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Werman, D.S. Rhoads, J.M. (1976). The Faust Legend Seen in the Light of an Analytic Case. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 24:101-121.

(1976). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 24:101-121

The Faust Legend Seen in the Light of an Analytic Case

David S. Werman, M.D. and John M. Rhoads, M.D.


The Faust legend has an ancient history and has formed the basis of folktales, myths, poems, plays, and novels. We have characterized the Faust figure as one who strives intensely for omnipotence, omniscience, and boundless sexual gratification, and magically seeks to fulfill these goals through contracts,

or pacts, that he makes with a god or a devil. Whereas the psychogenetic background of such individuals may be very different and the complex described here is but a "final common pathway" through which various psychodynamic mechanisms are represented and expressed, we believe at least one of these psychodynamic configurations has been delineated and some additional light cast on the Faust figure.

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