The blind man, who proudly rushes with dreams,
Who seeks us as equals behind the clouds!
Become firmly here – and around you watch everything:
For business and this world is not it.
I. V. Goethe
Goethe wrote the philosophical drama Faust almost all his life: the first sketches date back to 1773, and the last scenes were finished in the summer of 1831, six months before his death. During this period, the Great French Revolution took place in Europe, the Napoleonic wars, the revolution of 1830, broke out. Goethe’s own views also changed. The place and time of the drama are conditional, that is, they lack exact historical signs, and Faust is an image built on generalized features inherent in people in general, in any epoch.
At the very beginning of the drama, in Prologue in Heaven, a dispute begins about a man, about the meaning of his existence. According to Mephistopheles, a person is insignificant, helpless, pathetic, all his claims
to the knowledge of the world – a complete conceit:
I see only one torture of a man.
The ridiculous goddess of the earth, always, in all ages The
eccentric fellow is the same as he was at the beginning of the century!
The Lord confronts Mephistopheles with his faith in people:
For the present he is wandering in the darkness,
But the truth will be illuminated by the ray;
Planting a tree, the gardener already knows which
flower and fruit he will already get.
He distinguishes Faust from all, believing that he can overcome his mistakes, so he gives Mephistopheles the opportunity to test the scientist. Thus, in “Prologue” not only the main conflict of the drama is indicated, but its optimistic resolution is also planned. This takes into account not only the dual nature of each person. It is also taken into account that the struggle with the devil will not be easy. Faust will comprehend the truth, overcoming great temptations.
In the first scene, we see the office of a scientist, disillusioned with his science. She did not bring him closer
to the knowledge of the truth. Faust tries to find it with the help of magic. But – also in vain. The appearance of Mephistopheles aggravates the doubts of the hero. He happily grabs the opportunity to satisfy the thirst for knowledge. Faust, as a true scientist, puts an experiment on his own soul. And an attempt at love, an attempt to start life from the beginning, is part of this experiment. It is here that Faust’s immorality manifests itself – he is ready to put experiments on the soul of another person, an innocent and pure girl. In addition, after tempting Margarita with the help of Mephistopheles, Faust becomes the culprit of her brother’s death and the death of her mother. Faustus throws Margarita at the most difficult moment in her life when she expects a child. And it’s not just that he shifts all responsibility for the fate of the baby on her shoulders, but also that Margarita, who gave birth to a child without a husband, suffers from the stagnation and intolerance of others. Faustus follows her into prison, but can not save a young woman. Margarita herself wants to be punished. Repentance, even for a short time, is felt by Faust himself. His experiment failed.
In the second part of the drama Faust marries the Beautiful Helen, because of which the Trojan War once broke out. But even this attempt failed: like Ikara, who flew to the sun, their son perishes, and Elena becomes a vague ghost and disappears.
Faust tries to transform the world around him. Under his leadership, people drain part of the sea to build a new city. But even here the realist Goethe shows how, in the name of the common good, the peaceful comfort of the two old men has been destroyed. Goethe exposes the error of so many converters: poor blind Faust seems that people lay the foundation of the dam, but in fact – the lemurs are digging his grave. But the tired old hero still finds happiness. He finds it in the struggle, in the ceaselessness of effort:
Only he is worthy of life and freedom,
Who every day goes for them to fight!
All my life in the struggle of the harsh, uninterrupted
Child, and the husband and the elder let him lead,
So that I see in the brilliance of the power of the brave
Free land, free my people!
And then the moment is worth stopping: it’s a pity, the goal is unattainable. Mephistopheles never won his argument over Faust’s soul. Because God revealed to him a higher morality – a struggle for the common good, and this insight is tantamount to saving the soul.
But one of the most important problems of the drama is still relevant: the problem of the scientist’s responsibility to society for his experiments. The past century is full of cruel examples: Hiroshima, our Chernobyl tragedy, the costs of the chemical industry are pesticides. Scientists are obliged to remember about people, about their troubles and joys, and not to make others suffer, like Faust, who decided that everything is allowed to the scientist and the magician. But his eternal daring, denial of the temptation of rest and contentment, continuous work for the sake of the future are worthy of imitation and grateful memory.