Fall 2005

HUMS 638
Don Juan and Faust: Paradigms of Modern European Culture

Arnold,Herbert A.

09/12/2005 - 12/17/2005
Tuesday -

This course follows Don Juan and Faust--those two paradigmatic figures of Western intellectual history and art from their beginnings in the 15th to their changed forms in the 20th century--using all artistic embodiments, including the opera, drama, and prose versions. Don Juan--the Spanish rogue and seducer, and Faust--the German magus and seeker, so powerfully captured the European imagination that generations of artists have re-imagined their stories. We will analyze select interpretations of these icons, studying the changes in assumptions and values that each rendition reflects and represents, to show the transformations of Western self-identification in some of the greatest works of art produced in European culture.

Our sources of study include drama, novels, opera, and at least one unique unclassifiable work. For Don Juan, we will study Tirso de Molina, The Trickster of Seville; Moliere, Don Juan; Mozart, Don Giovanni; and Frisch, Don Juan or the Love of Geometry. For Faust, we will read the chapbook (if available); Marlowe, Dr. Faustus; Goethe, Faust; and either Shaw, Man and Superman or Thomas Mann, Dr. Faustus.

There will be three short essays of no more than six pages each, spaced evenly throughout the course, and one final essay of 10-12 pages.

A syllabus for this course is available at:

Herbert Arnold (Ph.D. University of Wurzburg) is professor of letters and German studies, emeritus. He is author of numerous articles and essays, including "Aspects of Otherness in Adolf Muschg and Erica Pedretti," in the Germanic Review.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Oscar Mandel, THE THEATRE OF DON JUAN (University of Nebraska Press), Paperback

Thomas Mann, DR. FAUSTUS (Vintage), Paperback

Christopher Marlowe, DR. FAUSTUS (Norton), Paperback

Bernard Shaw, MAN AND SUPERMAN (Norton), Paperback

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, FAUST, PART I AND II (Norton), Paperback


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