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Common Themes? • Striving for understanding • Thirst for Knowledge • Quest for Truth • Guilt • Desire • Control
The Devil and the Angels Christian, Hebrew and Islamic tradition Mediaeval Christian theology: 9fold hierarchy serving God: arranged in 3 choirs – seraphim and cherubim the highest and the archangels being the second to lowest: above angels. Mediaeval theologians obsessed with “whether a million angels may not sit upon a needle’s point” (1638: William Chillingworth; Religion of Protestants) The Devil : personification of evil - from devel (ME), dēofol (OE), from diabolus (Latin) – from the Greek diabolos‘slanderer’.
Pre-Christian mythology Star myths Greek Babylonian Muslim Hebrew
Satan Early Christian development. Prefigures and postfigures Lucifer? “I saw Satan fall like lightning” Luke 10:18 “Worship me and I will give you the whole world.”Matthew 4:9 Precosmic Fall
Lucifer Mediaeval development “O Lucifer, son of the morning.” (Isaiah) 1 of the archangels: Michael, Gabriel, Lucifer, Raphael, Uriel “I will be like the Most High.”(Isaiah) Cast out of Heaven for Pride by Michael. 1/3 of angels sided with him and fell with him to Hell. zoee.20fr.com/satanfall.html “You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendour.”(Ezekiel)
Mephistopheles Early modern development First appears in Renaissance: Praxis Magia Faustiana 1527 German Faustbuch 1587 “Post-Enlightenment Devil: the spirit of denial” (Parker, 2006) Early modern “ironic consciousness” (Parker, 2006) Thinkst thou that I, who saw the face of God And tasted the eternal joys of heaven, Am not tormented with ten thousand hells In being depriv’d of everlasting bliss? (Doctor Faustus 1.3 79-82) “
The Crafty Shape Shifter Good or Bad? Politician Machiavellian Odysseus – the classic hero Ambiguity Conflict
Scores on the doors EEBO 1400-1700 keyword search Devil 133556 hits 10328 records Satan 66306 hits 5946 records Lucifer 4655 hits 1678 records Mephistopheles 0 hits
Mephemology • Origins of the word Mephistopheles • There are several meanings of the name. Some argue that it stems from the Greek words “Me” meaning Not, “Phos” meaning Light and “Philos” meaning Lover. • One could also argue that the word stems from Hebrew using the word for liar “Mephiz” and the word for destroyer “Tophel” • The Latin word Mephitis is another possibility as it means ‘He who is the worst type of help” This can also be linked with the Greek word Anopheles which means, ‘the reverse of help’. Interstingly Anopholes is the term of a genus of mosquito. This has connotations of a figure that draws blood from man…?
Satan or Servant? • Marlowe’s Representation In Marlowe’s play, Lucifer is a separate character to Mephistopheles. Mephistopheles plays the role of the messenger and servant of Lucifer. In act 2 scene 3 Mephistopheles calls Lucifer as Faust begins to doubt the pact and looks toward redemption. One can see in this scene that Mephistopheles is one of the servants of the devil, who has been assigned to corrupt Faust. One could argue that Mephistopheles is portrayed in Marlowe’s play as a form of companion to Faust. He is the mediator between Lucifer and Faust which differs to Goethe’s version. There is a sense that Marlowe’s Mephistopheles is more of a one dimensional character in contrast to Goethe’s Mephistopheles.
Satan Or Servant? • Goethe’s Representation • Mephistopheles first appears in the ‘Prologue in Heaven’ on equal footing to the figure of God. • “I am by no means worried for my bet” • In the prologue we see Mephistopheles striking a wager with God. There is a greater sense of authority shown by Goethe’s Mephistopheles. There character of Lucifer does not appear in Goethe’s Faust. The character of Mephistopheles is the highest ‘sinful’ power in the text, which in turn adds greater dimensions to his part in the play. We see individual conflicts without a mediating role which is witnessed in Marlowe’s Faust.
Who was Mephistopheles? • First to join Lucifer during the rebellion against God at the beginning of time? - Mephistopheles was the second to fall after Lucifer? • An angel who assisted God in the creation of the universe? - He was known for the designing of ocean mammals.
Definition? • The name Mephistopheles itself has no presence in the Bible • Was thought to have been first created by the author of the original 'faustbook • Arguably has no meaning...
Greek/Latin • Greek : Me Fausto Philos • Latin : Ne Fausto Filius
Hebrew • In Hebrew the 'phos' part could mean light, making 'me' 'phos' 'philos' > 'not' 'light' 'lover' • 'Destroyer of the Good' • Mephiz = liar Tophel = destroyer
Burton Russell • “that the name is a purely modern invention of uncertain origins makes it an elegant symbol of the modern devil with his many novel and diverse forms”
Mephistopheles in popular culture… • In Marvel comics. • Mefisto by Irish writer John Banville. • The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad - “papier-mache Mephistopheles”