â€˜Dam(n)pier as Mephistophelesâ€™
Alfred Dampier (1848-1908), cartoon, Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593), devil, Dr Faustus (c. 1590), Faust (I & II), Goethe (1749-1832), â€˜Mephistoâ€™, Mephistopheles, Phil May (1864-1903), The Bulletin
â€˜Dam(n)pier as Mephistopheles,â€™ is The Bulletin cartoonist Phil Mayâ€™s humorous pun on actor and theatrical entrepreneur Alfred Dampierâ€™s name (See Louise D'Arcens, Old Songs in the Timeless Land: Medievalism in Australian Literature 1840-1910, Turnhout: Brepols, 2011, p.164). Alfred Dampier first appeared as Mephisto in Faust in 1873 at the Royal theatre, Melbourne. While reasonably successful in his chosen profession (his acting career spanned thirty years), he was generally considered â€œsound rather than brilliantâ€ by his critics (See, for example: John Rickard, 'Dampier, Alfred (1848â€“1908)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/dampier-alfred-3360/text5067, accessed 12 June 2012.) Phil May acknowledges Dampierâ€™s competence and durability, albeit with a mischievous gleam in the eye and a knowing flourish of his pen. The literary origins of the legend of Dr Faust date back to the 1580s, and may be based upon a real person who died c. 1540-41 (J. W. Smeed, Faust in Literature, London: Oxford University Press, 1973, pp.1-2).
23 October 1886 (p. 7)
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