Comparing Faust And Young Goodman Brown

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The legend of Faust is an old and long surviving tale. It has been adapted into countless variants and many different versions of the story. Typically, Faust sells his soul to the demon Mephistopheles, only to later be unwillingly dragged unto Hell for his sins. The one most known is the version of Faust by Goethe. The play was published in two parts in 1808 and 1832 respectively. Two years later, Young Goodman Brown was published by Nathaniel Hawthorne. In this story, the titular character Brown goes out into the woods on a test of faith. After seeing elements of deviltry and witchcraft, his faith is shaken and losses his belief in virtue and God. These two macabre tales are often cited as being very similar to one another by scholars; even to the point where Goodman Brown could be considered another take on the Faust legend. Yet, to ‘play Devil’s Advocate’ if…show more content…
In some form they approach some human, giving them an offer of whatever they desire for the price of the soul upon death. These deals, while satisfying at first, often come with a steep price; most often eternal torment. These types of deals are a trope, something used commonly; this trope in question is called a Faustian Contract, being popularized by the many incarnations of the Faustus legend. The Faust in question, Goethe’s, does end up selling his soul unawares of the price, but only does so because he is tricked. In the prologue of the play, Mephistopheles and God make a bet on weather Mephistopheles can gain Faust’s soul. The demon goes to the doctor, who can find nothing worth meaning in his life. Mephistopheles says he can get Faust to find what he’s missing by the time Faust dies. If successful, Faust’s soul will be his upon death. If not, Faust is free to go to heaven. Mephistopheles tricks Faust into signing the contract; under the guise of a bet. In Hawthorne's tale, something entirely different

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