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Frederick The Monk
59750.  Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:10 am Reply with quote

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:

Quote:
FAUST
Yon black hound
See’st thou, through corn and stubble scampering round?

WAGNER
I’ve mark’d him long, naught strange in him I see!

FAUST
Note him! What takest thou the brute to be?

WAGNER
But for a poodle, whom his instinct serves
His master’s track to find once more.

FAUST
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:

Quote:
FAUST
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:

Quote:
FAUST
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.


And finally:

Quote:
MEPHISTOPHELES.
[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?

FAUST
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.

Poodle
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

Sources: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14460/14460-8.txt
http://www.bartleby.com/234/12.html#txt2
http://www.poodlehistory.org/GERMAN.HTM
http://www.poodlehistory.org/PZZLIT1.HTM
http://www.bartleby.com/19/1/2.html
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=poodle&searchmode=none

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:

http://theaetetus.tamu.edu/phil-111/Rembrandt-Faustus.jpg

Researcher: JP

 
Frederick The Monk
63087.  Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:29 am Reply with quote

Updated 31/03/06

 
MatC
65901.  Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:22 am Reply with quote

"The devil, who could take the form of any animal, was never allowed to appear in the form of a lamb."

- The Independent, 15 April 2006

 

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