Mephistopheles


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Mephistopheles:

see FaustFaust
, Faustus
, or Johann Faust
, fl. 16th cent., learned German doctor who traveled widely, performed magical feats, and died under mysterious circumstances.
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.

Mephistopheles

 

(possibly of Greek origin:“hating the light,”from me,“not,” phos,“light,”and philos, loving; by another version, of Hebrew origin: mefits,“the destroyer,”and tofel,“a liar”) , the name of one of the spirits of evil, a demon, a devil; most often, according to legend, the name of the fallen angel Satan.

The folklore and fictional literature of various countries and peoples have frequently made use of the theme of a pact between a demon—a spirit of evil—and man. Sometimes poets have been drawn to the biblical story of the fall and expulsion from paradise of Satan and sometimes to his revolt against god (Milton, Byron, and M. lu. Lermontov). Not uncommon are farces, not far removed from folklore sources, in which the devil plays the role of an imp, a gay trickster who often falls into a trap. In a philosophical tragedy by Goethe, who reinterpreted motifs of a German folk legend, Mephistopheles is the tempter and antagonist of Faust. Pushkin made use of the figure of Mephistopheles. Mephistopheles is the Devil in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and T. Mann’s Doctor Faustus —the embodiment of moral nihilism. M. Bulgakov’s Woland is a Mephistophelian figure in The Master and Margarita; he and his retinue are grotesque spirits of evil who punish people for their vices. The image of Mephistopheles has also inspired painters (Delacroix and M. Vrubel’) and composers (Gounod, Berlioz, Liszt, A. G. Rubinstein).

REFERENCES

Legenda o doktore Fauste. Edited by V. M. Zhirmunskii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1958.
Lakshin, V. “Roman M. Bulgakova Master i Margarita.’”Novyi mir, 1968, no. 6.
Milner, M. Le Diable dans la littérature française, vols. 1-2. Paris, 1960.
Kretzenbacher, L. Teufelsbiindner und Faustgestalten im Abendlande. Klagenfurt, 1968.

M. A. GOL’DMAN

Mephistopheles

fiend to whom Faust sells his soul. [Ger. Lit.: Faust]
See: Devil

Mephistopheles

the cynical, malicious devil to whom Faust sells his soul. [Ger. Lit.: Faust, Payton, 436]
See: Evil

Mephistopheles

, Mephisto
a devil in medieval mythology and the one to whom Faust sold his soul in the Faust legend
References in periodicals archive ?
Faust plunges with Mephistopheles into a whirlpool of wild sensual excesses at the Auerbach cellar, where everyone can be seen enjoying life to the full.
At the conclusion of Part II, Faust escapes the clutches of Mephistopheles because the philosopher defines his last moment's contentment in terms of anticipation, not in terms of the actual here and now.
Faustus's torment, like the debates about Christ's descent with which it is exactly contemporary, is manifest in his obsession with hell--not only in his persistent, peculiar questions to Mephistopheles but in his overarching commitment to necromancy, the calling and raising up of dead spirits.
But the next time we saw Faustus he was wearing a red cap just like that of Mephistopheles and it was clear that he had made his decision.
My food was as delicious as theirs was geometrical, and although I didn't get to see Mephistopheles impress a group of revelers by conjuring wine from thin air, I did witness a green-suited a capella choir from Bavaria impress a group of Japanese tourists by singing "happy birsday" to one of them.
Australian bass Steven Gallop is Mephistopheles, Canadian baritone Aaron St.
The next day was given to much more lightning stops--Salar Jung Museum, to gaze at the mechanical clock and the statues of Mephistopheles and Margaretta carved on a single block of wood; the Qutb Shahi tombs, beautiful structures housing the last remains of the rulers; the stunning Faluknama Palace with elegant furniture and the dining table which can seat a 100 guests; the pillared Chowmohalla Palace, believed to be inspired by Tehran's Shah's Palace, and much more.
In Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, Faust makes such a deal with Mephistopheles in order to gain his fill of riches, women, and power in life.
We had Sir Kenneth Branagh masquerading as the engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a key figure in the Industrial Revolution who featured in the ceremony as a sort of Mephistopheles figure.
As I recall, Pius XII, when he was still in Germany as Church representative, was frightened not only by the rise of National Socialism, but of Communism also, noting that the Reds made use of quotes of Mephistopheles from Goethe's "Faust"--"There is nothing on earth that is not worth being destroyed
Faust" is the fourth and final installment in Sokurov's series on corrupting power, and won praise for conjuring up a 19th-century world of squalor, stench and chaos in which Faust and a mad-cap Mephistopheles play out their destinies.
Worm specialist Gaetan Borgonie and his colleagues present their findings, which include a new nematode species named after Faust's devil Mephistopheles, in the June 2 Nature.