Act 3, Scene 4 sees Hamlet confronting his mother, Gertrude, in her chamber. Panicked by their quarreling, the Lord Chamberlain, Polonius, who is hidden behind the arras, cries out for help. Mistaking him for his uncle, Hamlet stabs him through the drapery.
German folklore features a demon called Mephistopheles, who first appeared in the legend of Faust, the tale of a man who makes a deal with the Devil and exchanges his soul in return for limitless knowledge.
The writer Christopher Marlowe first adapted the story for his play 'The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus' in 1589. Mephistopheles attempts to dissuade Faust from selling his soul by describing hell to him:
Think’st thou that I who saw the face of God
And tasted the eternal joy of heaven
Am not tormented with ten thousand hells
In being deprived of everlasting bliss?