Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Faust is the protagonist of a popular German tale that has been used as the basis for many different fictional works. The story concerns the fate of a learned gentleman named Faust, who in his quest for forbidden or advanced knowledge of material things, summons the Devil (often called Mephistopheles), offering to sell him his soul if the Devil will serve him for a period of time.
An anonymous German author wrote the prose volume (chapbook) Historia von D. Iohan Fausten in 1587, which was translated by P. F. Gent[leman] in 1592 as The Historie of the damnable life, and deserved death of Doctor Iohn Faustus. This work was the basis for Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus (pub. c. 1600) which in turn inspired the later Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, which may be considered the more definitive classical work.
The tale has some possible basis in a Dr. Johann Georg Faust (approximately 1480-1540), who was born in the village of Knittlingen , Württemberg, and granted a B.A. in divinity from Heidelberg University in 1509. This identity isn't definite, and it may simply be that the name of "Faust" bears attached any number of legendary tales about a charlatan alchemist (some claim "astrologer and necromancer"), whose pride, vanity, and vile hucksterism would soon enough lead them to their doom.
"Faust's" poor reputation became historical when while in prison, 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) Another very possible inspiration for Marlowe's Doctor Faustus is John Dee (1527-1609), who practised forms of alchemy and science and developed Enochian magic.
Marlowe's Doctor Faustus appears to have been based almost entirely on the P.F. Gent translation, with an additional borrowing from Acts and Monuments by John Foxe, in the exchanges between Pope Adrian and a rival pope.
Works which retell or allude to the Faust tale
- Anonymous - Historia von D. Iohan Fausten (1587)
- Christopher Marlowe's The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1604~1610)
- Dorothy L. Sayers's The Devil to Pay
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, Part One
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, Part Two
- Michel Carre 's Faust et Marguerite
- Arrigo Boito's Mefistofele (1868)
- Havergal Brian's Faust
- Ferruccio Busoni's Doktor Faust (1916-25)
- D'Hervé 's Le Petit Faust
- Charles Gounod's Faust (1859)
- Sergei Prokofiev's opera based on Bryusov's The Fiery Angel
- Ludwig Spohr's Faust
- Heinrich Zoellner 's Faust`
- Alfred Schnittke's Historia von D. Johann Fausten
- The third movement of Charles-Valentin Alkan's Grande Sonate (published 1848)
- Hector Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust (1845-46) (sometimes performed in staged opera versions)
- Ludwig van Beethoven's Opus 75 no 3 (1809) Song - Aus Goethes Faust: "Es war einmal ein König"
- Charles Gounod's Ballet music from his opera Faust (1859). The ballet occurs as an interlude in the Fourth Act during the Walpurgis Night scene familiar from Goethe's Faust Part 1. The ballet or ballet music is often performed independent of the opera.
- Franz Liszt's A Faust Symphony (1854-57)
- Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8 (1906-07)
- Modest Mussorgsky: "Mephistopheles' song of the flea", is just that: a version of the song that Mephistopheles sings in the tavern scene of Goethe's Faust, pt. 1.
- Alfred Schnittke's cantata Faust (1982-83)
- Franz Schubert's Gretchen am Spinnrade (1814)
- Robert Schumann's Scenes from Goethe's Faust (completed 1853)
- Richard Wagner's Faust overture (1840, originally intended as the first movement of a Faust symphony)
- Art Zoyd 's song "Faust"
- Avantgarde/progressive black metal band Arcturus's album, La Masquerade Infernale (1997) alludes to the tale and is dedicated to the "Faustian spirit."
- Melodic power metal band Kamelot's albums, Epica (2003) and The Black Halo (2005) are loosely based on Faust.
- Heinrich Heine's "Der Doktor Faust "
- Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita
- Adelbert von Chamisso's Peter Schlemihl's Remarkable Story (Peter Schlemihls wundersame Geschichte, 1814)
- Tom Holt's Faust Among Equals
- Alfred Jarry's Faustroll
- Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus
- Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer
- Terry Pratchett's
- Michael Swanwick's Jack Faust
- Ivan Turgenev's Faust
- Douglass Wallop 's The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant
- Zoran Živković's Time-gifts
- Valery Bryusov's The Fiery Angel : the tavern scene from Goethe's Faust, Part 1, is spliced into the rest of Bryusov's storyline.
- Ed Kleiman ’s “North End Faust "
- F. W. Murnau's Faust (1926)
- The Band Wagon
- Peter Cook and Dudley Moores Bedazzled (1967), remade in 2000.
- Brian De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
- Jan Svankmajer's Faust (1994 film) (1994)
- I Was A Teenage Faust
- Álex Ollé 's Fausto 5.0
Anime and manga
- Shaman King (A character in Shaman King, Faust VIII, is a descendant of Dr. Faust)
- Guilty Gear X (A character in the manga-fighting-video-game Guilty Gear X, also in Guilty Gear XX )
- Saber Marionette (The antagonistic ruler of the kingdom of Gartlant in Saber Marionette J)
- The comic book Faust was published in the 80s and 90s by artist Tim Vigil and writer David Quinn . The book follows a story template similar to the opera Faust, but is an updated version. Rebel Studios , and independent label originally published it, but it was later picked up by Avatar Press and a subsequent sequal series was created. Both are extremely sexual and violent series.
- Felix Faust is a magical supervillain in the universe of DC Comics. He appeared first in 1962 as an adversary of the Justice League of America.
"Minister Faust" is a pen name for Canadian writer, broadcaster and activist Malcolm Azania; as Minister Faust, he wrote the science fiction novel and social satire The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad.
Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, Edited and with and introduction by Sylvan Barnett (1969, Signet Classics)
- Devilish Deeds in Staufen
- Pacts with the Devil: Faust and Precursors
- Jan Svankmajer's Faust
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