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Faust och Mefisto: Vadets dramaturgiska funktion i Goethes Faust I och II
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Musicology and Performance Studies.
2010 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Faust and Mephisto : The dramaturgical function of the wager in Goethe’s Faust I & II (English)
Abstract [en]

In this dissertation I have studied the relationship between Faust and Mephisto and the influence of the wager in Goethe’s Faust I and II. Decisive for its coming into being is the lack of a thorough study over the influence of the wager throughout the play.

The starting point is the analysis of the acting situations, of two individuals’ togetherness and struggle. Through close reading and with the wager as a center of Faust’s and Mephisto’s relationship, the tangible content of the dramatic action is explored.

Faust’s and Mephisto’s lines and actions are investigated from their respective point of view of the action, with the aim to discover the idea of the play through its characters. This approach is directly influenced by the teachings of Konstantin Stanislavskij and conducted using his tools for dialogue and action analysis.

I have no particular imaginary interpretation or performance in mind, but different problems which an actor has to consider when working with a role. In what could be characterized as hermeneutic circular movements, I argue the inevitability of certain interpretations, showing that lines are “living matter” and therefore subject to change depending on the given context and the treatment of it.

In a continuous discussion with other Faust scholars, general problems and positions as well as distinctions between dramaturgical and literary interpretation are presented. While, in most cases, my interpretations emerge in opposition to what has previously been written, they sometimes are confirmed by Goethe specialists, who, while using other methods, have arrived at similar conclusions. Moreover, several references are made to Peter Stein’s staging of Faust I and II (2000/2001).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Norrforssen förlag , 2010. , 400 p.
Keyword [en]
Goethe, Faust, Mephisto, Stanislavskij, Peter Stein, theatre, dramaturgy, lines, pieces and problems, super objective.
National Category
Performing Art Studies
Research subject
Theatre Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-39044ISBN: 978-91-628-8124-5OAI: diva2:318112
Public defence
2010-05-29, Auditorium 215, Humanistvillan, Frescativägen 24, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2010-05-06 Created: 2010-05-06 Last updated: 2011-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Levander, Björn
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