Should Faustus’ servant’s name be pronounced like Richard Wagner’s last name (VAHG-ner) or like Honus or Robert or Lindsay Wagner’s (WAG-ner)? I’ve heard it both ways in productions. Would Marlowe have known the basic German pronunciation? Presumably: between his mysterious travels on the continent and his use of the German Faustbuch as a source, he would surely have picked up so basic a fact of German as the pronunciation of W. Would he have preferred the German pronunciation in writing for an English audience? That’s a difficult question. I’ve always preferred the Anglicized pronunciation, but have to admit that I can think of no good argument either way.
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