The play which Faust and Mephistopheles attend has no connection with the rest of the tragedy. It is made up of a series of satiric four-line verses directed against some of Goethe's contemporaries, and is of little interest to those who are not specialists in the history of the period. The poems of the play are recited by a succession of mythological figures, like Oberon, Titania, and Ariel, and various strange individuals whose names have symbolic or satirical meanings.
This poem was originally written by Goethe as a separate piece. He inserted it here because it served as well as anything else for an interlude and also expressed his contempt for artistic convention. To an extent the poem also illustrates the great influence which the works of Shakespeare had on Goethe.