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Theatre UAF Presents Caligari: AlaskaTheatre UAF logo
on the Salisbury Theatre stage April 17-26, 2009
We are located at 311 Tanana Drive Suite 302 Great Hall Fairbanks, AK 99775-5700 on UAF's main campus • Tickets: (907) 474-7751


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Das Kabinett des Dr.Caligari


Dramaturgical notes – a journey into the semiotics of Art and Arts, politics, lost mad science and their executioners – a place of shadows

Semiotics of  The Faust …initial thoughts…



In all  teutonic tongues the supreme being has one consent been called by the general name GOD
……the word so used as a masculine does a have a neuter form…..

DIVINITY is being and does not bear the same face as human beings where we distinguish the sexes ….

God’s passions are wrath, joy, vengeance , and complacency…. With prayer and sacrifice upholds man his eternal connection to GOD to reaffirm the BAND


DR. Faustus … Dr. Faust…. Faust…. Post-christian desire’s to understand the world …. AS Christianity with its swiping  CRUSH AND usurpation of heathens signs and symbols…. Strived to and smothered … heathens’s thoughts and soul.

The title permutations of the legend of Dr.Faustus.
…..  Doctor Faustus to FAUST..

FAUST (german literal). The fist ….the balled hand to strike…. to crush…. Mit geballter faust…

Faust in Latin for "auspicious" or "lucky

..the oldest faust had a Christian name “ johann” …. DAS Volksbuch von DR. Faust (1580)….  A narrative of a story of a Christian academically trained man raised in a small township of Germany who denounces God and sells his immortal SOUL, by signing a contract with the devil to LEARN and KNOW EVERYTHING about the world, the elements, GOD and the devil, the place called hell, to revel in the seven deadly sins, to prophesize the future and read the stars trajectory for dukes and pompous men… in exchange for being an enemy to all people who believe in GOD, to deny the Christian believe, to never seek redemption and or be saved by a Christian, and to sign all this in a  contract signed with his BLOOD… and as a final payment to the DEVIL after 24 years all of Faust’s blood, …and THAT EVERFLICKERING FLAME        … A SOUL , HIS SOUL, …….

Six demands of Doktor Faustus

“Doctor Faustus gab Antwurt

begert von dem Gaist Das Er auch möcht die geschickhlicheit Form / vnnd gestalt eines Gaistes an sich haben vnd bekommen/

Zum Andern / Das er Der Gaist jm alles das thuen soll was Er begere / vnnd von jm haben wölle/

Zum Dritten / Das er jm Darneben geflissen / vnnd Vnderthenig sein wölle wie ein Dienner/

Zum Vierten / Das er sich allzeit so offt er jn fordert vnnd berueff jnn sein hauß sol finden lassen/

Zum Funfften / Das er in seinem hauß soll vnsichtbar Regiern / vnnd sich von niemand sonst soll sehen lassen / dann jn / es wer dann sein will vnnd geheiß/

Zum Sechsten vnnd Letsten / Das er jm so offt Er jn fordert erscheinen soll/ jnn einer gestalt / wie es jme auferlegt werde/ Dise Puncten Hielt Doctor Faustus dem Geyst fur /

Demands of Mephistopheles

Erstlichen Das Er versprech vnd schwere Das Er sein eigen wölle sein/

Zum Andern Das Er sollichs mit seinem Aignen bluet wöll bezeugen/ vnnd zu einer becrefftigung sich damit verschreiben vnnd vnderschreiben /

Zum Dritten / Das allen Glaubigen Menschen feind sein solle/

Zum Vierdten / wöll Er jme ettliche zeit vnnd zill geben / So dann solliche verloffen so Soll Er sein sein/

Zum Funftñ Das Er den Christlichen glauben wölle Verlaugnen/ (Erstlichen / wöll Er jme ettliche zeit vnnd zill geben / So dann solliche verloffen so Soll Er sein sein/ Zum Andern Das Er sollichs mit seinem Aignen bluet wöll bezeugen / vnnnd zu einer becrefftigung sich damit verschreiben vnnd vnderschreiben/ Zum Dritten / Das Er den Christlichen glauben wölle Verlaugnen / allen Glaubigen Menschen feind sein)

Zum Sechsten / Das Er sich nit wölle verfuern lassen / So jn ettliche wolten bekhören/

Zum Sibenden / Da Er solche Puncten halten werd / so soll Er nach allem seinem Lust haben / was sein hertz fordern möcht/ Darauff du von stundan spuren (sprach der Gayst) Das du eines Gaistes gestalt vnnd weiß haben wirdest /


Note: in another text Dr.Faustus is said to have invented “bookprinting” ….
Books bring salvation and open the forbidden door to heresy.

 Source: http//

A different version of the same story printed  around  the same time period can be found at :


                Goethe’s Faust  also had also a  first name “ Heinrich” …its old-german meaning is Home, house, Regency, Power, Regent …….
.. it only appears once in the play when Gretchen the girl faust loves cries out: Heinrich Heinrich I shudder from you” and then she dies/ascends to heaven.

Doktor (german ) an academic degree conferred upon a person by a University ,a place of higher learning… doctor of medicine, of philosophy…doctor of jurisprudence….doctor of everything…..

To attain this degree on had to in medieval times go through the three (trivium) and four ways/roads (quadrivium) that laid the  foundation for a liberal arts education. After the trivium ( grammar , logic, rhetoric) followed the quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy) in preparation for the study of philosophy, theology, jurisprudence, and medicine.

Doktor = similar to Professor in later years…
Note:  In Germany the academic title “DOKTOR “ can be become a part of the passport identity…

DOCTOR origin v. lat.: docere „to teach ….“ oder doctus „to be educated “

Accipies / tanti doctoris /dog- / mata sancti.   Accept the holy thoughts/topics/doctrine  from the PROFESSOR> 

As long as one had money everybody could study at the University- higher education in particular a doctor title had a ring and brought societal esteem, for some their career started as a nobody  and ended as THE  POPE

Source: "Libri, discipuli, magistri, doctores" - Bücher, Studenten, Magister, Doktoren in der Universität des Mittelalters. ( Zahn 1997;

Text Box:  The devil’s deal Julius Nisl 1840.


Goethe’s Faust is another story  from the Faustian legend stream..
He too is a fallen one who seeks the answers, but with his desire for knowledge.. we enter modern man’s quest to UNDERSTAND what church and science can not give us the key to …. That which we cannot unlock but we know that is there.. beyond the churches, and churchyards , beyond the books, beyond the cross, there is a soul that yearns and struggles to free itself to become what it must be, that has to realize itself… with Heidegger who came much later but not too late… its about the being that is becoming and revealing it self.. to stike the link between macrocosm and microcosm

So faust is a MODERN/postMODERN hero, a Don Quixote , a knight in not so shining armor with books and words as shields and swords and on the  quest for ….  ENLIGHTENMENT of thee heavenly siblings MIND  and SOUL…

Note:  Faust Prologue: At the whim of a bet between GOOD  (GOD) and EVIL (DEVIL) .. Faust is wagered as a battlefield.. He who can conquer him shall have is soul…

The first monologue speaks of



…….PRIMITIVE Substances …preceding the creation of all things …must be sacred in themselves. Worship of elements the last..  the all but indestructible remnant of heathenism (Grimm Vol. II)

Water the limpid , flowing welling up or running dry
“Fire , the illuminating, kindeld, or quenched
Air unseen by the eye, but sensible
To ear and touch
EartH, the nourishing , out of which everything grows, and into which ALL THAT HAS GROWN DISSOLVES “ (GRIMM VOL II)


Water, rain… Rivers and fountains are gifts from gods high above … a place for worship .. a place for emersion /bathing /and blessing , baptizing …

Holy water .. restoring youth and healing the sick…                      magic water ..collected during special times of the day and seasons… 

Rivers run dry
LIFE runs out …

Fire  is a living thing..
Friendly (sun and volcano) and malignant fire… fire as a hostile higher being….
Fire is like a cock that flies from roof to roof.. fire breaks out from chains and prison…
Used fire, tamed and domesticated fire that has been in the service of men can not be used for sacred holy things only wildfire..fresh and new…that fire  is fire kindled by friction  and not by flint and steel. 

Special fires  “nothfeuer” were kindled and sick beasts cows, pigs and geese were driven through it three times to cleanse.. in times of pestilence.

When in need for wildfire…all tame domesticated fires had to be extinguished.. If not all villagers extinguished those fires the wildfire would not show itself could not be ignited… wildfire knew of its cousin…

…. Wildfire created by friction was “unmanning the DEVIL…despoiling him of his strength”… reference to LOKI the devil and fire-god.

Needfires “Nothfeuer” are sacred events….

Note: our performance dates fall on Easter time EASTERFIRES….celebratory cleansing fire  and the worship of fire …..reach back beyond the time of Christian conversion. …and the hills alight with fires and the people celebrate and when the fire is gleaming….one jumps across the red hot coals…infants are passed through carried by their  mothers . …

AIR …wind…weather… beings that moves and lives..the wind the heavenly child…brother to fire and water…

Wotan is the stormwind howling through the air…
      whirlwinds are brought on by the devil and the witches… the primitive movers of the whirlwind…
Whirlwind= The Giant stirs his pot…
Note: the narns are thought to be giantess

Origin of WIND: a giant in the shape of an eagle who sits at the end of heaven… from his wings cometh all wind upon men.. and when he flaps his wings the winds rise from under them..

Note: the turning of the eagle head in symbolics like flags indicated  that a raid could be made in this direction… note: Germanic flag later on has two eagles facing west and east. One towards France one towards Russia.

Winds and storms purify the air.

Early on sending of wind, storm and hail was the divine  action of gods,demi-gods and giants… in later times human sorcerers were at the origin.
Text Box:
EARTH… mighty goddess.. secretes were entrusted to her, upon death she is the mother to whom we all return .. earth is the place of rebirth and resurrection.
Note: in ancient graves bodies were buried in an embryonic posture..

The earth is all… conquered nations would offer soil and water as a sign of signing over their land

.Faust and earthspirit
(Goethe original drawing)




   The VISIBLE heavens is where the gods and the spirits have their dwelling and that is where men too is bound after his earthly quest is completed…heaven the place of the SUPERSENSUAL (Grimm Jacob)

                From heaven the GODS Descend.-Along the sky they make their journey
and through  the sky they watch and observe mankind’s toiling on earth… “and as all plants turn to the light of heaven, as all souls look up to heaven, so do the smoke of sacrifice and the prayers of mankind mount upward “…


The two principal stars are the sister SUN and brother MOON..

the sun = wheel of fire= a gleaming circular shield of very ancient times…the EYE….with it the divinity looks down upon men.. the sun is “ blithe, sweet , and gracious”… overlooking the world and knowing EVERYTHING..but
    The mounting sun dispels all magic and bids the spirits back to their abode…..
An eclipse of the moon or sun …most terrific phenomena… the destruction of all things.. the devouring of life as it is.. darkness around us and nowhere to go.


The waxing and waning of the moon sun gave foundation to marking season and later on TIME, the latter being a very human condition…. To start new things their beginning should fall on auspicious times as indicted by the times of the new moon… the new moon is a promise for new growth, life, and good fortunes.

      Healing herbs are to be gathered during new moon and treasures may be lifted during full moon…

The moon as a macro cosmos to the micro cosmos…
“ As thou decreasest let my pains diminish, and may what  I see increase, and what I suffer cease”



Text Box:  Microcosmos and MACROCOSMOS

The sign in Goethe’s
Faust. Macrocosmos
Source: Rudolf Steiner
Geisteswissenschaftliche Erläuterungen
zu Goethes Faust, GA 272, S. 24




(greek )  macro=  "large" and micro = "small", and the word kosmos which means "order" as well as "world" or "ordered world". 

Man and the universe are linked (man = microcosmos; universe= macrocosmos)… the same order prevails. He who can understand himself is understanding the UNIVERSE. = ergo Fausts quest…

            music  is an expression of the harmony between macro - and microcosmos,


WALPURGISNACHT… walpurgisnight

          April30/1 may … the boundary between dead
and living is fragile throughout this night…a night were the witches meet at the Bocksberg (a mountain in Germany) to celebrate the arrival of spring…

prior to Christianity walpurgisnight was an pagan  celebration  were easterfires were lit across the land to welcome the spring and cleanse the earth with nothfeuer.


SOULS- SHADOWS-Ghosts- Spirits

“ Languages treat the living life giving soul as a delicate feminine essence …. The soul freed from the fetters of the body is made to resemble those airy spirits… it hovers with the same buoyancy, appears and vanishes ……“ Jacob Grimm

the soul transforms in a flower and or is rising as a bird…..the soul has her seat in the blood and as that ebbs away she escapes with it…..JG

upon death the  bodies of slain or persecuted ones transform in plant, vines, flowers, trees, without a trace of the body… this is particularly true of women…

soul is a winged being …. A butterfly …. Psyche….THAT DANCE  at night on the meadows…

in later times the souls need ferrying across the waters…. A fare-penny to carry them over….

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