Mephistopheles in popular culture

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This article lists cultural references to Mephistopheles, the fictional devil from Faust and Doctor Faustus who has been used in other pieces of literature, film, comics and music.

Drama[edit]

Opera[edit]

  • 1816 - Ludwig Spohr's Faust (based on plays and poems by Klinger and von Kleist, derived from the Faust folk-tales)
  • 1846 - Hector Berlioz's "Légende dramatique" La Damnation de Faust (based on Goethe's Faust, Part One, but includes tragic ending without redemption for Faust, following the Faust folk-tales)
  • 1859 - Charles Gounod's Faust (loosely based on Goethe's Faust, Part One)
  • 1868 - Arrigo Boito's opera Mefistofele (the most faithful adaptation of Goethe's Faust, Part One. It's the only operatic adaptation to include Part Two as well)

Music[edit]

  • Mephiskapheles is a New York City-based ska band founded in 1990, with a playfully satanic theme after the fashion of heavy metal music. The band helped define, then transcended, the ska punk genre. Mephiskapheles' music has diverse stylistic influences including reggae, jazz and hardcore punk, and the band has made several national and international tours since 1995.[1]
  • Mephisto is mentioned in the song "If You Want A Receipt For That Popular Mystery" sung by Colonel Calverley in the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Patience, in the lyric 'Force of Mephisto pronouncing a ban'.[2][unreliable source?]
  • Marilyn Manson has a song entitled "Mephistopheles of Los Angeles", from the album The Pale Emperor (2015).[3][4]
  • The Police song Wrapped Around Your Finger, from the album Synchronicity, mentions Mephistopheles in the third verse.[5][6]
  • The Radiohead song "Videotape" from In Rainbows mentions Mephistopheles.[7]
  • A lyric in the OneRepublic song "Love Runs Out" mentions "an angel on my shoulder and Mestopheles"; presumably the missing syllable was removed to keep the rhythm of the song consistent. However Ryan Tedder may be referring to Mr. Mistoffelees, from T.S.Elliott's poetry.
  • The main character in the song "The Devil's Song" by Marcy Playground is Mestopheles.[8]
  • The band Streetlight Manifesto mentions Mephisto in the song "Down, Down, Down to Mephisto's Café" and a demonic character presumed to be Mephisto is featured of the cover of the band's album "99 Songs of Revolution" and he is seen in the window of a café.
  • The Strung Out album The Element of Sonic Defiance has a song named "Mephisto."[9]

Film[edit]

Comics[edit]

Literature[edit]

  • In Goethe's Faust Mephisto is the personified principle of negation, betting with god that he would succeed to make Faust turn away from god.
  • In The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett, Mephistopheles is the name of a highly intelligent goat befriended by one of the characters. Mephistopheles is able to count to twenty and use the privy.
  • In the fictional works of the Bengali author Narayan Gangopadhyay, a character named Tenida (Bengali টেনিদা) had the catchphrase "De la grande Mephistopheles! Yak yak!" (ডি লা গ্রান্ডি মেফিস্টোফিলিস! য়াক য়াক!)
  • In Dina and Daniel Nayeri's Another Faust series, Mephistopheles takes the form of a beautiful governess named Nicola Vileroy, taking children from their families, offering them deals that involve supernatural gifts and raising them to be highly influential members of society. It is implied that among her charges were Elizabeth I and Harry S. Truman.

Anime

  • In the Animated version of Shaman King, Faust VIII refers to his spirit, Eliza, as Mephisto E during the Shaman Fight, which is playing upon the Faustian legend he is associated with.
  • In the Japanese anime of Digimon Tamers, Mephistomon is the name of an Ultimate Level Digimon.
  • In the show Blue Exorcist, Mephisto Pheles or Mephisto is the zany headmaster of True Cross Academy. While this version is obsessed with Otaku culture, he carries several German elements in his spells as well as a fondness for making bets. The anime ending even has a short flashback and several other allusions to the original tale of Faust.

Television[edit]

Video games[edit]

  • In the Diablo game series, Mephisto is the Lord of Hatred and is one of the Three Prime Evils of the game.
  • In Demon's Souls, Mephistopheles is a female non-player character (NPC) who tasks the player with assassinating other key NPCs in the game.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), the main antagonist is a shadowy demon named Mephiles the Dark, who spends a large part of the game manipulating the heroes.

See also[edit]

References[edit]