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Faust is the protagonist
A protagonist is the main character of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative's plot revolve and with whom the audience is intended to most identify...

 of a classic German legend
German folklore
German folklore shares many characteristics with Scandinavian folklore and English folklore due to their origins in a common Germanic mythology. It reflects a similar mix of influences: a pre-Christian pantheon and other beings equivalent to those of Norse mythology; magical characters associated...

; a highly successful scholar, but also dissatisfied with his life, and so makes a deal with the devil
Deal with the Devil
Deal With The Devil is the fifth studio album by the American heavy metal band Lizzy Borden released in 2000 .A return to form, featuring a cover by Todd McFarlane.2 covers were recorded...

, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. Faust's tale is the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic, and musical works
Works based on Faust
Faust has inspired artistic and cultural works for over four centuries. The following lists cover various media to include items of historic interest, enduring works of high art, and recent representations in popular culture...


The meaning of the word and name has been reinterpreted through the ages. Faust, and the adjective faustian, are often used to describe an arrangement in which an ambitious person surrenders moral
A moral is a message conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a story or event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader or viewer to determine for themselves, or may be explicitly encapsulated in a maxim...

Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions...

 in order to achieve power and success: the proverb
A proverb is a simple and concrete saying popularly known and repeated, which expresses a truth, based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity. They are often metaphorical. A proverb that describes a basic rule of conduct may also be known as a maxim...

ial "deal with the devil
Deal with the Devil
Deal With The Devil is the fifth studio album by the American heavy metal band Lizzy Borden released in 2000 .A return to form, featuring a cover by Todd McFarlane.2 covers were recorded...


The Faust of early books—as well as the ballad
A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads were particularly characteristic of British and Irish popular poetry and song from the later medieval period until the 19th century and used extensively across Europe and later the Americas, Australia and North Africa. Many...

s, drama
Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance. The term comes from a Greek word meaning "action" , which is derived from "to do","to act" . The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a...

s, movies and puppet-plays
Puppetry is a form of theatre or performance which involves the manipulation of puppets. It is very ancient, and is believed to have originated 30,000 years BC. Puppetry takes many forms but they all share the process of animating inanimate performing objects...

 which grew out of them—is irrevocably damned
Damned or The Damned may refer to:* Damnation, a concept of condemnation by God, and use of the term as a profanity- Music :* The Damned , a British punk rock group* "Damned"...

 because he prefers human to divine knowledge; "he laid the Holy Scriptures behind the door and under the bench, refused to be called doctor of Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

, but preferred to be styled doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine is a doctoral degree for physicians. The degree is granted by medical schools...


Plays and comic puppet theatre loosely based on this legend were popular throughout Germany in the 16th century, often reducing Faust and Mephistopheles
Mephistopheles is a demon featured in German folklore...

 to figures of vulgar fun. The story was popularised in England by Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. As the foremost Elizabethan tragedian, next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his mysterious death.A warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May...

, who gave it a classic treatment in his play, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge...

. In Goethe's reworking of the story
Goethe's Faust
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust is a tragic play in two parts: and . Although written as a closet drama, it is the play with the largest audience numbers on German-language stages...

 200 years later, Faust becomes a dissatisfied intellectual who yearns for "more than earthly meat and drink".

Summary of the story

Despite his scholarly eminence, Faust is bored and disappointed. He decides to call on the Devil
The Devil is believed in many religions and cultures to be a powerful, supernatural entity that is the personification of evil and the enemy of God and humankind. The nature of the role varies greatly...

 for further knowledge and magic
Magic (paranormal)
Magic is the claimed art of manipulating aspects of reality either by supernatural means or through knowledge of occult laws unknown to science. It is in contrast to science, in that science does not accept anything not subject to either direct or indirect observation, and subject to logical...

 powers with which to indulge all the pleasure and knowledge of the world. In response, the Devil's representative, Mephistopheles
Mephistopheles is a demon featured in German folklore...

, appears. He makes a bargain with Faust: Mephistopheles will serve Faust with his magic powers for a term of years, but at the end of the term, the devil will claim Faust's soul and Faust will be eternally damned. The term usually stipulated in the early tales is 24 years.

During the term of the bargain, Faust makes use of Mephistopheles in various ways. In many versions of the story, particularly Goethe's drama, Mephistopheles helps him to seduce a beautiful and innocent girl, usually named Gretchen, whose life is ultimately destroyed. However, Gretchen's innocence saves her in the end, and she enters Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

. In Goethe's rendition, Faust is saved by God's grace via his constant striving—in combination with Gretchen's pleadings with God in the form of the Eternal Feminine. However, in the early tales, Faust is irrevocably corrupted and believes his sins cannot be forgiven; when the term ends, the devil carries him off to Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...


Sources of the legend

The first printed source on the legend of Faust is a little chapbook
A chapbook is a pocket-sized booklet. The term chap-book was formalized by bibliophiles of the 19th century, as a variety of ephemera , popular or folk literature. It includes many kinds of printed material such as pamphlets, political and religious tracts, nursery rhymes, poetry, folk tales,...

 bearing the title Historia von D. Johann Fausten, published in 1587. The book was re-edited and borrowed from throughout the 16th century. Other "Faustbooks" of that era include:
  • Das Wagnerbuch (1593)
  • Das Widmann'sche Faustbuch (1599)
  • Dr. Fausts großer und gewaltiger Höllenzwang (Frankfurt 1609)
  • Dr. Johannes Faust, Magia naturalis et innaturalis (Passau 1612)
  • Das Pfitzer'sche Faustbuch (1674)
  • Dr. Fausts großer und gewaltiger Meergeist (Amsterdam 1692)
  • Das Wagnerbuch (1714)
  • Faustbuch des Christlich Meynenden (1725)

The 1725 Faustbook was widely circulated, and also read by the young Goethe.

The origin of Faust's name and persona remains unclear; though it is widely assumed to be based on the figure of Dr. Johann Georg Faust
Johann Georg Faust
Dr. Johann Georg Faust , also known in English as John Faustus , was an itinerant alchemist, astrologer, and magician of the German Renaissance...

 (c. 1480–1540), a magician and alchemist
Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base...

 probably from Knittlingen
Knittlingen is a town in the Enz district in Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany.It lies at the eastern edge of the Kraichgau in the centre of a rectangle that is formed byHeidelberg, Karlsruhe, Heilbronn, and Stuttgart....

, Württemberg
Württemberg , formerly known as Wirtemberg or Wurtemberg, is an area and a former state in southwestern Germany, including parts of the regions Swabia and Franconia....

, who obtained a degree in divinity
Divinity (academic discipline)
Divinity is the study of Christian and other theology and ministry at a school, divinity school, university, or seminary. The term is sometimes a synonym for theology as an academic, speculative pursuit, and sometimes is used for the study of applied theology and ministry to make a distinction...

 from Heidelberg University in 1509. Scholars such as Frank Baron and Dr. Leo Ruickbie
Leo Ruickbie
Leo Ruickbie is an historian and sociologist of magic, witchcraft and Wicca. He is the author of several books, beginning with Witchcraft Out of the Shadows, a 2004 publication outlining the history of witchcraft from ancient Greece until the modern day. Ruickbie was born in Scotland and took a...

 contest many of these previous assumptions.

Some sources also connect the legendary Faust with Johann Fust
Johann Fust
Johann Fust was an early German printer.- Family background :Fust belonged to a rich and respectable burgher family of Mainz, traceable back to the early thirteenth-century; members of the family held many civil and religious offices.The name was always written Fust, but in 1506 Peter Schöffer, in...

 (c. 1400–1466), Johann Gutenberg's business partner, or suggest that Fust is one of the multiple origins to the Faust story.

The character in Polish folklore named Pan Twardowski
Pan Twardowski
Pan Twardowski , in Polish folklore and literature, is a sorcerer who entered a pact with the devil, similar to the figure of Faust in German literature. Like Faust, Pan Twardowski sold his soul in exchange for special powers – such as summoning up the spirit of Polish King Sigismund...

 presents similarities with Faust, and this legend seems to have originated at roughly the same time. It is unclear whether the two tales have a common origin or influenced each other. Pan Twardowski may be based on a 16th-century German emigrant to the then-capital of Poland, Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

, or possibly John Dee
John Dee (mathematician)
John Dee was an English mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occultist, navigator, imperialist and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I. He devoted much of his life to the study of alchemy, divination and Hermetic philosophy....

 or Edward Kelley
Edward Kelley
Sir Edward Kelley or Kelly, also known as Edward Talbot was an ambiguous figure in English Renaissance occultism and self-declared spirit medium who worked with John Dee in his magical investigations...

. According to the theologian Philip Melanchthon, the historical Johann Faust had studied in Kraków, as well.

Related tales about a pact between man and the devil include the legend of Theophilus of Adana
Theophilus of Adana
Saint Theophilus the Penitent or Theophilus of Adana was a cleric in the sixth century Church who is said to have made a deal with the devil to gain an ecclesiastical position. His story is significant as it is the oldest story of a pact with the Devil and was an inspiration for the Faust legend...

, the 5th-century bishop; and the plays Mary of Nijmegen (Dutch, early 15th century, attributed to Anna Bijns
Anna Bijns
Anna Bijns was a writer, schoolteacher and nun who taught until she was 80 years old.-Biography:The elder daughter of a tailor and rederijker, she opened a school in Antwerp with her brother Martin, following the death of her father and marriage of her sister. Anna Bijns was one of the rare women...

) and Cenodoxus
Cenodoxus is one of several medieval miracle plays by Jacob Bidermann, an early 17th century German Jesuit and prolific playwright. Jacob Bidermann's treatment of the Legend of the Doctor of Paris is generally regarded as one of the inspirations for Goethe's Faust.-Performance history:Published in...

(German, early 17th century, by Jacob Bidermann
Jacob Bidermann
Jacob Bidermann was born in the Austrian village of Ehingen, about 30 miles southwest of Ulm. He was a Jesuit priest and professor of theology, but is remembered mostly for his plays....


The notes to one edition of Goethe's Faust assert that the alchemists Agrippa
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim was a German magician, occult writer, theologian, astrologer, and alchemist.-Life:Agrippa was born in Cologne in 1486...

 and Paracelsus
Paracelsus was a German-Swiss Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer, and general occultist....

 were combined into the protagonist.

Marlowe's Doctor Faustus

The early Faust chapbook, while in circulation in northern Germany, found its way to England, where in 1592 an English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 translation was published, The Historie of the Damnable Life, and Deserved Death of Doctor Iohn Faustus credited to a certain "P. F., Gent[leman]". Christopher Marlowe used this work as the basis for his more ambitious play, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge...

(published c. 1604). Marlowe also borrowed from John Foxe
John Foxe
John Foxe was an English historian and martyrologist, the author of what is popularly known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs, , an account of Christian martyrs throughout Western history but emphasizing the sufferings of English Protestants and proto-Protestants from the fourteenth century through the...

's Book of Martyrs
Foxe's Book of Martyrs
The Book of Martyrs, by John Foxe, more accurately Acts and Monuments, is an account from a Protestant point of view of Christian church history and martyrology...

, on the exchanges between Pope Adrian VI
Pope Adrian VI
Pope Adrian VI , born Adriaan Florenszoon Boeyens, served as Pope from 9 January 1522 until his death some 18 months later...

 and a rival pope. Another possible inspiration of Marlowe's version is John Dee
John Dee (mathematician)
John Dee was an English mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occultist, navigator, imperialist and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I. He devoted much of his life to the study of alchemy, divination and Hermetic philosophy....

 (1527–1609), who practiced forms of alchemy and science and developed Enochian magic
Enochian magic
Enochian magic is a system of ceremonial magic based on the evocation and commanding of various spirits. It is based on the 16th-century writings of Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley, who claimed that their information was delivered to them directly by various angels. Dee's journals contained the...


Goethe's Faust

Another important version of the legend is the play Faust
Goethe's Faust
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust is a tragic play in two parts: and . Although written as a closet drama, it is the play with the largest audience numbers on German-language stages...

by the German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer, pictorial artist, biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath. He is considered the supreme genius of modern German literature. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, and science. His Faust has been called the greatest long...


Goethe's Faust complicates the simple Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 moral of the original legend. A hybrid between a play and an extended poem, Goethe's two-part "closet drama
Closet drama
A closet drama is a play that is not intended to be performed onstage, but read by a solitary reader or, sometimes, out loud in a small group. A related form, the "closet screenplay," developed during the 20th century.-Form:...

" is epic in scope. It gathers together references from Christian, medieval, Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

, eastern and Hellenic
Hellenic is a synonym for Greek and may refer to:* Hellenic languages* Hellenic Airlines* Hellenic College, a liberal arts college in Brookline, Massachusetts* Hellenic College of London* Hellenic FC, a football club in South Africa...

 poetry, philosophy and literature.

The composition and refinement of Goethe's own version of the legend occupied him for over 60 years (though not continuously). The final version, published after his death, is recognized as a great work of German literature.

The story concerns the fate of Faust in his quest for the true essence of life ("was die Welt im Innersten zusammenhält"). Frustrated with learning and the limits to his knowledge, power, and enjoyment of life, he attracts the attention of the devil (represented by Mephistopheles), who agrees to serve Faust until the moment he attains so the zenith of human happiness that he cries out to that moment to "stay, thou art so beautiful!" (Faust, I, l.1700) — at which point Mephistopheles may take his soul. Faust is pleased with the deal, as he believes this happy zenith will never come.

In the first part, Mephistopheles
Mephistopheles is a demon featured in German folklore...

 leads Faust through experiences that culminate in a lustful relationship with Gretchen, an innocent young woman. Gretchen
Maria Odete Brito de Miranda, known as Gretchen is a Brazilian singer. She became notorious as the Rainha do Bumbum in the late 1970s...

 and her family are destroyed by Mephistopheles' deceptions and Faust's desires. Part one of the story ends in tragedy for Faust, as Gretchen is saved but Faust is left to grieve in shame.

The second part begins with the spirits of the earth forgiving Faust (and the rest of mankind) and progresses into allegorical
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

 poetry. Faust and his devil pass through and manipulate the world of politics and the world of the classical gods, and meet with Helen of Troy (the personification of beauty). Finally, having succeeded in taming the very forces of war and nature, Faust experiences a singular moment of happiness.

Mephistopheles tries to seize Faust's soul when he dies after this moment of happiness, but is frustrated and enraged when angels intervene due to God's grace. Though this grace is truly 'gratuitous' and does not condone Faust's frequent errors perpetrated with Mephistopheles, the angels state that this grace can only occur because of Faust's unending striving and due to the intercession of the forgiving Gretchen. The final scene has Faust's soul carried to heaven in the presence of God as the "Holy Virgin, Mother, Queen, Goddess...The Eternal Feminine". The Goddess is thus victorious over Mephistopheles, who had insisted at Faust's death that he would be consigned to "The Eternal Empty".

Murnau's "Faust"

An additional version of Faust, and important at that, is in F.W. Murnau's film, which presents the orignal Ferman domestic cut of Faust for the first time in film format for the UK. Faust was Murnau's last German film, thus featuring astonishing photography, a director's last art direction and special effects which retain the power to amaze, almost as real as flipping through pages of the original book. Unlike and yet similar to previous takes on the persona of Faust, as seen in Goethe's etc, Murnau casts Faust at the pinnacle of the silent film
Silent film
A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards...

 era in films, provoking a barrage of visceral and apocraphal imagery contrasting with Geothe's spiritual theme.

Similarities to Goethe's Faust include the classic talke of a man who sold his soul to the devil, the same Mephisto wagering with an angel to corrupt the soul of Faust, the plague sent by Mephisto on Faust's small town, and the familiar cliffhanger - Faust unable to find a cure and therefore turning to Mephisto, renouncing God, the angel and science alike.

Murnau, in this final domestic cut of Faust, is criticised for perfectionism in this last film. But that could be a good thing, as his multiple shot takes take each scene to an extremely proud replication.

The German folk tale was made in 1926 with score by Stan Ambrose and Timothy Brock
Timothy Brock
Timothy Brock is an American composer and conductor specializing in concert works of the early 20th century and silent film. His works include Nine Ball Suite , Requiem for the Old St...

. New essays on the book are also included at the end of the film by Peter Spooner
Peter Spooner
Peter Goodwill Spooner was an English footballer.-Career:Spooner played for Newbiggin United before joining Ashington in 1928. He had trials with Newcastle United in 1929. He joined Bradford Park Avenue in 1930, making five appearances and scoring one goal in the league, before joining York City...



Goethe's Faust was the basis for three major operas:
  • Faust
    Faust (opera)
    Faust is a drame lyrique in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré from Carré's play Faust et Marguerite, in turn loosely based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, Part 1...

    by Charles Gounod
    Charles Gounod
    Charles-François Gounod was a French composer, known for his Ave Maria as well as his operas Faust and Roméo et Juliette.-Biography:...

  • Mefistofele
    Mefistofele is an opera in a prologue, four acts and an epilogue, the only completed opera by the Italian composer-librettist Arrigo Boito.-Composition history:...

    by Arrigo Boito
    Arrigo Boito
    Arrigo Boito , aka Enrico Giuseppe Giovanni Boito, pseudonym Tobia Gorrio, was an Italian poet, journalist, novelist and composer, best known today for his libretti, especially those for Giuseppe Verdi's operas Otello and Falstaff, and his own opera Mefistofele...

  • Doktor Faust
    Doktor Faust
    Doktor Faust is an opera by Ferruccio Busoni with a German libretto by the composer himself, based on the myth of Faust. Busoni worked on the opera, which he intended as his masterpiece, between 1916 and 1924, but it was still incomplete at the time of his death. His pupil Philipp Jarnach finished it...

    by Ferruccio Busoni
    Ferruccio Busoni
    Ferruccio Busoni was an Italian composer, pianist, editor, writer, piano and composition teacher, and conductor.-Biography:...

There is also an operatic version by the British composer Havergal Brian
Havergal Brian
Havergal Brian , was a British classical composer.Brian acquired a legendary status at the time of his rediscovery in the 1950s and 1960s for the many symphonies he had managed to write. By the end of his life he had completed 32, an unusually large number for any composer since Haydn or Mozart...


It has inspired major musical works in other forms, such as the "dramatic legend" The Damnation of Faust
The Damnation of Faust
La damnation de Faust , Op. 24 is a work for four solo voices, full seven-part chorus, large children's chorus and orchestra by the French composer Hector Berlioz. He called it a "légende dramatique"...

by Hector Berlioz
Hector Berlioz
Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic composer, best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts . Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra with his Treatise on Instrumentation. He specified huge orchestral forces for some of his works; as a...

, Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann, sometimes known as Robert Alexander Schumann, was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most representative composers of the Romantic era....

's Scenes from Goethe's Faust
Scenes from Goethe's Faust
Written between 1844 and 1853, Szenen aus Goethes Faust has been described as the height of composer Robert Schumann's accomplishments in the realm of dramatic music....

, the second part of Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler was a late-Romantic Austrian composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation. He was born in the village of Kalischt, Bohemia, in what was then Austria-Hungary, now Kaliště in the Czech Republic...

's Symphony No. 8
Symphony No. 8 (Mahler)
The Symphony No. 8 in E-flat major by Gustav Mahler is one of the largest-scale choral works in the classical concert repertoire. Because it requires huge instrumental and vocal forces it is frequently called the "Symphony of a Thousand", although the work is often performed with fewer than a...

, Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt ; ), was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher.Liszt became renowned in Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age...

's Faust Symphony
Faust Symphony
A Faust Symphony in three character pictures , S.108, or simply the "Faust Symphony", was written by Hungarian composer Franz Liszt and was inspired by Johann von Goethe's drama, Faust...

and Havergal Brian's Gothic Symphony.

The story of Faust is also woven into Dr. Mikhail Bulgakov
Mikhail Bulgakov
Mikhaíl Afanásyevich Bulgákov was a Soviet Russian writer and playwright active in the first half of the 20th century. He is best known for his novel The Master and Margarita, which The Times of London has called one of the masterpieces of the 20th century.-Biography:Mikhail Bulgakov was born on...

's best-known novel, The Master and Margarita
The Master and Margarita
The Master and Margarita is a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, woven around the premise of a visit by the Devil to the fervently atheistic Soviet Union. Many critics consider the book to be one of the greatest novels of the 20th century, and one of the foremost Soviet satires, directed against a...

with Margarita being modeled on Gretchen and the Master on Faust. Other characters in the novel include Woland (whose description recalls Mephistopheles) and Mikhail Alexandrovitch Berlioz (the head of Massolit), whose name obviously refers to the composer of The Damnation of Faust mentioned above.

Damn Yankees
Damn Yankees
Damn Yankees is a musical comedy with a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop and music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. The story is a modern retelling of the Faust legend set during the 1950s in Washington, D.C., during a time when the New York Yankees dominated Major League...

is a musical comedy with a book by George Abbott
George Abbott
George Francis Abbott was an American theater producer and director, playwright, screenwriter, and film director and producer whose career spanned more than nine decades.-Early years:...

 and Douglass Wallop
Douglass Wallop
John Douglass Wallop III was an American novelist and playwright.-Early life:John Douglass Wallop III was born on March 8, 1920 to John Douglass, Jr., an insurance agent, and Marjorie Wallop ....

 and music and lyrics by Richard Adler
Richard Adler
Richard Adler is an American lyricist, composer and producer of several Broadway shows.-Biography:Born in New York City, Adler had a musical upbringing, his father being a concert pianist. After serving in the Navy he began his career as a lyricist, teaming up with Jerry Ross in 1950...

 and Jerry Ross
Jerry Ross
Jerry Ross may refer to:* Jerry Ross , Gerald, American painter* Jerry Ross , Jerold, American lyricist and composer* Jerry L...

. The story is a modern retelling of the Faust legend set during the 1950s in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, during a time when the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

 dominated Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

. The musical is based on Wallop's novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant
The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant
The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant is a 1954 novel by Douglass Wallop. It adapts the Faust theme to the world of American baseball in the 1950s.-Plot summary:...


It also inspired French painter Ary Scheffer
Ary Scheffer
Ary Scheffer , French painter of Dutch and German extraction, was born in Dordrecht.-Life:After the early death of his father Johann Baptist, a poor painter, Ary's mother Cornelia, herself a painter and daughter of landscapist Arie Lamme, took him to Paris and placed him in the studio of...

 : Faust and Marguerite
Marguerite is the French form of a female given name which derives from the Greek Μαργαρίτης meaning "pearl")...

, oils on canvas, ca. 1831, Musée de la Vie romantique
Musée de la Vie Romantique
The Musée de la Vie romantique stands at the foot of Montmartre hill in the IXe arrondissement, 16 rue Chaptal, Paris, France in a 1830 hôtel particulier facing two twin-studios, a greenhouse, a small garden, and a paved courtyard. The museum is open daily except Monday. Permanent collections are...

, Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

The anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
is a Japanese anime television series produced by Shaft and Aniplex. The series is directed by Akiyuki Shinbo and written by Gen Urobuchi with original character designs by Ume Aoki, character design adaptation by Takahiro Kishida and music by Yuki Kajiura...

 and Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) were also shown to have several parallels with the concepts from Faust.

In 2006, the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps
Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps
The Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, founded in 1956, is a World Class drum and bugle corps based in Rockford, Illinois, and is a member corps of Drum Corps International...

's program for the summer was entitled Faust and was loosely based on the legend.

Translations into English

In September 2006, Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

 published an English, blank-verse
Blank verse
Blank verse is poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter. It has been described as "probably the most common and influential form that English poetry has taken since the sixteenth century" and Paul Fussell has claimed that "about three-quarters of all English poetry is in blank verse."The first...

 translation of Goethe's work entitled Faustus, From the German of Goethe, now widely believed to be the production of Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, Romantic, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla...

. The translation, which was published anonymously in 1821, was previously attributed to George Soane. Despite this evidence, the status of the translation as the work of Coleridge is still disputed by some Coleridge authorities.

Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus

Thomas Mann
Thomas Mann
Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual...

's 1947 Doktor Faustus: Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkühn, erzählt von einem Freunde adapts the Faust legend to a 20th-century context, documenting the life of fictional composer Adrian Leverkühn as analog and embodiment of the early 20th-century history of Germany and of Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. The talented Leverkühn, after contracting venereal disease from a brothel visit, forms a pact with a Mephistophelean character to grant him 24 years of brilliance and success as a composer. He produces works of increasing beauty to universal acclaim, even while physical illness begins to corrupt his body. In 1930, when presenting his final masterwork (The Lamentation of Dr Faust), he confesses the pact he had made: madness and syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; however, it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis...

 now overcome him, and he suffers a slow and total collapse until his death in 1940. Leverkühn's spiritual, mental, and physical collapse and degradation are mapped on to the period in which Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 rose in Germany, and Leverkühn's fate is shown as that of the soul of Germany.

See also

  • Cross Road Blues
    Cross Road Blues
    "Cross Road Blues" is a song by Delta Blues singer Robert Johnson; released on a 78 rpm record in 1936 by Vocalion Records, catalogue 3519. The original version remained out of print after its initial release until the appearance of The Complete Recordings in 1990...

  • Deal with the devil
    Deal with the Devil
    Deal With The Devil is the fifth studio album by the American heavy metal band Lizzy Borden released in 2000 .A return to form, featuring a cover by Todd McFarlane.2 covers were recorded...

  • Eric (novel)
    Eric (novel)
    Eric, also known as Faust Eric, is the ninth Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett. It was originally published in 1990 as a "Discworld story", in a larger format than the other novels and illustrated by Josh Kirby...

    , Parody by popular author Terry Pratchett
  • Jonathan Moulton
    Jonathan Moulton
    General Jonathan Moulton played an important role in the early history of New Hampshire, and many tales of his adventures would become legendary.-Early life and King George's War:...

    , the "Yankee Faust"
  • "Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris", a Latin phrase from Marlowe's play The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
    The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
    The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge...

  • Staufen, Germany
    Staufen, Germany
    Staufen im Breisgau is a German town in the Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald district of Baden-Württemberg. It has a population of approximately 7700.-General:...

    , a town in the extreme southwest of Germany, claims to be where Faust died (ca. 1540); depictions appear on buildings, etc. The only historical source for this tradition is a passage in the Chronik der Grafen von Zimmern, which was written around 1565, 25 years after Faust's presumed death. These chronicles are generally considered reliable, and in the 16th century there were still family ties between the lords of Staufen and the counts of Zimmern in nearby Donaueschingen.
  • Works based on Faust
    Works based on Faust
    Faust has inspired artistic and cultural works for over four centuries. The following lists cover various media to include items of historic interest, enduring works of high art, and recent representations in popular culture...


  • Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, Edited and with an introduction by Sylvan Barnet (1969, Signet Classics)
  • J. Scheible, Das Kloster
    Das Kloster
    Das Kloster Das Kloster Das Kloster ("The Cloister"; full title Das Kloster. Weltlich und geistlich. Meist aus der ältern deutschen Volks-, Wunder-, Curiositäten-, und vorzugsweise komischen Literatur "The Cloister. Profane and sacred...


External links