Faust

Definitions

Astronomy

  • (written as FAUST)
    The Far Ultraviolet Shuttle Telescope, a French-built telescope flown several times on the Space Shuttle and used to make observations in the 1400–1800 Ångstrom range
  • acronym forFar Ultraviolet Shuttle Telescope
    (written as FAUST)

Theater

  • A play in two parts by Goethe. Although it is usuallyconsidered his masterpiece, it is too vast in concept to be conventionallystaged. Disillusioned with his humdrum life of scholarship, Faustmakes a pact with the demon Mephistopheles in order to taste hedonisticpleasures. However, unlike the hero of Marlowe's Dr Faustus, Goethe's character is not a mere pawn in the struggle between the forces of good and evil, neither does he forfeit his soul. Goethe's real theme is the restless striving of modern man, which, in conjunction with the power of love, ensures his salvation.

    Goethe's less complex first draft, completed in about 1775,was discovered more than a century later to be published in 1887 asthe Urfaust. Many modern producers prefer this manageable versionto the completed work. Part I of the latter, which reflects the influenceof the Sturm und Drang, was published in 1808; Part II, containingthe blinding of Faust along with much satire and scientific speculation,appeared posthumously in 1832. The complete drama was first stagedin 1876 in Weimar. Only one unabridged staging has taken place in moderntimes - at the Expo 2000 in Hanover, under the direction of PeterStein.

    Stanislavsky harboured a fearful superstition aboutperforming the play. When encouraged by Vladimir Nemirovitch-Dantchenko(with whom he co-founded the Moscow Art Theatre) to play the roleof Mephistopheles, Stanislavsky smiled and told him, "I've wantedto play Mephistopheles quite a number of times, but each time I triedit some kind of misfortune took place in my family."

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