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“Both Faust and Frankenstein can be seen as titanic overreachers: the difference lies in the authors’ evaluation of this overreaching.” Discuss.


“Both Faust and Frankenstein can be seen as titanic overreachers: the difference depends on the authors’ evaluation of this overreaching.” Discuss.Both the character of Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s novel”Frankenstein”and Goethe’s eponymous hero in the play”Faust– Der Tragodie, erster Teil”are very similar to the legendary character of Prometheus. Prometheus’story, which comes from Greek legend, it is the tale of a titan who steals fire from the gods. Like both Faust and Frankenstein, Prometheus is a male who tries to elevate his own status to that of a god by trying to acquire understanding that is exclusively available to the gods. Although both Faust and Frankenstein exist in a Christian

world, their crime is considered as fantastic as the crime of Prometheus, as both males act in an impious way. Faust selling his soul to Mephistopheles, Frankenstein trying to “bestow animation on lifeless matter “. Each character is also penalized extensively for his behaviour, as Prometheus was, being forever chained to a rock at the top of the Caucasus mountains, and destined to have his liver removed by a vulture whereupon it would re-grow each day and the penalty revisited. Shelley’s “contemporary Prometheus “bears resemblances not just to the character Prometheus, however likewise to Pandora, the very first female according to Greek mythology. For Shelley, Frankenstein’s”titanic overreaching” is a character defect instead of a purposeful effort to imitate God. Like Pandora, who might not reduce her natural interest and let loose evil upon the world, Frankenstein can not suppress his desire to overcome death and death. In his quest to stimulate dead matter, Frankenstein unleashes a monster upon society. Nevertheless, the production of this beast is not immediately condemned, it is Frankenstein’s disregard of the animal which

triggers it to end up being evil. Shelley’s Frankenstein is a character who constantly errs in the name of humankind. His goal is to remove suffering and death from the world and his creation is a misguided attempt to accomplish this. Goethe’s Faust nevertheless, is a totally various character. Faust is a man who can not bear to be grounded by human limitations. He wants to go beyond life and experience whatever. Faust is a male who believes he has actually gotten all earthly understanding and has become bored. He wishes to attain universal knowledge.

Faust’s downfall possibly happens because, like Frankenstein, he does not consider the effects of his actions, he does not however, act upon behalf of humanity. He embodies the spirit of modernity– a male who constantly desires more knowledge, the spirit of experimentation and exploration. Faust’s goals for knowledge are not what cause his catastrophe– in fact they are commemorated. Faust, unlike his trainee, Wagner, wants to get understanding through true experience, not just through reading books. Unlike Frankenstein, Faust appears to have no choice in his choices– he can

not stop pursuing understanding because this would be another sort of damnation for him. For that reason he needs to accept Mephistopheles”bet ‘– because he does not seem to think in hell this is the only course of action that will trigger him any happiness or sense of fulfilment. Neither Faust not Frankenstein are traditionally wicked characters. Der Herr in”Faust”states” Solang er auf der Erde lebt, so lange sei dir’s nicht verboten. Es irrt der Mensch, solang er strebt. “This statement in lots of methods qualifies Faust’s mission for knowledge– he does make mistakes, but these appear currently to have actually been forgiven

in the eyes of God. Frankenstein on the other hand can not be forgiven– his look for understanding leads to the death of the innocent. Although in “Faust”Gretchen is damaged by Faust’s actions, she is ultimately redeemed– she gets salvation by having the ability to acknowledge Mephistopheles as the devil. No such redemption is offered for the innocent eliminated by Frankenstein and his monster. However as in Faust, it is not Frankenstein’s thirst for knowledge which eventually results in his fate– although it is an aspect. It is his failure to deal with the monster and his irresponsible behaviour towards it

which causes it to become evil. Frankenstein’s rejection of what is natural becomes apparent when he moves from checking out scientists such as Agrippa, Parcelus and Albertus Magnus who believed in science being able to coexist with faith to more modern researchers. Albertus Magnus composed”in studying nature we have not to ask how God the creator may, as He easily wills, utilize His animals to work wonders and thereby show forth His power, we have rather to ask what nature with its immanent causes can naturally bring to pass.”This is precisely what Frankenstein is working versus in his experiment to stimulate lifeless

matter. It seems that clinical advances are seen by Shelley as something regressive instead of progressive. The old is more beneficial than the new. This is rather various to what Goethe appears to assert with “Faust “. Striving for advancement is a good thing. Faust overreaches by trying to deal with the devil– something that just God can do successfully. Both books appear to have various views on the role females. In the myth of Prometheus, lady (Pandora)was the creature who unleashed sin into the world. The

same can be said of the story of creation in Christianity– again it is lady who damages the male. In both “Faust”and “Frankenstein “it is man who destroys female. Among Victor Frankenstein’s a lot of unforgivable acts is to permit the death of his servant, Justine, to occur. This is an example of extreme knowledge ruining the innocent. Justine has actually not done anything, her death is utterly unjust and might have been avoided by Frankenstein. He can not, nevertheless, admit his own part in the death of his sibling. Faust likewise damages an innocent lady. This woman does commit dreadful criminal activities, although they remain in Faust’s name. Gretchen is an exceptionally naive character who ends up being totally besotted with her lover(Faust )and will dedicate any sin for him. She appears a sort of parallel with Frankenstein– he ends up being obsessed with his job and will do anything to attain his objective. Gretchen, however, dedicates her criminal activities in the name of her love for Faust. Although Frankenstein believes he will”pour a gush of light into our dark world”(52 )he remains in truth working for his own gratification instead of that of mankind– “A new types would bless me as its developer and source; numerous happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me”(52). This genuinely indicates his goals to end up being a sort of god and his downfall becomes unavoidable. Nevertheless, “Frankenstein”also handles the concept of birth without woman. Frankenstein’s development is never looked after– Frankenstein himself is unable to take care of his” Adam “and the monster has no mom to rely on. Lady are never ever strong characters in Frankenstein since it is an unique without ladies. Females are maybe raised to the status of gods– in “Frankenstein”Prometheus is not attempting to take fire from the gods, but the capability to procreate from the woman. The female becomes not only the god, however in such a way likewise a type of Prometheus. Woman’s development (through birth )– male– has actually taken the capability to produce life and as punishment evil is released upon society. Female characters in “Faust”have rather various functions. Gretchen is compared to Helen of Troy– a woman who caused the fall of her own country and a 10 years war. Nevertheless, it is the weak point of Faust himself that triggers Gretchen to end up being a corrupt lady– Helen could be seen in a comparable way.

It was Paris’s weakness that required her to elope with him, consequently deeply insulting her hubby, Menelaos. Gretchen, although pure and innocent initially, is never ever strong. Much like the witch in the” Hexenkuche “who lives under the mastery of Mephistopheles–“O Herr, verzieht den rohen Gruss! Sehe ich doch keinen Pferdefuss. Wo sind denn Eure beiden Raben? “. Females appear to be characters who are easily affected. Gretchen is just given salvation due to the fact that she still recognises wicked, despite the fact that she has actually sinned. She, unlike Faust, exists as a truly awful figure.

Her love for Faust forces her to dedicate wicked, yet she lastly repents and sees her mistakes. The legend of Prometheus is used in both Frankenstein and Faust, yet each author provides a different religious and political slant to the legend. In each case we exist with a figure who wishes to accomplish more than is humanly possible and in each case this figure need to sacrifice something in order to acquire this enlightenment, similarly to Prometheus, who recognised that he would be penalized for taking the gods ‘fire, these sacrifices are perhaps not entirely thought out by the protagonists of each story, yet each

causes a various fate.

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