Goethe: Helena

  • Although we are concentrating on the Third Act, Faust's appreciation of legend's most beautiful woman begins much earlier, perhaps as early as the Hexenkueche scene where he is thoroughly enraptured by a woman's image in a magical mirror. It drives him crazy, he says (2456), particularly since he has to stay at a certain distance to keep it in proper focus (2434); can you see Mephisto's mischievous smile at this bit of enforced "disinterested contemplation"? Woman is God's final art work, the true Crown of Creation, we learn from Schiller's Princess Eboli; Mephisto seems to say as much, and Faust like most men needs no convincing. We can't be sure that this is indeed Helen, we (and Faust) have yet to meet her. She remains nameless but, by any name, would be as sweet.

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Author:Herbert Deinert
Document Type:Report
Date of Publication (online):2010/02/08
Year of first Publication:2010
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2010/02/08
GND Keyword:Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; Helena
Herbert Deinert (Professor of German Studies, Emeritus) Department of German Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14853. Zusätzliches Material findet sich unter: http://courses.cit.cornell.edu/hd11/
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 83 Deutsche und verwandte Literaturen / 830 Literaturen germanischer Sprachen; Deutsche Literatur
Sammlungen:Germanistik / GiNDok
BDSL-Klassifikation:13.00.00 Goethezeit / BDSL-Klassifikation: 13.00.00 Goethezeit > 13.14.00 Zu einzelnen Autoren
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht