Faust Response

At the opening of Faust II we are presented with an allegorical masque. As I mentioned in my video, Dorothy Sayers has defined allegory, loosely, as follows: “Allegory is the interpretation of experience by means of images.” A masque is a text meant to be performed, originally at court by members of the court, and accompanied by music. Masques were often allegorical, with the individual actors playing roles that corresponded to the way that the court wanted to think of itself. So, while we can see the roles that courtiers take on in performing the masque in Faust II as thus representing the character of the court (note, Faust plays Plutus, the god of the underworld and of wealth), we can also see the text as inviting us, the audience, to think about the roles that we play in the world and our own development in the world. What roles do you see Faust taking on in part II and how do you think we are invited to see ourselves in this text?