Prometheus and Faust: The Promethean Revolt in Drama from Classical Antiquity to Goethe

Synopsis

The comparison made between Prometheus and Faust occurs so frequently in modern scholarship as to seem commonplace. However, while each figure has been investigated separately, no recent full-length study has brought the two characters together and examined the association. The present volume explores the Prometheus myth from its preliterary origins through treatments in Greek by Hesiod, Aeschylus, Plato, and Lucian, as well as in Latin literature and Roman theatricals. The investigation continues into hitherto unexplored connections with the Greek figure and the magus and occult scientist types of late antiquity, the Middle Ages, and Renaissance. The Prometheus and Faust traditions met in literature and art soon after the emergence of the historical Faustus. The traditions continued to exist independently through the 16th and 17th centuries, until Goethe began to write a play about each character. Ultimately Goethe abandoned Prometheus; however, Faust absorbed much of the Promethean persona.

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Westport, CT
Publication year:
  • 1995

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