dr Henry Faust is a humanistic scholar of about 50 – 60 years. For decades he has studied philosophy, religion, medicine and law.
Ignoring both his everyday life and nature, he devoted his life only to science and buried in books.
The character experiences an existential sensory crisis at the beginning of the tragedy, as his studies have failed to provide him with insights into what holds the world together at its core.
He turns to nature by studying the sign of the macrocosm and then invokes the earth spirit. However, the earth spirit distances itself from the scholar and thus throws him into an even deeper mental crisis.
Faust is torn inside, two souls live in his chest – one would like to affirm physical existence by devoting itself to sensual life, the other soul strives for spiritual enlightenment, wants to be godlike.
Faust has – according to the leitmotif of the strikers and urgers (literary epoch) – a very strong urge to act, which becomes clear in his translation of the Gospel of John, as he translates the «word» (in the beginning was the word) with «deed».
He no longer believes in finding fulfillment and happiness in his life, so in desperation he joins Mephisto allied. At the same time he turns with the devil pact from science.
At her first stop, Mephisto leads Faust to a student bar. Here he wants to show him the simple life of a party-goer. However, Faust is disgusted by the binge – Mephisto’s first attempt to seduce Faust fails.
In the witch’s kitchen, Faust is rejuvenated by magic by 30 years and at the same time is sexually stimulated. His sexuality, suppressed as a scientist, is to be unleashed by the magic potion.
he falls in love with Margaret, a shy girl of 14 and wants to get her into bed as soon as possible. He even blackmails Mephisto and threatens to dissolve the joint pact if Mephisto does not help him.
However, Faust finds no real fulfillment in his love for Gretchen. He is unable to commit and it seems that he is only interested in a brief pleasure with her.
For a short time Faust experiences the symbiosis he had hoped for with nature (in the forest & cave scene), but is urged by the devil to pursue his sexual desire for Gretchen.
In this scene, Faust’s selfishness is on display because, while fully aware that his association with Gretchen will bring her misfortune, he still wants to indulge his sexual urges with her.
Faust is not concerned with his love for Gretchen, but with the feeling of love per se. He even accepts that Gretchen’s mother, her brother, their child and finally Gretchen herself perish.
In the end, his guilty conscience drives him to try to free Gretchen from the dungeon, but he fails because Gretchen distances herself from him and finds her salvation through God.