Faust has studied for years without satisfactory progress, losing his faith and his idealism. In frustration he becomes a black-magic sorcerer and summons the Devil. The demon Mephistopheles (or Mephisto) appears. Together they make a pact in which Mephistopheles offers to serve Faust for a period of time, at the cost of Faust's eternal soul.
Mephistopheles is a difficult servant, and Faust is challenged by his tricks, lies, and deceptions. Despite their adventures, Faust accomplishes little or nothing of substance while beguiled by his power-he wastes it with frivolous tricks and indulgences. Faust futilely strains to revoke his pact under the burden of growing disgrace and damnation, but is humbled by Satan. Will Faust become a true super-man and be saved, or will he prove his human weakness and be seduced by the cunning of the devil and his own baser instincts? Is Faust the sort of man, and is this pact the sort of thing that God can forgive? Can Man step outside the embrace of God and face the world on his own to become free?
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