Faust is a tragic play in two parts by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, usually known in English as Faust, Part One and Faust, Part Two . Nearly all of Part One and the majority of Part Two are written in rhymed verse. Although rarely staged in its entirety, it is the play with the largest audience numbers on German-language stages. Faust is considered by many to be Goethe's magnum opus and the greatest work of German literature. 
The earliest forms of the work, known as the Urfaust, were developed between 1772 and 1775; however, the details of that development are not entirely clear. Urfaust has twenty-two scenes, one in prose, two largely prose and the remaining 1,441 lines in rhymed verse. The manuscript is lost, but a copy was discovered in 1886. 
The first appearance of the work in print was Faust, a Fragment, published in 1790. Goethe completed a preliminary version of what is now known as Part One in 1806. Its publication in 1808 was followed by the revised 1828–29 edition, the last to be edited by Goethe himself.
Goethe finished writing Faust, Part Two in 1831; it was published posthumously the following year. In contrast to Faust, Part One, the focus here is no longer on the soul of Faust, which has been sold to the devil, but rather on social phenomena such as psychology, history and politics, in addition to mystical and philosophical topics. The second part formed the principal occupation of Goethe's last years.
The original 1808 German title page of Goethe's play read simply: "Faust. / Eine Tragödie" ("Faust. / A Tragedy"). The addition of "erster Teil" (in English, "Part One") was retroactively applied by publishers when the sequel was published in 1832 with a title page which read: "Faust. / Der Tragödie zweiter Teil" ("Faust. / The Tragedy's Second Part").
The two plays have been published in English under a number of titles, and are usually referred to as Faust, Parts One and Two.
The principal characters of Faust Part One include:
Faust, Part One takes place in multiple settings, the first of which is Heaven. Mephistopheles (Satan) makes a bet with God: he says that he can lure God's favorite human (Faust), who is striving to learn everything that can be known, away from righteous pursuits. The next scene takes place in Faust's study where the aging scholar, struggling with what he considers the vanity and uselessness of scientific, humanistic, and religious learning, turns to magic for the showering of infinite knowledge. He suspects, however, that his attempts are failing. Frustrated, he ponders suicide, but rejects it as he hears the echo of nearby Easter celebrations begin. He goes for a walk with his assistant Wagner and is followed home by a stray poodle.
In Faust's study, the poodle transforms into Mephistopheles. He reveals to Faust that although the misshapen pentagram carved into Faust's doorway has allowed him to enter, he cannot leave. Faust is surprised that Mephistopheles is bound by mystical laws, and from this reasons that he could make a pact. Mephistopheles says that he is willing to make a deal but wishes to leave for the night. Faust refuses to release him because he believes it would be impossible for him to catch Mephistopheles again. Mephistopheles then tricks him into permitting a demonstration of his power; Faust falls asleep listening to the song of the spirits, allowing Mephistopheles to escape by calling upon rats to chew away the pentagram.
The next morning Mephistopheles returns. He tells Faust that he wishes to serve him in life, and in return Faust must serve him in the afterlife. Faust is willing to accept but is concerned that accepting the services of Mephistopheles will bring him to ruin. To avoid this fate, Faust makes a wager: if Mephistopheles can grant Faust an experience of transcendence on Earth—a moment so blissful that he wishes to remain in it forever—then he will instantly die and serve the Devil in Hell. Mephistopheles accepts the wager.
When Mephistopheles tells Faust to sign the pact with blood, Faust complains that Mephistopheles does not trust Faust's word of honor. In the end, Mephistopheles wins the argument and Faust signs the contract with a drop of his own blood. Faust has a few excursions and then meets Margaret (also known as Gretchen). He is attracted to her and with jewelry and with help from a neighbor, Marthe, Mephistopheles draws Gretchen into Faust's arms. With Mephistopheles' aid, Faust seduces Gretchen. Gretchen's mother dies from a sleeping potion, administered by Gretchen to obtain privacy so that Faust could visit her. Gretchen discovers she is pregnant. Gretchen's brother condemns Faust, challenges him and falls dead at the hands of Faust and Mephistopheles. Gretchen drowns her illegitimate child and is convicted of the murder. Faust tries to save Gretchen from death by attempting to free her from prison. Finding that she refuses to escape, Faust and Mephistopheles flee the dungeon, while voices from Heaven announce that Gretchen shall be saved – "Sie ist gerettet" – this differs from the harsher ending of Urfaust – "Sie ist gerichtet!" – "she is condemned."
Rich in classical allusion, in Part Two the romantic story of the first Faust is put aside, and Faust wakes in a field of fairies to initiate a new cycle of adventures and purpose. The piece consists of five acts (relatively isolated episodes) each representing a different theme. Ultimately, Faust goes to Heaven, for he loses only half of the bet. Angels, who arrive as messengers of divine mercy, declare at the end of Act V: "He who strives on and lives to strive / Can earn redemption still" (V, 11936–7).
Throughout Part One, Faust remains unsatisfied; the ultimate conclusion of the tragedy and the outcome of the wagers are only revealed in Faust, Part Two. The first part represents the "small world" and takes place in Faust's own local, temporal milieu. In contrast, Part Two takes place in the "wide world" or macrocosmos.
In 1821, a partial English verse translation of Faust (Part One) was published anonymously by the London publisher Thomas Boosey and Sons, with illustrations by the German engraver Moritz Retzsch. This translation was attributed to the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge by Frederick Burwick and James C. McKusick in their 2007 Oxford University Press edition, Faustus: From the German of Goethe, Translated by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  In a letter dated 4 September 1820, Goethe wrote to his son August that Coleridge was translating Faust.  However, this attribution is controversial: Roger Paulin, William St. Clair, and Elinor Shaffer provide a lengthy rebuttal to Burwick and McKusick, offering evidence including Coleridge's repeated denials that he had ever translated Faustus and arguing that Goethe's letter to his son was based on misinformation from a third party. 
Coleridge's fellow Romantic Percy Bysshe Shelley produced admired  fragments of a translation first publishing Part One Scene II in The Liberal magazine in 1822, with "Scene I" (in the original, the "Prologue in Heaven") being published in the first edition of his Posthumous Poems by Mary Shelley in 1824. 
In August 1950, Boris Pasternak's Russian translation of the first part led him to be attacked in the Soviet literary journal Novy Mir . The attack read in part,
... the translator clearly distorts Goethe's ideas... in order to defend the reactionary theory of 'pure art' ... he introduces an aesthetic and individualist flavor into the text... attributes a reactionary idea to Goethe... distorts the social and philosophical meaning... 
In response, Pasternak wrote to Ariadna Èfron, the exiled daughter of Marina Tsvetaeva:
There was some alarm when my Faust was torn to pieces in Novy mir on the basis that supposedly the gods, angels, witches, spirits, the madness of poor Gretchen and everything 'irrational' was rendered too well, whereas Goethe's progressive ideas (which ones?) were left in the shade and unattended. 
Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend based on the historical Johann Georg Faust.
Mephistopheles, also known as Mephisto, is a demon featured in German folklore. He originally appeared in literature as the demon in the Faust legend, and has since become a stock character appearing in other works of arts and popular culture.
Faust is an opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré from Carré's play Faust et Marguerite, in turn loosely based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, Part One. It debuted at the Théâtre Lyrique on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris on 19 March 1859, with influential sets designed by Charles-Antoine Cambon and Joseph Thierry, Jean Émile Daran, Édouard Desplechin, and Philippe Chaperon.
Woland is a fictional character in the novel The Master and Margarita by the Russian (Soviet) author Mikhail Bulgakov, written between 1928 and 1940. Woland is the mysterious foreigner and professor whose visit to Moscow sets the plot rolling and turns the world upside-down.
Faust: The Second Part of the Tragedy is the second part of the tragic play Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It was published in 1832, the year of Goethe's death.
"Gretchen am Spinnrade", Op. 2, D 118, is a Lied composed by Franz Schubert using the text from Part One, scene 15 of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust. With "Gretchen am Spinnrade" and some 600 other songs for voice and piano, Schubert contributed transformatively to the genre of Lied. "Gretchen am Spinnrade" was composed for soprano voice but has been transposed to accommodate other voice types. Schubert composed "Gretchen am Spinnrade" on 19 October 1814, three months before his eighteenth birthday.
A Faust Symphony in three character pictures, S.108, or simply the "Faust Symphony", is a choral symphony written by Hungarian composer Franz Liszt inspired by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's drama, Faust. The symphony was premiered in Weimar on 5 September 1857, for the inauguration of the Goethe–Schiller Monument there.
Auerbachs Keller is the second oldest restaurant in Leipzig, Germany. Already one of the city's most important wine bars by the 16th century, it owes its worldwide reputation to Goethe's play Faust as the first place Mephistopheles takes Faust on their travels.
Faust: A Tragedy is the first part of the tragic play Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and is considered by many as the greatest work of German literature. It was first published in 1808.
Doktor Faust is an opera by Ferruccio Busoni with a German libretto by the composer, based on the myth of Faust. Busoni worked on the opera, which he intended as his masterpiece, between 1916 and 1924, but it was still incomplete at the time of his death. His pupil Philipp Jarnach finished it. More recently, in 1982, Antony Beaumont completed the opera using sketches by Busoni that were previously thought to have been lost. Nancy Chamness published an analysis of the libretto to Doktor Faust and a comparison with Goethe's version.
Faust has inspired artistic and cultural works for over four centuries. The following lists cover various media to include items of historic interest, enduring works of high art, and recent representations in popular culture. The entries represent works that a reader has a reasonable chance of encountering rather than a complete catalog.
Scenes from Goethe's Faust is a musical-theatrical work by composer Robert Schumann. The work has been described as the height of his accomplishments in the realm of dramatic music. The work was written between 1844 and 1853 and is scored for SATB chorus, boys' chorus, orchestra, and a number of solo parts which, even with doubling, require seven solo singers, although eight is the usual number for a performance. Schumann never saw all three parts of the work performed in the same concert, or published together. Eric Sams comments 'There is no coherence in the orchestration, which audibly dates from two different periods ', leading him to conclude that Schumann did not conceive the work as a whole, although late nineteenth-century ideas of performance mean that in the modern era the piece is predominantly heard with all three parts.
This article lists cultural references to Mephistopheles, the fictional devil from Faust and Doctor Faustus who has been used in other pieces of literature, film, comics and music.
Faust is a series of approximately 100 paintings created between 1976 and 1979 by Nabil Kanso. The paintings depict figural compositions in a sequence of scenes whose subjects are loosely based on Goethe’s 1808 play Faust Part One and Part Two.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, and critic. His works include plays, poetry, literature, and aesthetic criticism, as well as treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour. He is widely regarded as the greatest and most influential writer in the German language, his work having a profound and wide-ranging influence on Western literary, political, and philosophical thought from the late 18th century to the present day.
Martin Greenberg was an American poet and translator.
Faust is a 2011 Russian film directed by Alexander Sokurov. Set in the 19th century, it is a free interpretation of the Faust legend and its respective literary adaptations by both Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1808) as well as Thomas Mann. The dialogue is in German. The film won the Golden Lion at the 68th Venice International Film Festival. At the 2012 Russian Guild of Film Critics Awards the film was awarded the prizes for Best Film, Best Director, Best Script and Best Male Supporting Actor. It received generally positive reviews from critics.
The "Song of the Flea" is a song with piano accompaniment, composed by Modest Mussorgsky in 1879. The lyrics are from the Russian translation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust.
David Luke (1921–2005) was a scholar of German literature at Christ Church, Oxford.
Mephistopheles and Margaretta is a 19th-century wooden "double sculpture" of two characters from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's 1808 play Faust. The obverse depicts the demon Mephistopheles, and the reverse depicts a woman, Margaretta. A mirror placed behind the sculpture allows both sides to be seen simultaneously.