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Faust: modern myth about Faust and Mephistopheles Term Paper

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Updated: Dec 20th, 2019

Exposition

The story about Faust is well-known and there is no need to describe in detail the story about a person who has sold his soul as the life has lost its colors for him. The German magician wanted to get knowledge, pleasure and powers without implementing any particular power for achieving the desired purposes.

The moral of the story is whether it is good to get desired knowledge without God’s support or not, whether it is good to go in contradiction to the God’s will and rules (Wright 128). Faust did not want to live in accordance to the God’s rules thinking those too complicated and boring. To get to know something a person should study.

To become powerful, one should be strong and posses some particular qualities which are to be learnt and practiced. To get pleasure from something one should also use his knowledge and apply a force. It is obvious that to have something one should offer something instead. This is exactly what Faust did not want to. Having a desire to avoid the God’ rule, Faustus went to Mephistopheles.

Many people have a desire to get something without applying any force. This is exactly the idea in the story. The morale of the myth is that no matter how careless one is about the price he/she pays for the desired issue, this price is painful. In other words, giving money for products people spend earned money, offering the products instead of something they also offer their labor and time spent on getting those products.

It is impossible to give something without consequences. Having a desire to sell the soul, Faust was sure that he is selling nothing as this soil was useless for him, but the specific circumstances showed that the soul was really important for him.

The value of the sold soul is understood when nothing can be changed even though Faust wants to, having fall in love. This price Faust pays for knowledge, power and pleasure. Everything becomes useless and unnecessary, the action is believed as lack of common sense and too ambitious.

Theodore Ziolkowsk in his work The Sin of Knowledge: Ancient Themes and Modern Variations states that Faust is “the authoritative myth embodying the sin of knowledge for [his] respective culture” (1). The author tries to prove that the sin of knowledge is one of the most important in the story.

Considering this problem from the perspective of information possession, it should be noted that receiving knowledge without any attempt is one of the main sins Faust displays. This issue may be related to alchemy and other similar “sciences” where people thought that they have knowledge, but in fact they possessed nothing.

Remembering the time when the legend about Faust was popular and when the play by Christopher Marlowe or by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was created. The idea of false knowledge was really urgent for people, of those times as well as for the modern. Moreover, it may be stated that the possession of knowledge in the modern world is more valued and the desire to get those without any specific attempt may be even greater.

Description

Applying the main idea of the Faust to the modern life, culture, customs and traditions, the idea of information possession should also be applied. We live in the modern world, full of innovative technologies, the Internet and online sources of information. The paradox of the modern world is that having a free access to great deal of information, people lack this information with the same extent.

The information has become something significant and valued. People are able to pay million dollars to get the data they need and soil is not that important. People are ready to betray their relatives to get the data they need.

Considering the variant of Faust myth interpretation from the point of view of the modern culture and applying to the contemporary issues, it may be predicted Faust of the modern times should sell its souls for the freedom of access any data they need online and the possibility for privacy. It is really important to possess the information one needs and to have the private life.

The Internet is the world net where experienced and highly-skilled professionals are able to enter any space and consider any account. However, there are too secured sites where information is hardly available.

The desire to get access to that information and the desire to have personal data secret may be the reasons for the contemporary Faust to sell the soul. Looking at the spaces online and at the information people present for consideration, it may be predicted that most of the modern people do not understand the value of information.

Contemporary Faust should be the one who can value the data and the life in the world professionals are able to know everything about you and you are unable to get any data interesting for you may be considered as the depressive condition.

The contemporary Faust is going to look for a person who is able to meet his demands as the life in the world where privacy is almost absent is similar to the life in the world without soul. Various cameras in the supermarkets, in the offices, etc. make human life visible for those who need this information.

It is difficult to get rid of this constant observation, that is why the person who is unable to live under such pressure and who wants to possess the world (as people say that those who possess the information – possess the world. This very idea may be dominant in the mind of the contemporary Faust and the Mephistopheles should be the one who has the possibility to give that access.

However, it is important to state that the desire to return to the previous life should be explained by the desire to get rid of the knowledge one possesses as in most cases information presupposes responsibility, and the more important information is, the higher the level of the responsibility should be.

Interpretation

The contemporary myth about Faust should be considered from the perspectives of the modern values. It is hard to find the principles which are valued for all people. Modern world is too cruel, many principles which were valued many years ago are not really important now as people value money most of all. Those who possess the information have an opportunity to possess the information have an opportunity to get money.

The selling of the soul to Mephistopheles may have nothing in common with the information and power one may get. Some information may be more important for many people and it is a real disaster.

The contemporary Faust will sell the soul and will get an access to the information. At the end of his way, he may ask a question which will make him desire to get soil back, “What should be done with that information?” The information is valued when it is necessary and when it is difficult to find due to its mystery. When the data is easily available it loses its value, it becomes as ordinary as other data.

In conclusion, it should be stated that he modern myth about Faust and Mephistopheles should be directed at the principles which are valued in the modern world. The contemporary interpretation is aimed at teaching people that the possession of the information is not everything what people need. The information should be offered to those who really need that information.

Additionally, it is really bad that the principles, feelings and the feelings of the personal dignity are not valued anymore. Those who live in the modern world and are ready to sell their souls to Mephistopheles are numerous and it is difficult to distinguish those due to their great number.

Moreover, people do not have an intention to say openly about their desire to sell everything they have just to get the data. It is obvious that such people do not have already the soul. Moreover, it is obvious that having sold their souls and having get the desired information, they will remain empty and unsatisfied as such people always want more and more. This is the problem of the contemporary Fausts.

Works Cited

Wright, Georg Henrik. The Tree of Knowledge and Other Essays. New York: BRILL, 1993. Print.

Ziolkowski, Theodore. The Sin of Knowledge: Ancient Themes and Modern Variations. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Faust: modern myth about Faust and Mephistopheles." December 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/faust-modern-myth-about-faust-and-mephistopheles/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Faust: modern myth about Faust and Mephistopheles'. 20 December.

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