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A German Classic: Goethe's Faust

A German Classic 2017: Goethe's Faust. Part One 

Joseph Fay, Faust und Mephisto im Kerker, 1848.jpg

Oxford German Network's new essay competition for sixth-formers was inaugurated with generous sponsorship by Jonathan Gaisman, QC, with the aim of inspiring interest in great German writers and providing an incentive to engage with an influential German work in depth. 

We should like to thank the judges and all those people who enriched the resources that helped to bring Goethe’s Faust alive. The resources created for the competition include conversations and interviews with a range of experts, a musical contribution, and links to existing recorded and written material. They will remain available on our website to inspire further exploration of Faust

Above all, we should like to thank all the entrants from schools across the UK who gave up part of their summer to write substantial and thought-provoking essays on a wide range of aspects of Faust. The judges were impressed with the high quality of the entries, and with the level of intellectual ambition and commitment the essays demonstrated. Head judge Professor Ritchie Robertson commented: “'It was good to see that a classic text from the eighteenth century still has the power to engage young people's imaginations.”

We are pleased to announce the following prizes:

First Prize (£500):           Cecilia Marchant

                                          Hessle High School and Sixth Form College

Second Prize (£300):      Francis Bristow

                                          Lancaster Royal Grammar School

Third Prize (£100):          Beth Molyneux

                                           Urmston Grammar School

The essay by Lucy Buxton, The Lady Eleanor Holles School, was awarded Highly Commended by the judges.

Congratulations to all the winners and to all the entrants. The essays were a pleasure to read.

Interested in Goethe's Faust, but also want to look beyond the text? Suggestions for further reading on Faust can be found here. Take a look at the Oxford German Network's YouTube playlist to see experts discussing a variety of aspects of Goethe's Faust, covering topics from 'Why Faust' to Goethe's play in performance.

Essay Questions for the 2017 Prize Competition:

1. Compare Faust and Mephisto and examine the development of their relationship.

2. Should Faust, Part One be called Margarete?

3. Is Faust, Part One a celebration of individualism?

4. How successful is the 1960 production of Faust, Part One, in light of Goethe's text?

5. Compare Marlowe's Dr Faustus and Goethe's Faust, Part One.