Faust

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1.  WHO WAS FAUST?

Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend, based on the historical Johann Georg Faust (c. 1480–1540) who was an itinerant alchemist, astrologer and magician of the German Renaissance.

According to legend, the erudite Faust is highly successful yet dissatisfied with his life, which leads him to make a pact with the Devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. The Faust legend has been the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic, and musical works that have reinterpreted it through the ages.

The Faust of early books — as well as the ballads, dramas, movies, and puppet-plays which grew out of them — is irrevocably 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, but preferred to be styled doctor of medicine”.

The story was popularized in England by Christopher Marlowe, who gave it a classic treatment in his play, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus but it was the great German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote the most famous version of Faust, which concerns the fate of Faust in his quest and ceaseless striving for the true essence of life.

Thomas Mann’s 1947 Doktor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkühn, Told by a Friend adapts the Faust legend to a 20th-century context, documenting the life of fictional composer Adrian Leverkühn. The talented Leverkühn forms a pact with a Mephistophelean character to grant him 24 years of brilliance and success as a composer. Leverkühn’s spiritual, mental, and physical collapse and degradation are mapped on to the period in which Nazism rose in Germany, and Leverkühn’s fate is shown as that of the soul of Germany.

“Faust” and the adjective “Faustian” imply a situation in which an ambitious person surrenders moral integrity in order to achieve power and success for a limited term.

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2. WHAT IS THE ESSENTIAL DIALECTIC OF FAUST?

The Essential Dialectic of Faust is:

{Mephisto-Services ⇆ Wager-Contract ⇅ Knowledge-Pleasure} ↻ Faust’s-Soul

The Essential Dialectic of Faust is …

3. WHAT IS THE INTERMEDIARY DIALECTIC OF FAUST?

The Intermediary Dialectic of Faust is:

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4. WHAT IS THE COMPLETE DIALECTIC OF FAUST?

The Complete Dialectic of Faust is:

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