Saturday 18 January 2020
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theguardian - 1 month ago

That damned woman: why my Faustus is female

In a new version of the enduring myth, Chris Bush sets the story in 17th-century London with a young woman who sells her soulA man (it is almost always a man) strikes a deal for greatness and pays a terrible price for it. The Faust myth teaches us to be careful of what we wish for, that pride comes before a fall, that nothing comes for free. Faustus is bored by the limits of his mortality (and his humanity) and so seeks supernatural aid. Only when the devil comes to claim his due does Faustus realise he has reached too far. He begs forgiveness, but it’s too late – he’s made his bed and now he must lie in it.The story endures because greed endures, and ambition endures, and we are never short of contemporary figures who believe they can beat the system, or that the rules needn’t apply to them. A modern Faustus might be a tech billionaire, a doctor playing God, or a Boris Johnson-type signing over his soul to a Mephistophelian Dominic Cummings figure – the only part that may feel like a stretch is that, in most versions, Faustus gets his comeuppance. Continue reading...

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