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Acta poética

versión On-line ISSN 2448-735Xversión impresa ISSN 0185-3082


LENERO, Carmen. The Inherently Theatrical Nature of the Faustian Myth. Acta poét [online]. 2013, vol.34, n.2, pp.127-156. ISSN 2448-735X.

Much has been written about the historical, ideological, philosophical, political, and aesthetic differences between the fictional characters embodying the Faust Myth. The image of Faust has passed throughout modern history right up to the present day: from the Renaissance, through the Enlightenment, to twentieth-century Romanticism and Existentialism. It has also "transmigrated" from one artistic genre to another: from oral legend to theatre; from poetry to novelistic writing; from essay to painting and music composition; and from puppet theatre to opera and film. Within each of these spheres, the meaning of Faust's famous pact with Evil (represented by another key figure, The Devil) takes on a new significance, depending on whether one conceives of Faust as a representation of Germanic culture in particular, of European or occidental culture in general, or as a personification of the universal human condition. Without ignoring the cultural contexts of the works in which he appears, this essay explores the theatrical aspects shared by every version of the myth. I will address principally the Volksbuch, edited by Johann Spies in 1587; the play written by Christopher Marlowe (1604); The Puppet Play (first staged in 1746); the two parts of Johann von Goethe's dramatic poem, Faust (1808 and 1832); and the novel by Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus (1947).

Palabras llave : Faust; Mephistopheles; Marlowe; Goethe; Mann; theatricality.

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