Analysis of the Ending of The External Feminine


The external feminine is a play that was written by Goethe. This play displays human predicament. In one he states that people live taking the risks of acting without considering the impacts that this has on those on the receiving end (Hsichun and Mihail 76). On the other hand, there are those whose primary function is to be pure and become models of moral virtue. Goethe seeks to prove that human actions are guided by purity so as to avoid hurting others (Kosman 67). He associated the former individuals with men as it is common that men act without considering the impacts that their actions have on individuals. He then associated the latter individuals with women (Hsichun and Mihail 87). This is because since time immemorial purity has been associated with women. For instance, back in the days of the Bible, the Virgin Mary was displayed as being pure. In the play, Goethe showcased different scenarios that portray the purity of women. He further demonstrated that actions could be guided by purity that is associated with women.

Examples of the human predicament

Iphigenia was befriending the king when the king asked her brother; Orestes and his friend Pylades to go and find an image of Diana. Pylades planned that they could steal Diana’s picture and Iphegenie could help them by lying to the king (Hsichun and Mihail 87). Pylades is described as an ideal man of action as he is looked at as being loyal, brave and a man with good intentions. He is however described as being unscrupulous. In his plan, he wanted to involve Iphegenie in the treachery (Kosman 92). He persuaded her to lie to the king claiming that the world is not that friendly and one does not have a choice but to take place in lies or perish. As it is seen Iphegenie did not agree with him and she decided to be pure against all odds. She went ahead and told the king of the plot and she was set free and allowed to leave along with his brother and his friend (Kosman 98). From this example, it can be denoted that women are considered pure and they maintain this virtue at all costs. Iphigenia told Pylades that her heart could only be at peace if it maintained its purity.

Natalie is represented as an ideal woman in society and she occupies a high position in society. Natalie is characterized by negatives as she is seen not to relate with others passionately (Hsichun and Mihail 65). She extended this to her husband even after marriage. From their love story, it was found that they had engaged without the two kissing and things got worse after their marriage. This is considered as being inappropriate for lovers. This shows that Natalie was more concerned with maintaining her purity such that she could not provide her husband with what was expected from her as a married woman (Kosman 76). Natalie’s brother is depicted as a man of action and he holds a high status in the society among men just as his sister. This is evidence that the society regarded women as being pure whereas men were looked at us being action-oriented.

In Goethe’s novel, he brings out some aspects of German society as well as part of the experimental colonies in America. He brought out the different aspects one which is a representation of the modern society (Hsichun and Mihail 56). In this, he told the story of young girls who were caught up in love triangles. They did not necessarily involve themselves with bad actions but they were caught up in the web of circumstance. This was a representation of modern society. He as well represented the society that gave emphasis on purity (Kosman 76). He represented this society by portraying the noble society by giving an example of a pure woman by the name Makari. This woman lived in a country estate and lived a life that was contrary to the life of the other young girls that represented modern society (Hsichun and Mihail 58). Makari lived a pure life and did not associate herself with external events. She maintained a pure life and did not concern herself with the earthly things. Makari devoted her life to helping others. She used to inspire others as well as giving them advice on what to do.


The play demonstrates the aspects of the human predicament. It has demonstrated the various ways that people behaved especially women and men. From the examples given above, it can, therefore, be concluded that purity was associated with females whereas men are considered as being action-oriented. Faust has been depicted as an ideal man who is action-oriented. From the events that unveiled, it can be seen that his actions caused others harm. When the play ends, Faust dies and as his soul sheds off the dust of death, the spirit of the virgin hovers around. This is signifying the divine forgiveness that exists. This divine forgiveness is associated with a female laying emphasis on the fact that Goethe wanted to put across. Goethe also brought out the fact that purity should guide our actions. From Makarie’s story, it can be seen that purity can be able to guide decisions. This is because not only did Makarie live a pure life but she also devoted her time to advising and inspiring others in the society.


Work Cited
Hsinchu, Chen and Roco C Mihail. Global and Longitudinal Patent and Literature Analysis. New York: Springer, 2009.
Kosman, Admiel. Gender and Dialogue in the Iabbinic Prism. Boston: De Gruyter, 2012.

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