Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Faust: First Part” as Want to Read:
Faust: First Part
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Faust: First Part (Goethe's Faust #1)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  40,359 ratings  ·  637 reviews
Goethe’s masterpiece and perhaps the greatest work in German literature, Faust has made the legendary German alchemist one of the central myths of the Western world. Here indeed is a monumental Faust, an audacious man boldly wagering with the devil, Mephistopheles, that no magic, sensuality, experience, or knowledge can lead him to a moment he would wish to last forever. H ...more
Paperback, German-English Edition, 327 pages
Published July 1st 1988 by Bantam Classics (first published 1808)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Faust, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Faust

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeTwilight by Stephenie MeyerPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Best Books Ever
399th out of 39,832 books — 150,322 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling1984 by George OrwellPride and Prejudice by Jane AustenThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Books That Everyone Should Read At Least Once
309th out of 14,418 books — 70,660 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
First impression: Goethe could write his tuckus off. Rarely have I encountered prose that commingles in such bounty the trifecta of being, at once, gorgeous to the eye, imbued with passion and saturated with depth and meaning. Faust has all three and I was pulled into the seductive narrative from the momentous opening (wonderfully titled “Prologue from Heaven”) through the final dramatic climax.

I must briefly pause here to add a qualifier to my comments which relate to the version I experienced
There's something discomforting about the vague moral convictions of Goethe's Faust character. One would assume, that even a scholar living in Goethe's time would find the typical preoccupations of Christian morality somewhat boring, if not basically delusional and overzealous. After all, the cacophony of self-doubt racing through his mind is not initially brought on by anything that resembles religious guilt. He's a man plagued by the hermetic stuffiness of a lifestyle of perpetual deep thought ...more
Goethe’s Faust is a novel rich in metaphor, elaborate verse, imagery, depth, and meaning that not only employs symbolic characters and scenes, but also through such literary techniques weaves its main philosophy of striving and experience as mankind’s rightful path.

Ironically, Faust reveals his disapproval for books as a true source of knowledge in understanding the world; we must turn to life and living, and experience instead. I call this ironic because while he denounces books, Faust is a bo
Faustby Goethe was the very first book (apart from textbooks, of course) I ever put my hands on. It was assigned to me when I was in middle school for my Spanish class. I know it's a German play, but the teacher was encouraging us to read by asking the whole classroom to donate a book for the course, put it in a box with the others and then randomly pick up one of them each month — now that I think of it, the teacher should have payed more attention to the books we brought, since I don't thinkFa ...more
Najla Hammad
من أجمل ماقرأت من المسرحيات ! تعد هذه المسرحية من أعظم الأعمال في الأدب الألماني.
عن فاوست العالِم الذي يحب أن يتعلم كل شيء (وهو بالمناسبة شخصية حقيقية ذكرت في كثير من القصص الأوروبية القديمة)، يتعاقد مع الشيطان على شرط ثم تحصل بعدها أحداث كثيرة ممتعة بنكهة شيطانية
الشيطان مفستوفيليس هنا حكيم ومضحك في أحيان كثيرة
كتب جوته الجزء الأول من المسرحية ثم تبعها بالجزء الثاني بعد أكثر من 20 سنة! لم اقرأ الجزء الثاني بعد، وأرجو أن يكون في مستوى الجزء الأول أو أفضل منه.
قرأتها بترجمة عبدالرحمن بدوي
Duffy Pratt
Who knew that this book, one of the most famous in literature, was actually two separate works that seem only slightly related? I certainly didn't. The first part is a fairly ordinary play that gets dunked in profundity through the inclusion of Mephistopheles. There are only a few main characters here, and there wasn't much depth to any of them. I've heard that the German is tremendously good, but it's impossible for me to judge. I switched back and forth in this part between two different trans ...more
Not since watching Breaking Bad have I been so enthralled by a man's descent into depravity.
Norah Sumner
A summary:


Mephistopheles: Yeah,sure thing bro,but before you do that I want to take you to this weird pub,hook you up with a minor whom you'll knock up & make you attend a completely pointless annual witch ball.Sounds good?

Faust: You had me at "hook up with a minor",bro.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sitting on the shelf with the children of Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton and Coleridge, Goethe's Faust is amazing in its poetry and depth. There are parts of this play/poem which seem to capture the whole drama of Man's fall and redemption within a single rhyming couplet. David Constantine's translation modernizes this amazing piece of High German lit, but George Madison Priest's translation seems, at least to me, to have a more seductive flow and more tempting poetry.
Tricksters make this world...

Lord to Mephisto: "And never come but finding fault always? Never a thing on earth gives you content?"

The first conversation between the Lord and Mephisto begins with Mephisto's discontentment towards people in earth. He cannot understand the disparity between humans. The discontentment isn't really a discontentment but inability to accept the things the way they are. Isn't that ambition all about? He doesn't say that out loud but its given to him as an answer by the






Philosophy, blasphemy, sorcery, seduction, murder and orgy–oh my!

So at the roaring loam of time
I weave the godhead’s living garment.

I didn’t have the kind of education in which this book was required reading - not that I ever really bothered to read whatever was required anyway. And failing to remember “Goethe” in answer to an IQ question 10 years ago has ever since bothered me to some degree or another. But if such things were in the works to ensure that when I did read this book I would be mos
Terry Clague
'Through many a long day you'll be taught
That what you once did without thinking,
As easy as if it were eating or drinking,
Must be done in order: one! two! three!
But truly, this though factory of ours
Is like some weaver's masterpiece:
One treadle stirs a thousand threads,
This way and that the shuttles whistle,
Threads flow invisibly, one ... stroke
Ties a thousand knots .... The philosopher steps in
And proves to you it had to be so;
The first was so, the second was so,
And therefore the third and four
I have read his Werther previously, so was familiar with his Sturm und Drang, but there he created a tragic hero, here it is something different.

Exquisite words conduce to exquisite generation, where (I'm reminded of Virgil) each word is child of that preceding and parent to the procession. It has the gravity of a great opera, the lucid and disturbed poignancy of a Shakespearean Lolita and chills more often than it warms.

Faust reaches into disheartening epistemology and other philosophic despair
This was mostly confusing as hell. I'm usually a fast reader so I had to take pains to slow down and reread some of the pages to actually get a grip of all the ideas laid there. Needless to say it took me more than a month to finish reading this and even after that I still had to read it a second time just to be sure I understood everything. I love Goethe but I can't deny I had a few choice words for him while reading this book.
Sidharth Vardhan
“Your suns and worlds are not within my ken,
I merely watch the plaguey state of men.
The little god of earth remains the same queer sprite
As on the first day, or in primal light.
His life would be less difficult, poor thing,
Without your gift of heavenly glimmering;
He calls it Reason, using light celestial
Just to outdo the beasts in being bestial.
To me he seems, with deference to Your Grace,
One of those crickets, jumping round the place,
Who takes his flying leaps, with legs so long,
Then falls to gr
Patrick Gibson
Yah, I know... I need to add a 'Classic Literature' bookshelf. But... I am too busy reading (read: lazy).

Written in stages across the span of nearly sixty years, I agree with the wisdom of the ages that it is one of the greatest works of imaginative literature ever composed. Yet, while I think its relevance to a modern audience high, this work is not likely to receive much attention, let alone deep study, in America today, in the age of the Oprah book club, computer animated movies, reality tele
My review:
Faust is the classic tale of man's introspection in his pursuit of life, where great wisdom brings greater bruden. Finished in 1832, this 'closet drama' has a gothic style with all advantages of Elizabethan inspiration from the likes of Shakespeare and every scientific, religious, philosophical, achaeological... engineering down to the kitchen sink available to him. Really--if you're the type who likes to look into your authors, Goethe is a fascinating genius of a man. Like most people
Impressive poetic power...I wish that I could say that I was as impressed by the content as I was with the form, but I cannot. The myth of Faust has a great potential, and I do not think Goethe succeded in realising its full potential. It may be that my expectations for Faust were raised too high. I have not enjoyed it as much as I excpected to. Nevertheless, I cannot say that I did not like it. Maybe it is the influence of all the other versions of this legend that I have read that stopped me f ...more
Nicholas Whyte

It really took me ages to grind through this, and I'm not sure that it was worth it. Rather ambitiously I got hold of the Wordsworth edition which includes not only Part I and Part II of Faust, but also an earlier draft of Part I (the Urfaust) just in case you are sufficiently interested to know what the original version might have looked like.

Part I is the more digestible version (and the Urfaust even more so). Heinrich Faust, a scholar who is trying to
Jim Coughenour
I don't read German – a lack, I suspect, that is irremediable when it comes to appreciating Goethe. I tried to read the Kaufmann Faust many years ago and could not get into it. So this time around I read determinedly in two translations, this one by David Luke as well as the more free-ranging Yale translation by Martin Greenberg. (To my surprise, I preferred Luke's version: it seemed to better capture the action and ironies of the poem.) As I read, I also referred to Nicholas Boyle's commentary, ...more
Arto Marashelian
this book is a treasure and a very rare treasure..
i read most of the pages twice to satisfy my eyes with those words ..(lets not forget the big work the translator made) ** David Luke **
in my opinion the award of greatest translation of any work should go to David Luke he deserve it.
mmmm what else should i write ... inspiring, you can live the moment both in tragedy and thrilling situation..
the ending of the part one WOW i will run to the libraries to search for the second part ** i hope i can

So intense and detailed and dense in the best way I want to come back to it but am kind of intimidated that my experience of reverence and awe I experienced while reading it in High School (I was a weird kid) isn't going to repeat itself.

This is....just profound. Goethe knew more or less all that was to be known and yet his poetry is informed by his extreme erudition and not dragged down by it.
I thought I was getting the whole "Faust" from the book I got from the library, but it turned out to only be the first part. Oh well!
I quite enjoyed it, and plan on reading the second part sometime too. At times I was not 100% clear about what was going on, but I think audiences of the day wouldn't have had that problem. Very interesting and engaging work! It would be really neat to see it performed.
Amr iori

أقوى و أجمل مسرحية كتبت حتى الان - من وجهة نظرى ..

جــوتة كاتب موهوب قدر يوصل صورة الأنسان اللى جواة الخير والشر جنبا الى جنب ..
عن طريق أختيارة لشخصية حقيقة وهى شخصية فاوست الساحر الألمانى وأستاذ اللاهوت المسيحى , وصراعة مع مفستوفيلس رمز الشيطان و قوى الظلام على الأرض ..

فى قالب رومانسى كلاسيكى - ودى المدرسة المميزة لجوتة ولمعظم الكتاب الألمان فى الفترة دى ..
Ami Iida
Mar 12, 2015 Ami Iida rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all the people
Shelves: scifi
Humans sell his soul to the devil for his desire
It is a revolutionary work that formed the prototype of the novel
Haibar Zair
Who isn't familiar with the guy who had a pact with the devil? And Goethe's version was excellent in that beautiful poetry and well...drama and Why is that in almost every, well... great book, the character of the devil is just so interesting. I read the book just for the sole role of Mephistopheles and the opening scene with the poet, director and the clown were the best thing I ever read, I could just close my eyes and picture the entire thing on a stage. While versions written by other writer ...more
Aug 03, 2014 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Germanists, Literati, Students of culture
Recommended to Michael by: Many people
Shelves: classics, drama, poetry
I can’t add much – obviously – to the millions of words of analysis of Goethe’s classic play. It’s fair to say that I missed a lot, not only because my German is starting to fade, but simply because the richness of a text like this doesn’t come across in a single reading. This is a “dual text,” with the German on one side of the page, and the English translation on the other. Peter Salm’s translation appears to be adequate, but it doesn’t (probably because it can’t) capture the complexity and su ...more
أحمد شاكر
فاوست الأول

ـ الاستهلال المسرحي:
ويجري الحوار في هذا الاستهلال المسرحي (لفاوست) بين الشاعر من جهة وبين مدير المسرح والشخص المرح من جهة أخري. ويطلب هذان الآخيران إلي الشاعر أن يؤلف مسرحية ترضي ذوق الجمهور كيما يزداد دخل المسرح من المال، بينما الشاعر يشيح بوجهه عن هذا الاتجاه المادي.
الافتتاح في السماء:
وفعلا تبدأ مسرحية (فاوست) لجيته من السماء، وهي الوحيدة من بين المسرحيات التي تدور حول فاوست وتبدأ من السماء. ذلك لأن الفكرة الرئيسية التي جعلها جيتة محورا لتصوره لمأساة فاوست هي فكرة الرهان بين الله و
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Die Räuber
  • Die Physiker
  • Nathan der Weise. Ein dramatisches Gedicht in fünf Aufzügen
  • Deutschland, ein Wintermärchen
  • Draußen vor der Tür
  • The Recognition of 'Sakuntala: A Play in Seven Acts
  • Mephisto
  • Effi Briest
  • The Marquise of O— and Other Stories
  • Der Schimmelreiter
  • Dantons Tod
  • Biedermann und die Brandstifter
  • The Nibelungenlied
  • The Good Woman of Setzuan
  • Joseph and His Brothers
  • Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer. George Eliot called him "Germany's greatest man of letters... and the last true polymath to walk the earth." Goethe's works span the fields of poetry, drama, literature, theology, humanism, and science. Goethe's magnum opus, lauded as one of the peaks of world literature, is the two-part drama Faust. Goethe's other well-known literary works include h ...more
More about Johann Wolfgang von Goethe...

Other Books in the Series

Goethe's Faust (3 books)
  • Faust, Part Two
  • Goethe's Faust: Ein Fragment
The Sorrows of Young Werther Faust Elective Affinities Faust, Part Two Iphigenie auf Tauris

Share This Book

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” 1028 likes
“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.” 667 likes
More quotes…