Faustian Legend outline and essay

Assignment #2

Read the following variations on the story to compare with Marlowe’s play.

Historia & Tale of Doctor Johannes Faustus

Faust by Goethe

The Devil and Daniel Webster” by Steven Vincent Benet

  1. Create a document titled “Faust Notes.” In this document, record your observations on all four variations of the Faust story. You may choose to make a table, create separate pages for each story, use Venn diagrams or develop some other method for organizing your information.
  2. Construct an essay (minimum 3 pages) examining the differences among the four versions. You should have an arguable thesis relating to some aspect of the Faust legend. (ex: Does the author’s historical context alter the message of the story? Do all the stories share a similar theme? structure? resolution? If not, what can be learned by the differences?)
  3. Submit an outline or rough draft for feedback before submitting your final essay.
  4. Some things to look for:
  • What is the setting of the story?
  • The Faust character’s background: family, nationality, studies, etc
  • How does the Faust character meet the devil?
  • The nature of the bargain: what does the Faust character ask for, what are the terms of the agreement
  • How the Faust character benefits or suffers from the bargain?
  • Does the Faust character repent?
  • How does the story end?

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