[[caption-width-right:275: [- "Faust's Pact with Mephistopheles", by Julius Nisle -] ]]

The first (and [[FirstInstallmentWins much better known]]) part of the ''Theatre/{{Faust}}'' duology by Creator/JohannWolfgangVonGoethe about the eponymous sorcerer and his deal with the devil.

Mephistopheles, a powerful spirit from down below, pays a visit to {{Heaven}} to have a chit-chat with {{God}}. Disagreeing on whether humanity's struggle for knowledge is futile or not, their exchange of views ends in a bet: Mephistopheles has free rein to tempt the eminent scholar Faust to stray from the path to salvation destined to him; the bet will be won if he succeeds in subjecting Faust to eternal damnation.

Down below on Earth, the immensely learned Faust is moping lonely in his study. All his learning has only left him disillusioned, nor has it earned him material comfort. Not even his commitment to magic has revealed him the answers he seeks. Thus, Mephistopheles has little trouble in persuading him to a deal: Mephistopheles will serve him on Earth, but should Faust ever experience a moment of perfect contentment, he will have lost his soul to Mephistopheles and presently follow him to {{Hell}}.

Faust approves and signs the contract with his blood. And off they go on an uncurbed tour to debauchery, in the course of which Faust gets rejuvenated and the hots for the innocent young Gretchen. Faust pressures Mephistopheles to get Gretchen into bed with him, which proves tricky business as Gretchen is annoyingly pious. Yet Mephistopheles realizes that Gretchen may just be the key that could win him the wager and Faustís soul.

Goethe continued the storyline in ''Theatre/FaustII'' 24 years later. Loosely adapted by [[Creator/FriedrichWilhelmMurnau F.W. Murnau]] as the film ''Film/{{Faust}}''.
!! Tropes in ''Faust I'':

* ArmorPiercingQuestion: "Now tell me, how do you take religion?" Asked by Gretchen to Faust. Having made a DealWithTheDevil, he has a hard time answering it. Became so influential that "Gretchenfrage" entered the German vocabulary.
* TheBet: Twice -- God's wager with Mephistopheles, and Mephistopheles' with Faust.
* BetaCouple: Mephistopheles and Martha act as a parody of this, in contrast to Faust and Gretchen's dramatically serious relationship. Martha is actively interested in Mephistopheles, but of course he doesn't return her feelings, even though he does flirt with her (mostly because he is the type who can and will flirt with anyone including mortal human women, Ancient Greek lamiae and cute male angels).
* BloodOath: The contract is sealed with a drop of Faust's blood.
* CosmicPlaything: The framing device is [[TheBet a bet]] between {{God}} and [[{{Satan}} the Devil.]]
* DepravedBisexual: Mephisto, when he's not being portrayed as TropeCodifier for FlamingDevil.
* DealWithTheDevil: Mephistopheles and Faust agree that Mephisto will serve Faust and fulfill all his earthly wishes, but if Faust should ever experience a moment of contentment, he will go to Hell at once and belong to Mephistopheles for eternity.
* {{Familiar}}: As his part of his deal with Faust, Mephistopheles agrees to be Faust's permanent companion and servant. In other words, he becomes Faust's familiar.
* FountainOfYouth: Faust is permanently rejuvenated by a magic potion brewed by a witch.
* {{God}}: As "The Lord", he has a speaking role in the Prologue in Heaven.
* GodKartingWithBeelzebub: Mephistopheles and God may disagree on some things, but that's no reason not to have a friendly chat. In the words of Mephistopheles,
-->I like, at times, to hear The Ancient's word,\\
And have a care to be most civil:\\
It's really kind of such a noble Lord\\
So humanly to gossip with the Devil!
* {{Heaven}}: Setting of the Prologue in Heaven.
* {{Homage}}: The Witches' Kitchen and [[UsefulNotes/{{Walpurgisnacht}} Walpurgis Night]] scenes contain various allusions to Shakespeare's ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' and ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream''.
* ItWillNeverCatchOn: Goethe did not doubt that this was his masterpiece, but during his lifetime nobody thought it could be played on an actual stage. While Faust II is still rarely seen on stage (mostly due to being torturously long when put on stage) Faust I is one of the most successful and popular pieces of German theater.
* TheIngenue: Gretchen -- at least the way she starts out.
* MustBeInvited: Mephistopheles can only enter Faust's study after Faust has invited him to come in three times.
* OffWithTheHead: [[spoiler:Gretchen is beheaded for the murder of her child.]]
* RedRightHand: Parodied. The Witch is surprised that she cannot see Mephistopheles' cloven foot. Mephistopheles explains that he has been using false calves for a long time. He ''does'' have a limp, though, as noticed by one of the patrons in Auerbach's Cellar.
* ShowWithinAShow: "A Walpurgis Night's Dream, or Oberon's and Titania's Golden Wedding", a farcical play enacted by the spirits on Mount Brocken during Walpurgis Night.
* SummoningRitual: In Act I, Faust summons the mighty Earth-Spirit.
* TheTrickster: Mephistopheles possesses many traits of this archetype. In his own words,
--> I am part of that power which eternally\\
Wills evil and eternally works good.
* WickedWitch: One that brews the rejuvenation potion, and a whole army of them celebrating Walpurgis Night on Brocken.
* WideEyedIdealist: Wagner, Faust's naive young assistant, thinks the university is the greatest place on earth and looks up to Faust as his own role model. Little does he know how jaded Faust is, or that he is actually quite annoyed by Wagner.