The Faust And The Furius Essay

1576 words - 7 pages

Even though the original story of Faust is complicated, it still has a unifying theme which is Faust’s discontentment with the limitations of man’s existing capabilities, -- his motivating forces to surpass the boundaries set on human experience and consciousness. In 1926, Faust was made into a silent movie by F. W. Murnau. “Faust” is a story of a man who sells his soul to the devil, Mephisto. It is believed that the Germans loved Goethe and so those who have seen Murnau’s film were insulted with the way Murnau directed the film – the liberties he took in the movie. The film was not totally an adaptation of Goethe’s Faust since there are a lot of spotted differences especially with the flow of the story.
On the philosophical context of Faust, Goethe tells that in order for man to live a happy life, he must be able to conquer all the temptations he faces, to overcome man’s lower elements of nature, and to be productive with the situation he is in. It was told in the story that the devil Mephistopheles criticizes the ways of God such as giving humans the possession of reason and intelligence as he believed that those cause mankind to be unhappy and even though they are endowed with those gifts, they still act more animalistic than animals. Upon hearing those criticisms, God immediately opposes and cites Faust as a man who is ultimately guided by reason to reach the knowledge of truth apart from any other men. God and Mephistopheles agreed to make a wager or bet in order to settle their dispute. Mephistopheles believes that earthly pleasures are not enough for Faust. Whereas in the film, it was seen that Mephistopheles agreed to have a bet with an Archangel that he can persuade Faust to erase the divinity within himself.
This difference between the original story and the film has a great philosophical implication. One of the major themes of the story is spirituality. In the original story, God is depicted to make a wager with Mephistopheles while in the film, an Archangel was the one depicted to have made a wager with Mephistopheles. This shows that the 1926 film deviated from the high level of spiritual theme from the original story as they depicted an Archangel instead of God. Taking this fact into consideration, one reason that should be given importance is that Germany, during this time, is entering National Socialism era (Nazi). This era considered Hitler as their God, as their Messiah and no other more. The depiction of God as being the highest being is discouraged during these times. German director F.W. Murnau observed this fact which is evident in the changes that he made in his film. Another moral implication showed was the temptation of the devil in the vision of a beautiful woman to Faust, this fact was depicted in the film instead of the original story’s black dog. This implication presented the effectiveness of women as being a source of temptation, targeting manly desires, controlling them and utilizing their weaknesses. During...

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