The German language has itself been influenced by Goethe's
Faust, particularly by the first part. One example of this is the phrase "des Pudels Kern," which
means the real nature or deeper meaning of something (that was not evident
before). The literal translation of "des Pudels Kern" is "the
core of the poodle," and it originates from Faust's exclamation upon
seeing the poodle (which followed him home) turn into Mephistopheles. Another
instance originates in the scene wherein Gretchen asks Faust if he is religious.
In German, the word "Gretchenfrage"
(literally "Gretchen question") refers to a question aiming at the
core of the issue, often forcing the answering person to make a confession or a