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New Perspectives of Faust

Studies in the Origins and Philosophy of the Faust Theme in the Dramas of Marlowe and Goethe


Neil Brough

A re-examination of the evidence for the existence of a historical Faust figure which shows that the popular belief that such a figure existed is not well-founded. In the light of new evidence regarding the origins of Valdes and Cornelius in Marlowe's play the theories of earlier scholars are reconsidered with the result that Marlowe is shown to have used sources other than the English Faust Book for his play. Marlowe's play is also compared to the continental dramatic tradition and is shown to be more closely linked to this than it is to any contemporary English tradition. Evidence is presented to show that Marlowe was not the atheist he is believed to have been, but rather a staunch Lutheran.
Contents: The Historical Faust - Cornelius and Valdes identified - Marlowe and the Continental Tradition - Goethe's Faust and the Alchemical Process.