Journal Article

Between Satan and Mephistopheles: Byron and the Devil

Fred Parker

in The Cambridge Quarterly

Published on behalf of Cambridge Quarterly

Volume 35, issue 1, pages 1-29
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 0008-199X
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1471-6836 | DOI:
Between Satan and Mephistopheles: Byron and the Devil

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This article discusses Byron’s knowledge of Goethe’s Faust and its influence on Manfred, Cain, Don Juan, and The Vision of Judgment. Byron’s appreciation of Goethe’s fundamentally ambivalent Mephistopheles transforms the ‘Satanism’ that his earlier writings derive from Paradise Lost. Mephisto’s bathetic realism softens the absolute opposition between the alienated self and the otherness of things into a more functional, open, dialogic liaison. This has analogues in the history of the representation of the Devil, notably in Job. The argument both develops and modifies positions on Byron advanced by McGann.

Journal Article.  12386 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Art ; Film ; Music

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