Faust, Parts 1 and 2 By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Summary and Analysis Part 2: Act V: Deep Night

Summary

Faust learns to his sorrow that Mephisto and the Three Mighty Men have carried out his orders with more violence than he intended. Philemon and Baucis and their wanderer friend have been killed, and the house and orchard which Faust coveted have been burned. Faust is overcome by remorse and anger at this miscarriage of his plans. Left alone, he begins to feel strange premonitions.

Analysis

Faust had earlier justified to himself his plan to evict the old couple from their home by the rationalization that he would give them another house at a different location. Now he is genuinely sorry for what has happened and realizes that he is completely responsible for their deaths, even though this had not been the intent of the orders he gave Mephisto. This is the first time that Faust has taken on himself the full blame for the evil consequences of his acts and is a major step in his personal moral development.

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

At the beginning of Part Two, what solution does Mephistopheles, dressed as a jester, give for the kingdom's financial problems?




Quiz