Faust: An Immoral End For A Moral Man
Morality is a funny thing. It is subjective to each person. It varies on the values from one person to the next. One may believe that it is morally all right to engage in sexual intercourse before marriage and someone else might believe it is entirely immoral. So how do we go about deciding whether or not someone else is moral or immoral—especially Heinrich Faust from Goethe’s Faust? In the eyes of Tantillo, Faust’s constant striving objectifies him as someone who may be praised by the Lord for his productive activity as described in his article Damed to Heaven: The Tragedy of Faust Revisited but Destro describes Faust, in his article The Guilty Hero, or the Tragic Salvation of Faust, as an immoral egotistical modern individualist because of his rhyme and reason for striving. Although Faust’s continual strive for knowledge and self-improvement is an admirable trait, with no obvious harm to anyone, he is, in fact, immoral because he strives not to keep humanity from stasis but to satisfy his own desires. If you had a second chance at life, would you take it? Would you wager the rest of your life as well as your soul to find that satisfaction? Faust did. Faust, a learned man of many scholarly achievements, never found satisfaction in his life. No matter how much knowledge he attained, none of it was ever enough for him. In an attempt to find true fulfillment, Faust meets the devil, Mephistopheles, and signs his soul away. For as long as Faust shall live, Mephistopheles will be Faust’s servant until the day Faust finds satisfaction in life. The moment Faust finds fulfillment in life, even if only for a minute, he shall lose his life. On this journey, Faust relives the life he never truly experienced and places his morality in question through his seemingly harmless actions that typically end under tragic circumstances. Faust’s actions in the play leave his morality in a gray area despite his innocent intentions. Morally, there...
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