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The drama concerns an attempt of the devil to capture the soul of Faust. Its second part is very complex and involves obscure symbolism, e.g. the figure of Helen (with its origin in the great Greek tragedies) and Euphorion (Lord Byron idealised). The Helen incident was first published by Goethe as an original poem. We also find personified virtues, such as Care, who attacks and blinds Faust. Ironically, Faust succumbs to the devil after he has mended his ways. Thus, his soul is borne away by angels before the devil can claim him.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|