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Doctor Faustus

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jspinn2
Words 4566
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Doctor Faustus
Christopher Marlowe
Prologue
* Chorus comes on and tells audience that the play isn’t going to be about war, valiant deeds, or love, but all about the fortunes of some guy named Faustus * Faustus was born in a town called Roda in Germany and was raised by relatives in Wittenberg * He excels at his studies of Theology, so much that he’s very quickly given the title of doctor of divinity and can out debate anyone * Faustus’s pride is a serious problem * Because Faustus is so proud he’s not happy being a mere theologian, so he opts instead to study magic

Act 1 Scene 1 * Meet Faustus, he’s busy figuring out what he wants to do with his life – he mulls over the options: philosophy, medicine, law – he rejects them all for being too boring and too pointless * Every time he reads the Bible Faustus can’t help but conclude that man’s sins give him no hope of heaven anyways * Faustus decides to study magic because a magician is almost like a god * He tells his servant Wagner to fetch Valdes and Cornelius, his friends, who happen to be a couple of magicians * Before they stop by the Good Angel enters and tells Faustus to lay the books of magic aside and to read the scriptures instead * Bad Angel disagrees & thinks Faust should go ahead with his plan because he’ll be godlike * Faustus is convinced and begins to wax poetic about all the thing he’ll do once he masters magic – especially excited about the whole power aspect * Valdes and Cornelius enter and Faustus gives them the good news that he wants to be a magician finally * Valdes thinks its awesome and tells Faustus that through their studies of magic, they’ll gain the spirits as their slaves and accumulate unimaginable wealth * Cornelius says that Faustus already knows the basic principles of magic, since he’s learned in astrology, languages, and geology – so this will be a breeze * Cornelius says Faustus will become famous and wealthy from his magic * Valdes and Cornelius tell Faustus to come with them to a deserted grove and bring the books of Bacon, Albanus, and the Old and New Testaments * First Faustus invites them to dine with him

Act 1 Scene 2 * First Scholar wonders what happened to Faustus since he hasn’t seen him at school lately * He and second scholar question Wagner about the whereabouts of Faustus * Wagner fesses up that Faustus is with Valdes and Cornelius * 1st and 2nd Scholar know that his means Faustus is lost to the dark arts (uh oh), Valdes and Cornelius are famous for practicing them – so this business dinner they’re having can’t mean anything good for their fellow scholar’s soul * They all feel bad about the danger Faustus’s soul is in and decide to tell the schoolmaster, hoping that he’ll talk their friend down from the dark arts
Act 1 Scene 3 * After dinner with Faustus and his magical men: Faustus draws a circle and begins an incantation to call the spirit, Mephistopheles * When Mephistopheles shows up, Faustus thinks the devil is just too ugly and wants him to leave and only come back when he looks more like a friar * When Mephistopheles has finished following these orders he asks Faustus what he wants * Faust commands Mephistopheles to serve him while he lives – Mephistopheles has to get the okay from Lucifer, whom he serves first and foremost * Mephistopheles assures him that Lucifer did not allow him to appear before Faustus, rather the devils always gather around a person who blasphemes (like Faust) in the hopes of winning that person’s soul away from God * Faustus is already the devil’s servant and he’s not a scared of damnation because in Hell he’ll get to talk with the pagan philosophers * According to Mephistopheles, Lucifer is the highest-ranked devil and was once an angel of God but fell on account of his pride – then Lucifer joined up with all the other devilish spirits in a conspiracy against God * This means Mephistopheles is always in hell, no matter where he goes, because he’s always separate from God and the joys of heaven * Faustus mocks Mephistopheles for being so upset about having lost salvation * Since he has already damned himself by blaspheming, Faustus has already made up his mind, the deal is sealed * Faustus wants to surrender his soul to Satan in exchange for twenty four years on Earth with Mephistopheles as his servant * Mephistopheles leaves to take Lucifer this message and a very excited Faustus beams at the thought of all the power he’ll have once he hands over his soul

Act 1 Scene 4 * Now we met Wagner, one of the townspeople * He calls over a guy named Robin merely by saying “boy” to which little Robin takes offense * Wagner wants to know if Robin makes any money * Robin claims he has “comings in” and “goings out” as well (income and expenses) * Yeah right says Wagner, knowing Robin is jobless and hungry * Wagner offers to bind Robin to him to make him his apprentice for a period of seven years, threatening to turn Robin’s lice into a chronic problem if he doesn’t agree * Robin doesn’t give in just yet * To try to seal the deal, Wagner gives Robin two coins, but still Robin isn’t giving in * Wagner calls two devils to frighten Robin, then sends them away at Robin’s request * Robin finally agrees for seven years of servitude as long as Wagner agrees to teach him how to conjure – they make the deal

Act 2 Scene 1 * Back in Faustus land, Faust wonder if he hasn’t mad a Big Fat Mistake – should he return to God * He decides against it because God doesn’t love him and he’ll probably be better off continuing to serve the devil instead * The Bad Angel encourages him to keep pursuing the dark arts, while Good Angel thinks Faustus should be focusing on heaven * Bad Angel tells him to think of the honor and wealth – this perks Faustus’s ears up * Mephistopheles enters with the news that Lucifer has agrees to Faustus’s terms as long as Faustus will sign a legal document giving Lucifer his soul and it has to be written in blood * Mephistopheles tells Faustus that Lucifer likes to win souls so he can have someone to hang with in Hell * So Faustus cuts his arms in an attempt to write the document, but his blood congeals * The blood gushing for his arm has congealed and needs to be melted so Mephistopheles starts a fire * Faust wonders if the whole blood-congealing so he can’t sign away his soul is an omen or a sign – maybe his blood doesn’t want him to sell his soul * Faustus signs the document anyway * A mysterious inscription, homo fuge – “man, flee” appears on his arm * Faustus doesn’t know where he is supposed to flee to – God won’t allow him in heaven * Mephistopheles fetches a parade of devils to distract Faustus – which works * Faust is enchanted by what he has seen and reads aloud his contract with Lucifer, gives it to Mephistopheles and asks the devil to tell him the quickest way to hell * Mephistopheles responds hell is where the damned are – when the world ends, all places that are not heaven will be hell * Faustus tells Mephistopheles that hell sounds like an old fable, Mephistopheles is like I’m a devil of course hell exists * Faustus commands Mephistopheles to fetch him a wife * Mephistopheles comes back with a “woman devil” and Faustus rejects her, prompting Faustus to forget about marriage in favor of sex * Then he gives Faustus a book of magic spells

Act 2 Scene 2 * Robin tells his friend Dick that he has gotten one of Faustus’s conjuring books * Now that Robin has the book he is too busy conjuring to help out Dick with the horses * In retaliation Dick mocks Robin’s poor attempt at reading * Robin doesn’t take stuff from anyone so he draws a circle and threatens to conjure at Dick * Dick says that if their master comes, he’ll conjure at Robin right back to which Robin replies that he’ll just put horns on his master’s head * Dick tells him that his mistress has already put horns on him aka she has cheated on him * Robin says Yeah with me – Dick is not surprised * All is sort of forgiven when Robin tells Dick that he can do just about anything with this conjuring book including summoning booze from a nearby tavern without paying a penny * Dick is feeling a big parched so they head to a tavern

Act 2 Scene 3 * Back with Faustus we hear him say that when he looks up to heaven, he feels really bad about what he did and curses Mephistopheles for taking away his shot at salvation * Mephistopheles reminds Faust that all he did was do what Faustus asked him to * He tells Faustus that heaven isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be – since heaven was made for mankind, mankind is obviously greater than heaven * Faustus responds “if heaven was made for man, ‘twas made for me” and he will repent – Good and Bad Angel enter * Good Angel encourages him on the repentance, but Bad Angel thinks that’s the wrong call – God can’t pity him * Faust listens to the Bad Angel – he doesn’t want to repent because all the awesome stuff he gets by conjuring is just too good to pass up – his desire for those things is far more powerful than any shame or guilt or regret he might feel * Faustus and Mephistopheles discuss the motions and the number of planets and stars, but Mephistopheles refuses to tell Faustus who created the world, since the answer would require him to name God and he doesn’t do that * He tells Faustus to think about hell * Good and Bad Angel enter and Bad Angel tells Faustus to despair of heaven and Good Angel promises it’s still not too late for salvation * Salvation sounds tempting so Faustus calls upon Christ to save him, prompting Lucifer, Beelzebub, and Mephistopheles to appear together to keep his soul for the bad side * Lucifer tells Faustus that God can’t save his soul and that Faustus is in big trouble for thinking about heaven – not part of their agreement * He tells Faustus to think about the devil * Faustus promises and in return Lucifer promises the guy all kinds of rewards * Beelzebub tells Faustus that they have come from hell to show Faustus a good time * They make the seven deadly sins appear * Faustus tells them that the sight will be as pleasant to him as Paradise was to Adam on the day of his creation; Lucifer reminds him to not talk about Paradise or creation, but to enjoy the show * The Seven Deadly Sins (pride, greed, envy, wrath, gluttony, sloth, and lust) appear before Faustus and he has a grand ol’ time * Faustus tells the devils he would like to be able to see hell and come back again, Lucifer promises they’ll make it happen at midnight * Then as a token of affection Lucifer gives Faustus a conjuring book tht tell him how to transform himself into whatever shape h wishes

Act 3 – Chorus Summary * Chorus tells audience of Faust on a journey in which he views the clouds, planets, and stars from a chariot flying above them all * After traveling around the world in this chariot drawn by dragons he comes back home * But then he hops back on the dragons for more exploring * Finally he ends up in Rome where he plans to see its wonders and chow down with the Pope

Act 3 Scene 1 * Faustus gives the scoop on his journey to Rome telling how he traveled over Trier, France, the Rhine River, Naples, the tomb of Vergil, Venice, and Padua * He asks Mephistopheles where they are and he responds Rome * Mephistopheles explains the geography of Rome – how it stand on seven hills with the Tiber River running through it and how a palace upon the Angelo Bridge sits next to the gates and pyramids that Julius Caesar brought there from Africa * Faustus wants to see the sights, but Mephistopheles thinks he should stay where he is in order to catch the Pope’s procession and and feast * Faustus agrees, but tells Mephistopheles that he wants to be an “actor” in the Pope’s show * Mephistopheles agrees and they make a plan to humiliate the Pope and his devout buds * The cardinals of France and Padua, bishops, monks, and friars enter in a procession, folled by Pope Adrian, King Raymond of Hungary, and the Archbishop of Rheims * They lead a man named Bruno in chains * The pope makes Bruno get down on his hands and knees, then uses his back to mount into his carrier-chair * Bruno remarks that the Pope’s position actually belongs to him * The Pope commands the cardinals to go to his library and read what the Council of Trent says is punishment for the one who unlawfully claims the Pope’s position * Under Faustus’s orders Mephistopheles follows the cardinals and makes them fall asleep before they can carry out the Pope’s orders * Then he tells everyone his plan: he wants to free Bruno * Bruno reminds the Pope he was elected by the Emperor * The Pope says he’ll have to excommunicate the emperor, maybe even dethrone him while he’s at it – the emperor is too big for his britches * But Bruno reminds the Pope, a prior Pope, Julius, swore to hold the emperors as their lawful lords * The Pope counters that Julius overstepped his bounds in doing so and his decrees isn’t valid anyway * He shows Bruno his seven seals to brag and then threatens Bruno with a curse * Faustus and Mephistopheles enter dressed as the Cardinals of France and Padua * The Pope asks them what they have decided about Bruno’s punishment * Faustus answers that Bruno and the German emperor should be considered heretic and disturbers of the Church’s peace (time to burn them) * The Pope hands over Bruno to Faustus and Mephistopheles and tell them to take him to prison and tells everyone that tomorrow he will pass judgment on the heretic * Faustus and Mephistopheles leave with Bruno and the Pope calls for a banquet to celebrate his victory with King Raymond of Hungary

Act 3 Scene 2 * A banquet is brought in * Mephistopheles tells Faustus he has successfully enchanted the Cardinals and has sent Bruno back to Germany on a magical horse * Faustus tells Mephistopheles to make him invisible so he can go play tricks on the Pope – Faustus disappears * The Pope and Cardinals enter along with King Raymond * The Cardinal of France asks the Pope if he wants to know what they think about this whole Bruno situation * Since he already heard the judgment Faustus gave when he was disguised as a Cardinal, the Pope is surprised and annoyed by this * The Cardinal of France says that he’s mistaken, but Raymond back up the Pope’s story adding that the Cardinals took custody of Bruno and his rich crown already * When the Cardinals swear they have never seen Bruno or the crown the Pope sends them to prison * Faust is having a great time and delights in cursing the Pope invisibly and stealing his food and dishes as the servants pass * The Archbishop of Rheims advises him to have a priest perform an exorcism, since he believes the troublemaker is some soul that has risen out of purgatory * The Pope crosses himself, at which Faustus strikes him * That’s the last straw – the friars perform a humorous exorcism * Mephistopheles and Faustus respond by casting fireworks among them all, and then split

Act 3 Scene 3 * Robin and Dick enter, carrying cup * Robin tells Dick he hopes his devil can get them out of trouble for stealing the cup, since the tavern-keeper follows hard at their heels * The Tavern-keeper comes, demanding that these two hooligans hand over the stolen cup * Robin and Dick pass the cup back and forth as the tavern-keeper searches them (funny) * Finally Robin produces the cup and the tavern-keeper curses them both and demands they hand it over * Robin has Dick draw him a circle and calls the devils Demogorgon, Belcher, and Mephistopheles * Mephistopheles enters irritated to be summoned by these fools * Robin offers him some supper and a few coins for his trouble and says they called him as a joke (presumably to freak out the tavern-keeper?) * In retaliation, Mephistopheles transforms Dick into an ape and Robin into a dog, then returns to Faustus who is still on his European adventures

Act 4 Scene 1 * Martino instructs Fredrick to be sure the rooms are clear of people since the Emperor is on his way * Frederick asks the whereabouts of Bruno, their elected Pope, who just arrived from Rome * Martino replies that Bruno will be there too with his new buddy, the German conjurer Faustus who has come to show the emperor his stuff * Frederick also wants to know what’s up with Benvolio and Martino tells him that he’s fast asleep with a hangover * Then Benvolio stick his head out of a nearby window * Martino tells Benvolio that Faustus is coming to amaze the court so he wanted to come see the show * Benvolio wants to stay put and watch it go down from his window * Frederick and Martino leave and then re-enter with the Emperor, Bruno, the Duck of Saxony, Faustus, and Mephistopheles * The Emperor thanks Faustus for freeing Bruno from the Pope, adding that Faustus will become even more renowned if Bruno eventually becomes Pope in Rome * Faustus says he’s ready to perform whatever tricks the Emperor wants in order to impress him * Benvolio mocks Faustus’s speech and says the guy doesn’t look like much of a conjurer * The Emperor asks Faustus to conjure Alexander the Great and his lover * Faustus commands Mephistopheles to fetch them * Benvolio expresses his doubt in Faustus and Faustus responds with a threat * Faustus warns the emperor not to try to touch Alexander and his lover, since they’re immaterial spirits * Benvolio announces he’ll turn himself into a stag if Faustus is able to conjure Alexander and Faustus threatens to put horns on him - again * Alexander shows up and fights with Darius, killing him – Then he embraces his lover * When Alexander salutes the Emperor the Emperor tries to touch hi until Faustus stops him * But the emperor really wants to touch him and he wants to check a mole on the lady’s neck – identifying her – Faustus is game about the girl and her identity is proven * The spirits exit * Faustus points out that Benvolio asleep is now horned * The Duke of Saxony and emperor wake him up and Faustus is all check out your new look Benvolio * Faustus conjures a pack of hounds to chase him * The Emperor asks Faustus to stop tormenting Benvolio and Faustus stops telling the Emperor that all he has done to Benvolio has been not for his own hurt feelings, but only to amuse the Emperor * Benvolio declares his intention to trust scholars no longer

Act 4 Scene 2 * Martino tries to convince Benvolio not to seek revenge on Faustus * Benvolio intends to kill Faustus as retaliation * Frederick says he and Martino will stand by him * Benvolio tells them to hide in a grove, all the better to ambush Faustus * Benvolio and Martino go to the grove Frederick arrives to let them know Faustus is approaching * When he arrives Benvolio cuts off Fautus’s (fake) head * Benvolio, Martino, and Frederick mock the sorry state to which Fautus’s head has now fallen and Benvolio says he plans to nail horns to the head and hang it out his window for all the world to see or selling it to a chinmneysweeper to use as a broom and using his eyes to button his lips * But then the body of Faustus rises up * Faustus says that no matter what they do to him, he will rise again until 24 years have passed * He calls his devil instructing them to drag the three through a thorny briarpatch then tumble them down some rocks * The soldiers hearing the fight stand forward to fight Faustus but he conjures up a wall of trees and an army of devils between himself and the soldiers
Act 4 Scene 3 * Benvolio, Martino, and Frederick meet up again having been dragged through the mud by Faustus’s devils and now they all have horns of their heads * Benvolio has finally learnd his lesson * Their only option now is to hang out at a castle in the woods, hoping that their horns might go away with time

Act 4 Scene 4 * A horse-courser asks Faustus to sell him his horse for forty dollars * Faustus wants fifty, but finally accepts the courser’s offer of forty * He warns the courser not to ride the horse over water, and the horse courser declares himself to be a “made man forever” * Faustus talks about the fact that his own damnation is getting closer and closer, but he’s comforted with the thought that Christ forgave the thief as he was dying on the cross – his last hope * He takes a nap * The courser enters again soaking wet – he rode the horse over water because he thought Faustus was hiding some good quality the horse possessed * Over the water, the horse disappeared and he found himself sitting in a bale of hay * He pulls at Faustus leg to wake him and it comes off * The courser leaves with the leg, promising to throw it in a ditch * Wagner enters telling Faustus that the Duke of Vanholt is asking for him and Fautus agrees to pay him a visit

Act 4 Scene 5 * Elsewhere, the Carter leads Robin, Dick, and the horse-courser to a tavern * Robin tells Dick that he owes the tavern-mistress a lot of money and right then the hostess reminds Robin of his tab * But despite the debt she agrees to fetch them beers * Carter tells them a story as they wait for their beers * It’s the story of how Faustus asked him for as much hay as he could eat in exchange for some money, then proceeded to eat the whole cartful * The horse courser tells them about his adventure with the vanishing horse and Faustus’s leg which he now keeps in his house * Robin tells the story of how Faustus’s devil turned him into an ape * He thinks the group should enjoy their beers then go confront Faustus

Act 4 Scene 6 * At the Duke’s house the Duke thanks Faustus for showing him such marvels including a castle in the air that delighted him * Faustus asks the Duchess what she’d like and she responds that she would like some grapes, but the problem is its winter * Faustus sends Mephistopheles to fetch her some grapes, explaining that it’s summer in other parts of the world * Duchess thinks the grapes are the best she has ever had * Then furious Robin, Dick the Carter and the horse-courser appear demanding to speak with Faustus who asks the Duke to allow them in * Once inside the crew demands beer which Faustus has fetches for them * The horse-courser reminds Faustus about what happened with the horse and asks him if he has both his legs to which Faustus replies he does * Faustus responds that he has his leg again now that he’s awake * Then Faustus charms all of the company dumb when they try to say what he’s done to them and charms the hostess dumb when she arrives demanding payment for her ale * The Duchess and Duke declare themselves beholden to Faustus for the way his art drives sad thoughts away

Act 5 Scene 1 * Wagner enters and says he thinks his master might die soon because he has willed all of his possessions to Wagner * First Scholar says that since their dispute about who’s the most beautiful woman ever he and the other scholars decided Helen of Troy * He asks Faustus to conjure her – she appears * The scholars are satisfied after having seen the pride of nature’s work * First scholar leaves and Old Man enters * He tells Fautus to renounce sorcery and repent * Otherwise, he’ll be banished from heaven forwever * It’s too late, Faustus says hell is calling him * The old man says that he sees an angel hovering over his head, ready to pour grace out over him, if only Faustus would ask for mercy * Faustus tells the Old Man that his words comfort him but he wants to be alone to ponder the meaning * Old Man leaves * Mephistopheles arrives and warns Faustus not to betray the devil or he, the devil will rip his soul to pieces * Faustus repents in the other direction, apologizing for offending the devil and re-affirming his vom to Lucifer * Faustus asks Mephistopheles to torture the Old Man who offended him * Mephistopheles responds that he will torment his body but can’t touch his soul * Faustus asks to have Helen of Troy as his lover and Mephistopheles grants it * Helen arrives and Faustus kisses her declaring everything worthless except her * He imagines himself as Paris from the Illiad

Act 5 Scene 2 * The devils hover above the scene * Lucifer says they came to observe the goings on and wait for Faustus’s soul * Mephistopheles says that although Faustus has attempted to escape his pact, his pleasures will be met with pain in the end * Wagner enters – likes Faustus’s will * Three scholars enter Wagner leaves * First scholar tells Faustus he’s not looking good * Tells scholars that maybe if he’d lived with them he would have lived rather than dying eternally as he does now * Third scholar thinks Faustus spent too much time by himself * Second scholar thinks Faustus is being overemotional, but Faustus assures him he’s damned – he has sinned too much * 1st suggests he looks to heaven for mercy – Faustus says there is no point * What he has done is unpardonable – he has gone too far * He has renounced God in favor of the devil once and for all – they are horrified – why didn’t Fautus tell them before when they could have helped? * His fear of the devil kept him from naming God * There is nothing left for them to do but pray so they go to do so * Mephistopheles tells Faustus that he has no hope of heaven * Fautus accuses Mephistopheles of tempting him from salvation * Mephistopheles agrees he tempted Faustus when Faustus took up the scriptures * Mephistopheles led his eyes to the lines that would cause him despair

Act 5 Scene 3 * First scholar asks his scholar cronies to come with him to check on Faustus since they heard horrible shrieks and cries from his room * Second scholar remarks how Faustus’s limbs are all torn apart * Third scholar says the devils Faustus serves tore him to pieces between the hours of 12 and 1 * 2nd says that although Faustus end was horrible to every Christian, they will give him an honorable burial because of how admires he once was for his scholarship

Epilogue – Chorus Summary * The chorus declares that the branch that might have grown straight and achieved great heights is now cut (that would be Faustus) * They tell the audience to take Fautus’s fall as a warning against probing too deep into the dark arts, whose practice is not permitted by the powers that be

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