. Fist evades, over on the one hand no confession makesto have and on the other hand not commit themselves. It wants to leave into its room, but has it fear of their nut/mother later to fist. Fist gives her for her nut/mother a Fläschchen with a sleep drunkenness (3511), the disaster takes theirRun, because Gretchen give an overdose sleep drunkenness to its nut/mother, so that it deceases to it. In the following scenes Gretchen has first Vorahnungen that she is more schwanger. The discussion at the well with their neighbour over a single nut/mother, confirms this suspicion. Andwhen it experiences, how bad the social position of such a woman is, it comes into distress and gets it with the fear to do. The soldier Valentin, Gretchens brother, experiences from the absence ride of his sister. Mephisto fences with it, lähmt itthe hand and ensures for the fact that Valentin is killed by fist. The dying verflucht Gretchen as „Metze “(Hure).

Gretchen notices that she is more schwanger, and in the cathedral scene she experiences the vision of the recent court during a fair.

Walpurgisnacht FF. (3836-4404)

See also Walpurgisnachtstraum.

Mephisto pulls fist in the third station of the seduction of the level of the love on a sexual sinnliche level, in order to divert it from Gretchens fate.

An old people faith means thatitself at the night of 30. April on the 1. May on breaking into in the resin mountains the witches to a celebration with the devil meet. The celebration is a ritual celebration of the bad one and Dämoni and symbolizes Zügellosigkeit and fertility(also in nature).

Mephisto, here as Junker volume and with pferdefuss arising, lures fist into the arms of a young naked witch, but this appears „a pale, beautiful child “, who resembles „the good Gretchen “. Fist would like to Gretchen back, there itin itself the debt feels Gretchen to have alone left.

Gretchen drowned the newborn child in its despair, was condemned for it to death and expects their execution. Fist feels its culpable failure and makes Mephisto reproaching,however it points out it that fist fell Gretchen into spoiling: „Who was' s, which fell it into spoiling? I or you? “(Gloomy day, V. 55f) Also Mephisto makes clear, who plotted the bet: „We penetrated ourselvesyou up, or you you us? “(Gloomy day, V. 40f) A bad spirit accuses it of of its misdemeanours.

the Walpurgisnachtstraum

of the Walpurgisnachtstraum was differently taken up in review history. While the one of a bare plaything of Goethe talk, is it for the others a proof of the immense horizon of the poet. Amusingly always is the nesting: Fist and Mephisto regard the Intermezzo as play, God regard this play, the persons on the theatre pursue this representation, „the poetpoet poet “pursued itsWork and finally is there still the reader, that gives whole attention…

dungeon (4405-4615) Gretchens release

fist penetrates Mephisto into the dungeon, for it the key provided and the guard to sleep put.

Gretchen recognizes fist at firstnot and regards it even as its Henker. This has a symbolic character, because in principle fist is responsible for Gretchens suffering, which Gretchen becomes conscious only now - in a confused condition -. It is broken, to thatInsanity close and looks for the debt in itself. Fist wants to persuade it to the escape, but it refuses, because it believes the fact that fist does not love it any longer purged (and to the devil), her only more from debt feeling to save wants. Gretchenretained so for itself the pure love. When she sees Mephisto, she frightens and is recommended to God: „Court of God! To you I handed yourself over! “. Mephisto pushes fist from the prison with the words: „You is arranged “. Those Release Gretchens proves however in the following words: „is saved “.


with the tendency and the intention to prove fundamental conditions of the people unity possess all characters in fist of, if it says: „Two souls live, oh! inmy chest “. Also during the further drama process Fausts splittingness often steps to day. Like that it is continuous both the sky and hell, thus Teufli, added and represents the Gegenpart to the Biblical God. This becomes clear among other thingsin „the pro log in the sky “. At the same time it becomes evident that he is subordinated in such a world plan of last end God.

But the role of Mephistopheles extends over more meanings than only these. Over Goethe's anyway very free term of Christianity placesMephisto generally (philosophical) the principle of the denial, the chaos and nothing . Mephistos classification into the construction fist is thus not exclusively in the moral pattern „good - badly “to search.

With a neutral view, that thatone sees, can entire piece and the possible intention of Goethe in a general context Mephisto also as low nature of humans interpret. Without our mental, higher nature we would behave like an animal. However God has us, like in fistin the introduction described to strive into this world skillfully in order. Mephisto becomes in such a way the mainspring of our development, if she is gezügelt and used by the true I, of fist as humans. Therefore Mephisto describes itself also as Kraft, thosethe bad wants, but creates property. Without our animal nature thus no development would be possible, as a rider its horse needs, needs we the body and its impulses, if we it zügeln. But Mephisto is a symbol.

[] If Gretchen/Margarete

work on

the role of the Magarete, in the piece also diminuierend Gretchen mentioned, Goethe classical motives has inferred, in particular the materials „of the pleased girl “ and that of child mörderin, which are to be proven also in other contemporary pieces. As collecting main possessedit besides the process of the material existing Susanna Margaretha Brandt, which was condemned because of child murder to death. It used the old pattern of the condition-spreading love at the same time with the fist Gretchen tragedy.

At the beginning of the piece is their father already for a long timedead and it worries about its health fastened, but nothing the less strict nut/mother. Its older brother, Valentin, is a soldier. Sacrifice and affectionately had worried Gretchen also about its younger sister, who died however.

It is throughFausts interest in it surprises and can by it in spoiling be pulled nevertheless: Their nut/mother kills it inadvertently with a sleep drunkenness, the fist it gave, its brother Valentin, which is at the same time their last Beschützer, by fist is murderedand their illegitimate child drowns it, why it is condemned to death.

references to understand

the piece is nearly complete reimend written and supplies many of the most well-known quotations of the German language. Mephistopheles becomes as schalkhafter intelligent spiritrepresented, which laughs and uses the human vanities.

Basic topic is the conflict of humans between striving for higher one, as it does fist initially, and the Sinnlosigkeit of this striving, as it must recognize fist painful: „Now stand I here Ipoor gates, and are as intelligent, as as before. “ Its whole knowledge appears fist senselessly, there it it does not help to fathom, which holds the world together in the internal one. Its eternal striving for fathoming the creation prevents it from it,the life to enjoy, and it purges to the depression. When it meets the devil (Mephisto), it bets its soul that Mephisto cannot provide satisfaction for it, since he is absolutely safe of the opposite.

„I calmed down per me upa putrid bed put,
then it is directly done around me!
If you can deceive me flattering ever
that I may myself please,
you can do me with benefit amounting to
that are for me the last day!
The bet offer I! “

See also: Johann fist, fist II, Walpurgisnachtstraum, Murnaus “fist - a German people legend “, Gretchenfrage

fist can be interpreted also as deputies for all humans, although he, as also all other characters, is fictitious. It is „a superhuman “and coins/shapes the picture of titanischen humans, since it rejects any joy and all luck blessedness in the bet with Mephisto categorically. At the same time it is a universal genius, who and tore between extreme values (dichotomy - bipolarity). One recognizesduring the whole piece of Fausts ambivalentes behavior in the purchase to love, loyalty, the sympathy for Gretchen and Sexualität, as also to all broader sense experiences. („Tauml´ I from longing to benefit, and in the benefit verschmachte in such a way I after longing. “Fist tooMephisto in the scene forest and cave. This statement is however not chronologically, there it to the sexual contact with Margarethe comes only later.)

the basic understanding of religion and God be based into fist on the thesis that humans striveas long as it lives, however also errs, however by it given the reason right way regains and at the end by the eternal grace of God one releases, if it sees its errors. Gretchen in the dungeon scene is released, because hertheir acts repents, because it acted in each case out of true love and because it results the lay court as agency of the göttlichen court.

The moreover one the entire work pulls the ambivalence through of the terms „Systole “and „Diastole “. The action findsitself in the constant change between „delimitation “and „Entgrenzung “. To discover particularly clearly will this at the figure fist, entgrenzen themselves would like around also the last secrets of the knowledge and to understand the large connections. In order to reach thisit means are quite like swearing to the earth spirit or the planned Suizid. These attempts of the Entgrenzung are painfully niedergeschmettert however for fist (Hohn of the earth spirit) or prevented by the singing of the angels.

This becomes evident also at the scenes,at those fist I acts. At the beginning the Protagonist is in the tightness of its study and visits on its „small “journey ever more extensive areas. The end however closes again in a close, systolic area, the dungeon, in the Gretchenfor its execution waits. Thus the constant change shows up between Systole and Diastole, to which often as only co-operation that, as Goethe expressed, is considered „sponge family “.

important productions

  • 2000 of Ingmar Thilo; with Christian bunting Mueller (fist), Raphaela Zick (Mephisto), Ulrike DOS valley (Margarete), Brigitte Hörrmann (Marthe), max of Friedmann (poet)
  • 2003 by Manfred Gorr; with David Gerlach(Fist), Uta ice old (Mephisto), Johanna Bönninghaus (Gretchen), Christine pure-hard (Marthe), Peter Meyer (Valentin), Stefan Gille (Wagner)
  • 2003 by Wolfgang Gropper at the national theatre Braunschweig; with Götz van Ooyen (fist), Clemens Giebel (Mephistopheles), Nele Ziebarth (Gretchen), Marion Bordat (Marthe), Matthias Schamberger (Valentin),Andreas's bite Meier (Wagner) - resumption season 2005/2006: 27. April 2006
  • 2004 of Wilfried Hammacher at the Goetheanum; Christian Peter (fist), Paul Klarskov (Mephisto)
  • 2004/2005 “fist - the skirt opera” of Rudolf Volz. With Alban Gaya (fist), Falko Illing (Mephisto), Miriam Riemann (Gretchen) see [to 1]
  • 2004 German Schauspielhaus “fist I”, direction: January Bosse, with Edgar Selge (fist), Joachim Meyerhoff (Mephisto), Maja beautiful one (Gretchen)
  • 2004 German theatre Berlin “fist I”, direction: Michael Thalheimer, with Ingo Hülsmann (fist), Sven Lehmann (Mephisto), Regine Carpenter (Gretchen), Henning Vogt (Valentin), Isabel Schosnig (Marthe)


  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Fist - first part, Hamburg read booklets Nr.29, ISBN 3-87291-028-0
    lowest-priced expenditure, with epilog and notes.
  • E. Trunz (Hg.) fist. Munich1998, C.H. Beck, ISBN 3-406-31234-9
    low-priced ones scientifically quotable expenditure, to the entrance suitably.
  • A. Beautiful (Hg.) fist. Frankfurt/Main 1994, German classical author publishing house, ISBN 3-618-60270-7. Also as inexpensive expenditure for paperback available: Frankfurt/Main 2003, island publishing house, ISBN 3-458-34700-3
    To the deepening occupation suitably, points the fist text for the first time in Goethe's original shape (in modernized Orthographie), contains outstanding comment volume.
  • Reclam - universal library No. 1, fist - the tragedy first part, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-15-000001-7
  • fist I as in common-free E-text with the Project good mountain
  • as expenditure for Web freely accessible with DigBib.Org
  • Alfred Raab: Unsä Göte: there fist and nu more Gwärch of the Göte in there Närmbercher mouth place. Nuremberg: Hofmann, 1990, 95 S., ISBN 3-87191-150-X

secondary literature (comments)

  • H. Arene commentto Goethe's fist I. Heidelberg 1982, Carl winter university University of, ISBN 3-533-03184-5
    is considered as one of the scientific standard comments. The conceivablly most detailed line comment on fist I, offers new, founded interpretatorische entrances.
  • A. Beautiful fist. Comments. Contained in: Goethe fist.Frankfurt/Main 1994, German classical author publishing house, ISBN 3-618-60270-7
    likewise a modern comment, which does not take over unreflected old Lehrmeinungen, clearly and concisely.
  • And. Gaier fist seals. Comment I. Contained in: Johann Wolfgang Goethe fist seals. Stuttgart 1999, Philipp Reclam June.Publishing house, ISBN 3-15-030019-3, act, scene and line comment, which stress openness for different Lesarten.
  • toned of the American volume coming plumb bob under the album titles Epica (2003) and The Black halo (2005), freely after Goethe's fist

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