Seeking Meaning for Goethe's Faust by James M. van Der Laan

By James M. van Der Laan

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On the one hand, they constitute the very backbone of the play. On the other, they allow Goethe to elaborate, enhance, and enrich the meanings of the many, diverse themes with which he is most concerned. 38 In particular, he drew attention perceptively to an underlying cyclical order ("zyklische Ordnung") and Goethe's mirroring from different perspectives ("wechselseitige Spiegelungen") which he related as well to Goethe's scientific thought, specifically the key concepts of the Urphdnomen and metamorphosis (198).

Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch Job Retold 37 out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face". 1:9-11) Although Satan bets that Job will curse God to his face, the Lord has no comment and renders no judgement at this time. In Fausty the scene between the Lord and Mephistopheles transpires in much, but not entirely, the same way.

Contrary to the proverbial wisdom, Job is anything but patient in his suffering. According to Harold Ginsberg, "it is primarily on the Prologue and Epilogue that the traditional picture of Job as a patient sufferer ... is based, for in the poem, Job is for the most part a critic of providence" (113). Except for an initial acceptance of his plight (Job 1:21 and 2:10), the entire Book of Job is one long, loud complaint about his suffering. " ("Is my complaint directed to man? " 21:4). Job and Faust alike are impatient, both are deeply discontent, and both undeniably defiant.

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