Course Requirements

I would like you to write about 6–8 pages this semester, split between a paper on Faust and a paper on Goethe's approach to science.  Since we have spent about 2/3 of the semester on Faust, it would be reasonable to do about that much on Faust and about the rest on science.  However, if you are more interested in science than in Faust, then you can do the longer paper on science.  These lengths are all rough guidelines, but I would like you to devote some effort to both topics.

I will grade your papers on originality, the cogency of your arguments, and organization.  Needless to say, grammar and spelling should be correct.  I will be happy to look at outlines or rough drafts, if you want, before you hand in your papers.  You may use MLA, APA, or any other standard style of citation, so long as you use it consistently.

You are welcome to send your essays by email (preferred), or give me hardcopy.

Faust Essay

I encourage you to come up with your own idea for your Faust essay, but check with me so I can approve it.  You can also address several different topics, so long as you don't do so many that they individually shrink to insiginificance!  You are also welcome to chose one of the following topics:

  1. In what respect(s) do you think modern culture is most Faustian?  Defend your answer by explicit reference to Goethe’s Faust.
  2. Defend either of the following propositions:  (a) Mephistopheles is entirely evil.  (b) There is some good in Mephistopheles.
  3. Discuss the idea that the modern industrialized worl is guilty of the same crime as Faust committed against Baucis and Philemon.
  4. In the context of the drama, how do you explain Faust's redemption?
  5. Discuss Goethe’s idea of the “Eternal Feminine” (Ewig-Weibliche).  Is it an antiquated notion, which has no contemporary relevance?  Or is it significant and important still?
  6. (I'll add more later)

You do not have to use any other resources besides Faust, but of course you are welcome to do so.  Aside from material you may find in the library or on the Internet, keep in mind that your text contains a number of critical essays that might be interesting or useful.

Your Faust essay will be due the last day of class (April 27).

Science Essay

This assignment will be due May 5.  More information will come soon.

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Last updated: 2005-04-12.