петък, 21 март 2014 г.

Mephistopheles

One of the seven great princes of HELL , and a represen- tative of Satan in legend and literature. Mephistopheles means in Hebrew “he who loves not the light.” Mephistopheles is best known for the part he plays in the legend of Dr. Johann Faust, which has been turned into plays, poems, operas, and symphonies. The story concerns the way in which vanity can lead to easy seduction by the devil. Perhaps the best-known of these artistic creations is GOETHE ’s Faust. According to the story, Faust lives in 15th-century Weimar, Germany, where he is an astrologer, alchemist, and magician. In his youth he exhausted all the knowl- edge of his time, and so he turned to sorcery. Now in old age, he is bitter and disillusioned. Using his skill in sorcery, he conjures up Mephistopheles in the name of beelzebub. The DEMON is friendly and consoling. Faust conjures him a second time, and Mephistopheles promises him all the worldly pleasures and sensations he desires—in exchange for his soul at the end of 24 years’ time. Faust agrees. For the next 24 years, Faust lives a splendid life. He has youth, wealth, magical powers, and the satiation of all his physical desires. He can magically transport himself anywhere in the world, conjure up any woman, have anything. Then the demon comes to col- lect his due. Goethe allows redemption for Faust. He has the doctor seduce a young woman named Margaret. She bears a child, but is so overcome with shame that she kills it. She is arrested and imprisoned, and in prison she becomes insane. Faust, meanwhile, continues to live the high life. He conjures up Helen of Troy. Mephistopheles takes Faust on an adventure and shows him the creation of the universe, and the secrets of the homunculus (an artificial man created by magic). Faust tries to save Margaret, but to no avail. She goes to her death and her sacrifice redeems them both.

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