Chapter

Depicting the Devil

in The Devil

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199580996
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191777776 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780199580996.003.0004

Series: Very Short Introductions

Depicting the Devil

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‘Depicting the Devil’ is challenging for writers, artists and filmmakers. In Goethe's Faust, Mephistopheles' character is conveyed in words of nullity and darkness. Milton's Paradise Lost describes a fiend whose defiance towards God makes him a kind of perverse hero. The Devil is often described as an appealing character who tricks people into committing sins. Satan in art has been depicted as a serpent, a monster and a man. Christian art represents the Devil using naked, dark forms with bestial features, committing revolting acts in a Hellish landscape. In the modern age, cinema has contributed to the personification of evil more than any other medium.

Keywords: William Blake; Christian Art; demon; landscape; serpent

Chapter.  4777 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christian Spirituality and Religious Experience

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