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Julian Meynell's Books

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Faust: First Part

Faust: First Part - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe This play in verse is considered Goethe's masterpiece and I had high hopes for it. I greatly enjoyed the Sorrows of Young Werther and was looking forward to the master at the peak of his powers. Instead, I was disappointed. I was reading in translation, but the translator had been careful to keep Werther's rhythms and rhyme schemes and they were not really impressive.

The character's did not move me, and the whole thing was a bit of a disappointment. It does not rank up there with Shakepeare, Homer or Dante. It is also a bit look-at-me intellectual without having a whole lot to say. There is not really any proper power of emotion and the characters don't really work that well.

Faust's intellectual and moral struggle is a bit fake. I don't really get the feeling that it is a true wrestling with these kinds of issues. If you compare it with Hamlet or Hector were we really feel these kinds of struggles, it just doesn't come off.

The whole thing, while not bad or anything is a bit ho-hum and not what I was expecting.