Author : Prof. Basim Neshmy Jeloud, Assist.
2013, Volume 3, Issue 10, Pages 217-227
According to the famous Faustbuck, published in Frankfort by Johann Spies in 1587, the Doctorate of Divinity that the German scholar Faust holds does not satisfy his insatiable thirst “to know the secrets of heaven and earth;” therefore, he, using magic, has recourse to the Devil and strikes a written-and-signed-with-blood bargain with him according to which the Devil has Faust’s high aspirations and desires accomplished. But Faust must hand his soul over to the Devil when the term of the bargain expires. It can be said that the Faustian bargain launches from this Lutheran book to be one of the most aspiring legends in European culture. To say nothing of the cinematic and musical works it inspires, many writers have adopted the Faust legend in their literary products. They have done some amendments to the original story in agreement with their genres, opinions, and times. Charles Robert Maturin (1782–1824) manages to tame the motif of the Faustian bargain, which is encircled by legendary and superstitious anecdotes, in his masterpiece Melmoth the Wanderer. He comes up with a new change in the traditional story of Faust to achieve certain aims of his own.
This paper is a part of an M.A. thesis entitled “Faustian Bargain in Irish Fiction: A Study in Charles Robert Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray” prepared at the University of Al-Qadisiya, College of Education, Department of English.