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26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 1998
Faust is an epic poem penned by the incomparable Goethe. He, the German Shakespeare, writes brilliantly of the universal scheme including God, Satan, and all manner of other creatures. At the center, however, is the good Dr. Faust. Faust is the subject of a bet between God and Mephistopheles. The story is thus set and Faust and Mephistopheles take to the world on a journey which leads the doctor into lewd affairs, titanic conflicts, and, eventually, introspection and self-discovery. It is a tale which any can relate to and through Faust's journey the reader discovers much about himself. This is an excellent poem rivalling anything written by Shakespeare or even Dante.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2013
Translations of Goethe's Faust tend to concentrate on Part One or slog through the
entire work, and both ways treat it more as a literary item than as theatre. And,
true enough, Goethe probably didn't expect many stagings of this gigantic piece;
it was common in the Romantic Era for poets to write "plays" meant only to be read.
So Brenton's adaptation is a breakaway notion: this is a script, written for the
Royal Shakeapeare Company to perform, and it encompasses both Part One AND Part Two.
And it is an adaptation--someone else made a literal translation of the German, and
Brenton then leaped off that into his own imagination to create a Goethe-Brenton
Faust. Unfortunately, it's still too long for most companies to tackle--but that's
Faust for you. In the long run, it will still be more read than acted. But it's a
great read.
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