|Frederick The Monk
|59750. Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:10 am
|Question: In what form does the devil first appear to Dr. Faust?
Forfeits: Snake/ Angel/ Woman
Answer: In Faust (1808), part one, lines 1147-1176, the learned Faust first encounters Mephistopheles disguised as a black Poodle.
Notes: In Goethe's 'Faust - A Tragedy' Mephistopheles appears to Faust in the form of a black poodle:
Yon black hound
See’st thou, through corn and stubble scampering round?
I’ve mark’d him long, naught strange in him I see!
Note him! What takest thou the brute to be?
But for a poodle, whom his instinct serves
His master’s track to find once more.
Dost mark how round us, with wide spiral curves,
He wheels, each circle closer than before?
And, if I err not, he appears to me
A line of fire upon his track to leave.
Faust then takes the poodle home but is worried that he's a bit lively:
Be quiet, poodle! what worrisome fiend hath possest thee,
Nosing and snuffling so round the door?
His worries are confirmed when, in this rather unusual scene, the poodle tranforms into Mephistopheles via a hippo:
How long and broad my poodle grows!
He rises from the ground;
That is no longer the form of a hound!
Heaven avert the curse from us!
He looks like a hippopotamus,
With his fiery eyes and the terrible white
Of his grinning teeth! oh what a fright
Have I brought with me into the house! Ah now,
No mystery art thou!
Methinks for such half hellish brood
The key of Solomon were good.
[As the mist sinks, steps forth from behind the stove, dressed as a travelling scholasticus_.]
Why all this noise? What is your worship's pleasure?
This was the poodle's essence then!
A travelling clark? Ha! ha! The casus is too funny.
Now that's magic!
Goethe hated dogs, particuarly poodles, and most of all a performing Poodle who co-starred in a travelling play, The Dog of Aubry, with a popular comedian named Karsten; When the owners of the Weimar Theatre agreed to allow a production, Goethe (then serving as director) resigned (some sources say he was fired); to explain his actions, he wrote, to his friend Johann Schiller, as follows:
The theater stage is not a kennel
Nor a home for curs.
Enter poodle -- exit poet:
No artist to a dog defers.
To say 'stark naked' in German you can say poodle-naked. 'He stood there like a wet poodle' is a German expression meaning someone looked sheepish or small.
1825, from Ger. Pudel, shortened form of Pudelhund "water dog," from Low Ger. Pudel "puddle" (cf. pudeln "to splash") + Ger. Hund "hound." Probably so called because the dog was used to hunt water fowl. Fig. sense of "lackey" (chiefly British) is attested from 1907. Poodle-faker, British army slang for "ingratiating male," is from 1902.
Links to: Devils/ Dogs/ Dachshunds/ More Devils (Satan's Kingdom)/ Doctors/ Dislikes
Pictures/Props: An engraving of Faust with his devilish pixie - like this one?http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Texts/faustus2.gif
or this one by Rembrandt: