Merlin and Faust: contrasting representations of magicians in Western literature

Myth Reading Group

Thursday 15 June

12.00-1.30pm in Room 5B.330

We are very pleased to announce that Professor Roderick Main, director of the Centre for Myth Studies, will continue our discussion of Myth & Magic with a session on Merlin and Faust

Merlin and Faust are two of the best-known magicians in the Western literary tradition. In this session we will explore the very different characters and roles ascribed to them. Participants are invited to bring to the session any knowledge and literary references they have about the two magicians.  As a starting point for our discussion, we shall consider Karl Shapiro’s poem ‘The Progress of Faust’ and Richard Wilbur’s poem, ‘Merlin Enthralled’, both of which are analysed in an essay by Robert Bagg, ‘Merlin and Faust in Two Post-War Poems’ [additional reading] (in C. Spivack [ed.], Merlin Versus Faust: Contending Archetypes in Western Culture [Lampeter: Edwin Mellen, 1992], pp. 189-198).


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