The first part of Goethe's dramatic poem Faust (1808), one of the great works of German literature, grabbed the attention of Byron and Percy Shelley in the 1810s, engaging them in a shared fascination that was to exert an important influence over their writings. In this comparative study, Ben Hewitt explores the links between Faust and Byron's and Shelley's works, connecting Goethe and the two English Romantic poets in terms of their differing, intricately related experiments with epic. In so doing, Hewitt enters the three writers into a literary and philosophical dialogue concerning 'epic' and 'tragic' perspectives on human knowledge and potential - perspectives crucial to the very structure and significance of Goethe's masterpiece - and illuminates hitherto unacknowledged affinities between these key figures in Romantic literature, and between British and German Romanticisms.

chapter |6 pages


An Epic Connection

part I|69 pages

Perspectives on Goethe’s Faust

chapter 2|37 pages

Faust I in Romantic-period Britain

part II|102 pages

Byron, Shelley, and Faust

chapter |4 pages


Between Two Worlds