- Alternative Character Interpretation: Even in individual versions, there is considerable variation in how characters in the story are treated. Faust — driven to his bargain from love for suffering mankind, or looking for a cheap and easy way to lord it over others? Mephistopheles — Anti-Hero seeking to subvert God's injustice, or diabolical hater wanting to damn others to his own misery? Wagner? Gretchen? The Emperor? God? The variations are endless.
- What an Idiot: Sure, I'll give up eternal happiness to be best buds with the Embodiment of Treachery and Pure Evil! Where do I sign?!
- What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: Some authors (including Goethe!) have claimed that they had no basic message to convey in their versions of the story.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Symbolic?: Do you mean that Mephistopheles does not stand for Martin Luther, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler, or The Tri-Lateral Commission?
Faust duology by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- Magnum Opus: From Goethe's first draft of a Faust play to the completion of Faust II, sixty years passed.