Faust Part II: Feels Unguided and Too Meta


This is a follow-up article to my first reflection on Faust, which covers the prologue. You can read it here.


I am into Faust Part II now (which, by the way, I’m reading through Serial App, which you should totally check out), and all through Part I, I must say, the Dramatist was going strong. I was really appreciating the story – what parts of it I could follow – and I felt like there was an appropriate blend of spectacle, fantastic creatures, and compelling characters to make it interesting.


But now, it seems, the Director is pulling forward. I am a ways into Part II, and yet Faust has barely put in an appearance, and I am totally lost as to what is supposed to be going on right now. Lots of kings, spirits, comedians, I don’t know – no one has a real name. They are all, sort of, personifications of Plato’s Forms, maybe? Lots of indefinite characters prancing around the stage and saying what they’re lives are like, and how something bad or sad is about to happen. They seem to be forces of nature/archetypes, and while I enjoy that sort of thing as a rule, this is just way too much of it!

Where’s the Plot?

I could really use for some real plot to step back in, and guide the narrative. I’m sure the spectacle would be exciting on stage, but even there, I feel like I would have gotten tired of it by now. I feel like I’m watching The Nutcracker or Star Wars: The Last Jedi.


Also, the language and rhyming just doesn’t read as well. I feel like I need to read something to explain the point of this section to me. I know there’s stuff I’m missing. Do any of you, my lovely readers, have any suggestions? I know I could go to Sparknotes, but I’d like to find something a little more academic, but still accessible.

But I’m going to keep pushing through, and I’ll let you know if it picks up! And again, check out Serial Reader, seriously! Best way to read classics, especially the ones you struggle to get through! Learn more here.

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