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Faust, Parts 1 and 2

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Summary and Analysis Part 2: Act V: Burial Scene


While the Lemures bury Faust, Mephisto and a horde of devils wait to take his soul into custody. Suddenly the heavens open and a host of angels appear. They strew the grave with rose petals and the air is filled with the sound of their singing. Mephisto argues with them as they descend to the grave, but to no avail. Chanting a hymn about the healing truth of Love and the bliss that awaits purified souls in communion with the "All-in-All," the angels take Faust's body in their arms and carry it up to Heaven.

Mephisto realizes that he has been defeated, and that his scheme to win Faust's soul has failed because of his own mishandling. He attributes his defeat to his failure to take into account the power of Love and the strange ways in which it manifests itself.


The hymn sung by the angels explains that souls who have purged themselves of foreign elements and are in harmony with God and their fellow creatures, and with the Love that motivates the entire universe, are entitled to receive God's grace.