Faust: A Dramatic Poem


Category: Philosophy/Religion

By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Published in 1833

Reference #0658

The tragic play “Faust,” a metaphorical telling of what happens to a soul throughout life, was first printed in 1790 as a fragment and later in a preliminary version in 1806, which became known as Part One. Part Two was completed in 1831 and published posthumously in 1832.

“Faust,” named after the main character, begins in Heaven where the Lord dares Mephistopheles, an agent of the Devil, to lead the Lord’s favorite scholar, Faust, astray. Faust, who is dissatisfied with his pursuit of knowledge by natural and magical means, is offered a blood contract by Mephistopheles in his study. The contract includes the Devil helping Faust with his pursuits on Earth, in exchange for Faust’s servitude in Hell. Faust eventually falls in love with a woman named Gretchen. In the end, Faust attempts to save Gretchen’s life and he is transported to hell once she is saved.

The work is considered to be one of the greatest works of German literature.