Faust, arguably Goethe’s greatest work (considered by many to be the greatest work of German literature), is a tragic play which
was published in two parts between 1808 and 1832. Part one tells the tale of Heinrich Faust who makes a pact with the devil, Mephistopheles, leading to a destructive relationship between Faust and a girl named Gretchen. The play had a profound effect on P.B. Shelley's imagination in the final year of his life, and, dissatisfied with contemporary English translations of the text, he set about his own translation which remained incomplete at the time of his death.