The Tragedy of Man

Told Over & Over Again

By Imre Madach
Translated By J.C.W. Horne
Hungarian, 1861
Poetry, Drama, Allegory 

Main Attractions

1.  Artistically crafted lines
2.  Begins with Faust’s Tale 
3.  Flows through Paradise Lost
4.  Spans Human History
5.  Elements of Theology
6.  Paired with Philosophy
7.  Includes Great Storytelling
8.  Emotionally Charged Scenes
9.  Diverse Interpretations 
10. Profoundly Wise Ethical Topics


A great review of the animated adaptation that includes a brief summary of Machache’ play.

Cuisine & Delicacies

Ranked as: Mystery Meat
From this simple text, we can branch out into other fields of study to analyze more of what Madach is trying to say.  He packs in a variety of ethics and human history into a mere 80 pages.  It’s ranked as mystery meat simply because of the scope Madach reaches with this short drama.  In this case, mystery meat means there’s also something for everyone.  Readers can enjoy the beautiful, poetic language or the celebration of their rich Biblical history.  Readers could also study the ethical points Madach brings up and consider what is the nature of humankind.  While this drama much of human history, it’s never unreadable or inaccessible.  This is truly a play that everyone with an appreciation for art can enjoy.  Madach has pulled off the near impossible, to create a story almost everyone can relate to.

Why Visit Here

Madach has combined two very well known stories that still influence many of our literary words today; Goethe’s Faust and Milton’s Paradise Lost.  It seems counterintuitive to combine two works that superfically seem so different from each other.  Readers tend to go to Faust because they want to explore the dark side of humanity.  They tend to go to Paradise Lost for a spiritual or religious comfort.  So combining them  actually shows how similar these two desires are.  Faust is all about the dark side hovering around us, tempting us to make the wrong choice.  Paradise Lost is all about the outcome of losing the greatest wager of all time.  They really are overlapping in some profound lessons.  Madach’s play is shorter than either work and is written in a more accessible way than either work.  But the themes of it run quite deep that reading those two works would certainly enrich your reading of this masterpiece.  

Destination Summary

Quite simply, Lucifer follows Adam and Even through all of human history.  They are reincarnated and the Faust story begins once again until we reach the final conclusion. 

Packing List
✓ Trinkets from your favourite time period
✓ An epic soundtrack from a movie or composer
✓ An image of Eve, how you envision her for your desk

Recommended Resources
Alternate Books
✓ Faust By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1808) - One of the key texts that influenced Madach’s writing of this.  Some key themes from Faust are present in this book.
✓ Paradise Lost By John Milton (1667) - the other key text that influenced Madach.  Lucifer seems heavily inspired by Milton’s image of Lucifer and there’s some other influences that are quiet subtle.  Readers well versed in Milton or the Bible could possible touch on these influences.

Film Adaptation

The Tragedy of Man (2011) Directed By Marcell Jankovics - An artistic animation that goes through the history of humanity, retelling this play by Madache.