Who is Faust?

Mandel Hall, 1135 East 57th Street
Johann Wolfgang Goethe's drama "Faust" was written over a period of sixty years (ca. 1772-1832) and is arguably the supreme achievement of one of the greatest writers of the Romantic era. But what does this drama about a scholar- magician who makes a wager with the devil have to say to us today? Is the Faust myth still compelling for us in the twenty-first century? In this lecture, Professor David Wellbery discusses why philosophers from Hegel to Santayana and writers from Thomas Mann to Paul Valéry have considered Goethe's play to be such a profound statement about the human condition. He also examines features of the play that still confound scholars today. The quest for a unified interpretation of Goethe's masterpiece continues and Professor Wellbery will offer here his thoughts on how we can best approach the Faust drama today.