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Critique of Human Desire through the Structure of Confrontation in Faust

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2020, (76), pp.33-57
  • DOI : 10.31310/HUM.076.02
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : January 9, 2020
  • Accepted : February 3, 2020
  • Published : February 29, 2020

SHIN JONG RAK 1

1성균관대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Faust is not only a work that predicted the future in the period of Goethe but also is a confession of part of the author’s own life. Goethe began writing the novel in his youth when he was in his twenties and the broad experience of his author amalgamated into it, thus making it a much more convincing and wonderful work. The work was completed a year before Goethe’s death and it reflected the life of a modern man. Goethe himself was a man who was constantly trying to be a Faustian. He devoted himself to writing throughout his life, and in particular Faust, which he wrote until his death in 1832. Faust is at odds with his own inner malice and pursues instinctive desires. His sexual appetite ultimately leads to the destruction of an innocent girl and her family. In Faust, Goethe shows how the self-esteem and the desires of a man bring about the inevitable consequences when they are not based on self-retrospection. The modern man focuses on the progress of civilization but does not think about how the result affects the individual and humanity. Goethe warns us of the possibility that the realization of human desires — when devoid of self-examination — would someday destroy people’s lives and even humanity.

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