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Faust depicted in an etching by Rembrandt van Rijn (circa 1650)
Faust depicted in an etching by Rembrandt van Rijn (circa 1650)

Faust (German for "fist") or Faustus (Latin for "auspicious" or "lucky") is the protagonist of a classic German legend in which a medieval scholar makes a pact with the Devil. The tale is the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic, and musical works, such as those by Christopher Marlowe, Goethe, Thomas Mann, Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt, Oscar Wilde and Charles Gounod. Look up Faust in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 472 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (790 × 1004 pixel, file size: 162 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) +/- Other versions Originally from sv. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 472 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (790 × 1004 pixel, file size: 162 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) +/- Other versions Originally from sv. ... Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (July 15, 1606 - October 4, 1669) is generally considered one of the greatest painters in European art history, and the most important United Provinces (Netherlands) painter of the seventeenth century. ... Fist can refer to the following: A hand that has the fingers curled into the palm and the thumb retracted. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Legend (disambiguation). ... Saint Augustine and the Devil A Pact with the Devil or Faustian Pact is a widespread cultural meme, most familiar in the legend of Faust and the figure of Mephistopheles but an element in many folktales. ... This article is about the English dramatist. ... “Goethe” redirects here. ... For other persons named Thomas Mann, see Thomas Mann (disambiguation). ... Painting of Berlioz by Gustave Courbet, 1850. ... “Liszt” redirects here. ... Oscar Fingal OFlahertie Wills Wilde (October 16, 1854 – November 30, 1900) was an Irish playwright, novelist, poet, and author of short stories. ... Charles Gounod. ...

The name "Faust" has come to stand for a charlatan alchemist (some claim "astrologer and necromancer") whose pride and vanity lead to his doom. Similarly, the adjective "faustian" has come to denote acts or constellations involving human hubris which lead eventually to doom. Look up Charlatan in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Alchemy (disambiguation). ... An astrologer practices one or more forms of astrology. ... Necromancy is divination by raising the spirits of the dead. ... A work of fiction, or a fictional character, may be cited as being Faustian if it involves a literal or proverbial deal with the devil, such as that portrayed in the story of Faust. ... Hubris or hybris (Greek ), according to its modern usage, is exaggerated self pride or self-confidence (overbearing pride), often resulting in fatal retribution. ...


Historical Faust

Main article: Johann Georg Faust

The origin of Faust's name and persona remains unclear, though it is widely assumed to be based on the figure of German Dr. Johann Georg Faust (approximately 1480–1540), a dubious magician and alchemist probably from Knittlingen, Württemberg, who obtained a degree in divinity from Heidelberg University in 1509. According to one account, Faust's infamy became legendary while he was in prison, where in exchange for wine he "offered to show a chaplain how to remove hair from his face without a razor; the chaplain provided the wine and Faustus provided the chaplain with a salve of arsenic, which removed not only the hair but the flesh" (Barnett). 17th century German portrait of Faust. ... 17th century German portrait of Faust. ... Knittlingen is a town in the Enz district, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. ... Arms of the Kingdom of Württemberg The title of this article contains the character ü. Where it is unavailable or not desired, the name may be represented as Wuerttemberg. ... The Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg (German Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg; also known as simply University of Heidelberg) was established in the town of Heidelberg in the Rhineland in 1386. ... General Name, Symbol, Number arsenic, As, 33 Chemical series metalloids Group, Period, Block 15, 4, p Appearance metallic gray Standard atomic weight 74. ...

In Polish folklore there is a tale with a Pan Twardowski in a role similar to Faust's, and seems to have originated at roughly the same time. It is unclear if and to what extent the two tales have a common origin or influenced each other. The figure of Pan Twardowski is supposedly based on a 16th century German emigrant to Kraków, then the Polish capital, possibly John Dee or Edward Kelley. According to Melanchthon, the historic Johann Faust had studied in Kraków, as well. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Pan Twardowski (pronounced [pÊŒn tfÊŒrdÉ’fski]) is a Polish folklore character, a sorcerer who entered a pact with the Devil. ... For other uses, see Krakow (disambiguation). ... For the American college basketball coach, see John Dee (basketball coach). ... Edward Kelley, nineteenth-century portrait Edward Kelley or Kelly, also known as Edward Talbot (August 1, 1555 - 1597) was a spirit medium who worked with John Dee in his magical investigations. ...

Sources of the Faust legend

Main article: Faust chapbooks

The first recorded Faust committed to print is a little chapbook bearing the title Historia von D. Iohan Fausten published in 1587. The book was re-edited and plagiarised throughout the 17th century. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Historia von D. Johann Fausten. ... A modern day chapbook. ...

  • Johann Spies: Historia von D. Johann Fausten. (1587)
  • Das Wagnerbuch von (1593)
  • Das Widmann'sche Faustbuch von (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)

With Marlowe's The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus of 1604, it also received an early literary treatment. Plays and comic puppet theatre loosely based on the legend were popular throughout Germany, often reducing Faust to a figure of vulgar fun. The 1725 chapbook was widely circulated, and also read by the young Goethe. The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story (Faustus is Latin for Faust), in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. ... Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (pronounced [gø tə]) (August 28, 1749–March 22, 1832) was a German writer, politician, humanist, scientist, and philosopher. ...

It has been suggested Jacob Bidermann used such an earlier source for his treatment of the legend of the Damnation of the Good Doctor of Paris, Cenodoxus (published c. 1602). Possibly related tales of a pact between man and the devil include that of Theophilus of Adana, and Mary of Nijmegen,the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century Dutch play attributed to Anna Bijns. This article is in need of attention. ... Cenodoxus is one of several mediaeval miracle plays by Jacob Bidermann, an early 17th century German seminarian and prolific playwright. ... Saint Augustine and the Devil A Pact with the Devil or Faustian Pact is a widespread cultural meme, most familiar in the legend of Faust and the figure of Mephistopheles but an element in many folktales. ... Saint Theophilus the Penitent or Theophilus of Adana (died ca. ... Anna Bijns (born 1493 in Antwerp, Belgium, died 1575 in Antwerp) was a Dutch writer. ...

Marlowe's Doctor Faustus

The early Faust chapbook, while already in circulation in Northern Germany, found its way to England, where it was translated into English by "P. F., Gent[leman]" in 1592 as The Historie of the Damnable Life, and Deserved Death of Doctor Iohn Faustus. It was this work that Christopher Marlowe used for his more ambitious play, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (published c. 1604). Marlowe also borrowed from Acts and Monuments by John Foxe, on the exchanges between Pope Adrian and a rival pope. Another possible inspiration of Marlowe's version is John Dee (1527-1609), who practised forms of alchemy and science and developed Enochian magic. The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story (Faustus is Latin for Faust), in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. ... The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story (Faustus is Latin for Faust), in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. ... The Book of Martyrs , by John Foxe (first published in 1563, with many subsequent editions), is an account of the persecutions of the church reformers and Protestants, mainly in England. ... John Foxe, line engraving by George Glover, first published in the 1641 edition of Actes and Monuments John Foxe (1516–April 8, 1587) is remembered as the author of the famous Foxes Book of Martyrs. ... Pope Adrian may refer to: Pope Adrian I (772–795) Pope Adrian II (867–872) Pope Adrian III (884–885) Pope Adrian IV (1154–1159), only Englishman who has occupied the papal chair. ... For the American college basketball coach, see John Dee (basketball coach). ... For other uses, see Alchemy (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Angelical Language recorded in the journals of Dr. John Dee. ...

Goethe's Faust

Main article: Goethe's Faust

Goethe's Faust inverts and makes greatly more complex the simple Christian moral of the original legend. A hybrid between a play and an extended poem, Goethe's two part "closet drama" is epic in scope. It gathers together references from Christian, medieval, Roman, eastern and Hellenic poetry, philosophy and literature; ending in a Faust who is saved, carried aloft to heaven, as Mephistopheles looks on. Front cover of Faust, Leipzig 1832 Johann Wolfgang von Goethes Faust is a tragic play and the best known version of the Faust story. ... 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. ...

The legend of Faust was an obsession of Goethe's. Although by no means a constant pursuit, the composition and refinement of his own version of the legend occupied him for over sixty years. The final version, not completely published until 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 and power, he attracts the attention of the Devil (represented by Mephistopheles), with whom Faust makes a deal to serve him until the moment that Faust attains the zenith of human happiness, at which point Mephistopheles may take his soul. Goethe's Faust is pleased with the deal, as he believes the moment will never come. This is an overview of the Devil. ... For other uses, see Mephistopheles (disambiguation). ...

In the first part, Mephistopheles leads Faust through experiences that culminate in a lustful and destructive relationship with an innocent and nubile woman named Gretchen. Gretchen and her family are destroyed by Mephistopheles' deceptions and Faust's desires and actions. The story ends in tragedy as Gretchen is saved and Faust is left in shame. Nubility is the state of being marriageable. ...

The second part begins with the spirits of the earth forgiving Faust (and the rest of mankind) and progresses into rich allegorical poetry. Faust and his devil pass through 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 single moment of happiness. Helen was the wife of Menelaus and reputed to be the most beautiful woman in the world, and her abduction by Paris brought about the Trojan War. ...

The devil Mephistopheles, trying to grab Faust's soul when he dies, is frustrated as the Lord intervenes – recognizing the value of Faust's unending striving.

Goethe's Faust was the source material for at least two successful operas: Faust by Charles Gounod and Mefistofele by Arrigo Boito; and major works for soloists, chorus and orchestra such as the "dramatic legend" The Damnation of Faust by Hector Berlioz, Robert Schumann's Scenes from Goethe's Faust and the second part of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8. Faust is an opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré from Carrés play Faust et Marguerite, in turn loosely based on Goethes Faust, Part I. It debuted at the Théatre-Lyrique in Paris on March 19, 1859. ... Charles Gounod. ... Mefistofele is the only completed opera by the Italian composer Arrigo Boito. ... Arrigo Boito (February 24, 1842 – June 10, 1918) was an Italian poet, journalist, novelist and composer, best known today for his opera libretti and his own opera, Mefistofele. ... The Damnation of Faust (French: La damnation de Faust) is work for orchestra, voices, and chorus written by Hector Berlioz (he called it a légende dramatique). The libretto was adapted by Berlioz from Goethes Faust. ... Painting of Berlioz by Gustave Courbet, 1850. ... For others with the same name see Robert Schumann (disambiguation). ... Written between 1844 and 1853, Szenen aus Goethes Faust (Scenes from Goethes Faust) marks the height of composer Robert Schumanns accomplishments in the realm of dramatic music. ... “Mahler” redirects here. ... The Symphony No. ...

Other Fausts

-The opening song of Sabbat's debut album, History of a Time to Come contains a story about Faustus' bargain with the devil History of a Time to Come is the debut full-length album by the British thrash metal band, Sabbat. ...

- "Faustus" was also an anti-Christian adversary in some of Saint Augustine's writings. “Augustinus” redirects here. ...

- Thomas Mann's novel Doctor Faustus is about a composer who agrees to renounce love in exchange for artistic inspiration and a successful career. The story is strongly allegorical in its relationship to social and intellectual developments in Germany prior to World War II. For other persons named Thomas Mann, see Thomas Mann (disambiguation). ... Doctor Faustus (in German, Doktor Faustus) is a German novel written in America by Thomas Mann, begun in 1943 and published in 1947 as (Doctor Faustus. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...

- The Amercian modernist Gertrude Stein wrote the libretto for an operatic version of the Faust legend, Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights (1938), in which Faustus struggles with modernist anxieties about the Enlightenment; he sells his soul for the knowledge of how to make "white electric light", with which he inadvertently abolishes the difference between day and night, eventually falling into a perpetual darkness. The text has been staged by many of the United States avant-garde theatre artists. Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... For Christian theological modernism, see Liberal Christianity and Modernism (Roman Catholicism). ... Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946) was an American writer who became a catalyst in the development of modern art and literature. ... Antonio Ghislanzoni, nineteenth century Italian librettist. ... Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights (1938) is a libretto for an opera by the American modernist playwright and poet Gertrude Stein. ... 18th century philosophy redirects here. ... A work similar to Marcel Duchamps Fountain Avant garde (written avant-garde) is a French phrase, one of many French phrases used by English speakers. ...

- Randy Newman wrote a modern musical version of the Faust story similar to Goethe's, in which God and the Devil vie for the soul of Henry Faust, a schizophrenic college student. See Randy Newman's Faust. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Randy Newmans Faust is a 1995 musical by American musician and songwriter Randy Newman, who based the work on the classic story of Faust. ...

-The computer game Seven Games of the Soul is also known as Faust, and features an old black man named Marcellus Faust as its protagonist. The plot of the game has Faust investigating the lives of various members of a carnival and judging them while attempting to confound Mephisto, a version of Mephistopheles.

- In the manga and anime Shaman King, the character known as Faust VIII is a descendant of original Faust. He learns necromancy from his ancestor's writings, and uses it to control skeletons and his dead wife's body. He seeks to gain power to bring his wife back from the dead. He would later summon the power to Mephisto in the later half of the series. Serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump Shonen Jump Banzai! Original run 1998 – 2004 No. ... Johann Faust VIII (ファウストVIII世 Fausuto hassei) is a fictional character of the anime and manga series Shaman King. ...

- In the book, play and film Thursday's fictions, a character named Wednesday is offered eternal life in a Faustian bargain by the antagonist, Saturday, but he turns her down. [1] // Thursday’s Fictions is the name of an idea which has been expressed through a range of artistic forms, starting with closed forms which deliver the idea to an audience and moving towards more open forms where the audience experience involves participation in the idea. ...

- In Charles-Valentin Alkan's "Grande Sonate: Les Quatres Ages" Op. 33, an atypical sonata depicting the life of man, the second movement 30 Ans is given the title Quasi-Faust. The movement has been described as one of the most difficult and transcendental pieces for the piano repertoire. Often neglected due to its difficulties, the 30 Ans movement musically depicts the struggle between God and the Devil for the possession of Faust's soul upon his demise. The soloist is faced with a myriad of difficulties; being driven to play the Devil's parts "diaboliquement", often forced to play remote registers of the keyboard and must perform an eight part fugue which reintroduces the theme of "Le Seigneur" as it wages its final battle against the Devil. Charles-Valentin Alkan (November 30, 1813–March 29, 1888) was a French composer and one of the greatest virtuoso pianists of his day. ...

See also

Faust has inspired artistic and cultural works for over four centuries. ... Phantom of the Paradise is a 1974 muscial, horror-thriller film written and directed by Brian De Palma. ... Sir Dr. Brajendra Nath Seal was born in Calcutta in 1864. ... The Tragical History of 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. ... NASA photo A glory is an optical phenomenon produced by light reflected toward its source by a cloud of uniformly_sized water droplets. ... The Devil and Tom Walker is a short story by Washington Irving (written under the penname Geoffrey Crayon) that first appeared in his 1824 collection of stories and sketches It was part of the Money-Diggers portion. ... General Jonathan Moulton was to play an important role in the early history of New Hampshire and many tales of his adventures would become the stuff of legend. ... Pan Twardowski (pronounced [pÊŒn tfÊŒrdÉ’fski]) is a Polish folklore character, a sorcerer who entered a pact with the Devil. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) (IPA: ) was a nineteenth-century German philosopher. ... Rudolf Steiner. ... The Brocken, or Blocksberg, is the highest peak (1,141 metres) in the Harz Mountains in Germany (located between the rivers Weser and Elbe) and also the highest peak of northern Germany. ... The Sorrows of Satan is an 1896 faustian novel by Marie Corelli. ... Walpurgis Night in Sweden. ... Damn Yankees is a musical comedy, a modern retelling of the Faust legend set during the 1950s (when the New York Yankees dominated Major League Baseball), in Washington, D.C., with a script by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop and music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. ... A Brazen Head (or Brass Head or Bronze Head) was a prophetic device attributed to many medieval scholars who were believed to be wizards. ... Staufen im Breisgau is a German town in the Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald district of Baden-Württemberg. ...


  • Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, Edited and with and introduction by Sylvan Barnett (1969, Signet Classics)
  • J. Scheible, Das Kloster (1840s).

Das Kloster (the cloister; full title the cloister. ...


  1. ^ Keith Gallasch, Dancefilm: Spiritual Odyssey', RealTime 80, August-September 2007, accessed September 5, 2007: Allen puts the film’s narrative into spiritual perspective: “Thursday was searching for eternal life through her dancers, through personal immortality, a western version of the eastern notion of reincarnation. Wednesday is offered immortality by Saturday as a Faustian bargain: ‘I’ll give you the dancers and what your mother wanted.’ But Wednesday says, ‘No, I’m just going to be in the moment with the dancers and preserve them but I don’t need to go on. Wednesday can let go, and he can die.”

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