Faust’s Membership in Male Society

Beginning with two of Goethe’s most famous poems, “Ganymed” and “Prometheus,” this essay argues that Faust unites the receptive, submissive, self-dissolving masculinity of “Ganymed” with the defiant, dominant, ego-centric masculinity of “Prometheus.” As the essay asserts, “Faust’s masculine desire for the eternal feminine must be routed through the male Mephistopheles, in the process putting into question the nature of male and female.”


“Faust’s Membership in Male Society,” Interpreting Goethe’s “Faust” Today, ed. Jane K. Brown, Meredith Lee, Thomas Saine, Paul Hernadi, Cyrus Hamlin (Columbia, SC:  Camden, 1994) 17-28.