Barbara Huckabay
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Assignments for Faust Unit

Monday, September 30, 2013

During this unit you must complete and submit four assignments. You may do them in any order you want.

I. Acting

Memorize a monologue or a short scene (with a partner or two) and perform it for the class. Minimum 16  lines.

II. Academic Writing

Write a short essay on any one of the suggested topics. Minimum 300 words.

III. Creative Writing

Write a poem, monologue or other creative piece inspired by the events of the play.

IV. Visual arts

Create a collage, drawing, painting or sculpture inspired by the events of the play.

The assignments may be done in any order.

First assignment due:  Wednesday, October 9

Second assignment due: Tuesday, October 15

Third assignment due: Monday, October 21

Fourth assignment due: Friday, October 25

Faust – Short Essay Topics 2013

1. Bargaining with the devil
Why are deals with the devil enticing?
People also bargain with God.  How do the two bargains differ?
What are contemporary examples of bargains with the devil or with evil?

2. Fed Up with Education
Why is Faust frustrated, what did he hope for from education?
Does he have anything for which to blame himself?
What would an ideal education be?

3. The Lure of the Bottle 
What will the bottle with its “incomparable potion” do?
Is Faust motivated by despair or hope?

4. What does Faust mean when he says he has two souls within his breast?
Have you experienced the same sort of unrest that Faust describes?
Faust says Wagner is lucky because he “knows of only one unrest”.
Are more people like Faust or like Wagner?  Which is better?

5. Mephisto says he is that evil that yet creates the good.
How can evil create the good? How can darkness give birth to light?

6. The Bargain
How and why did Faust recast Mephisto’s original bargain?
Would the terms hold true, whether or not Faust made an explicit agreement?
Would such a bargain tempt you?

7. The Gift of Youth
Why does Mephisto give Faust youth? 
Are there liabilities to being young? 
Are the young more vulnerable to evil?

8. The Bargain Revisited
Would Faust have been better off if he had not made the bargain with Mephisto?
Or is Mephisto correct when he says he has brought Faust much that is good?

9. Gretchen the Victim?
Who or what is the villain in Gretchen’s tragedy?
What part does Gretchen herself play?
Where is she the innocent victim of others?

10. Gretchen and Faust, Mirror Images?
In what ways is Gretchen similar to Faust? 
Why is Gretchen dissatisfied?  Why was Faust dissatisfied?
How are their desires and temptations similar?
Why does Gretchen disassociate herself from Mephisto while Faust pursues him?

11. Honor and Family
Why does Valentine feel dishonored by Margaret? 
Are we dishonored by the actions of our family members?

12. Gretchen the Christian
Gretchen has been called the only true Christian in Faust. 
How does her faith help her?
Does it also hurt her?

13. The Top of Blocksberg Mountain
Why does Mephisto turn aside from the summit?
What would happen if Faust reached the summit?

14. The Devil’s Powers and Limits
Where does the devil’s power end and why?

15. Gretchen’s Final Decision
In refusing to obey Faust in the end, is Gretchen free at last?
Or is she always a pawn?