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Doctor Faustus Homework Help Questions

 What was Marlowe's debt to Moralities in Doctor Faustus?

Morality plays, or Moralities, followed Mystery plays and were probably the outgrowth
of a desire to teach Christian principles without adhering strictly to the narratives told in
the Old and New...

 Give me the summary of Doctor Faustus. elaborate summary of doctor faustus

Dr. Faustus is based on the legend of Faust. Dr. Faustus was a scholar who found that the
conventional road to knowledge wasn't enough, so he made a deal with the devil for
magical powers. (He...

 Is it true that Doctor Faustus is a Medieval Man living in a Renaissance period as


In one sense, you might say that it is true: Faustus is a Medieval Man presented as living
in the Renaissance. The Faustus legend was based on a real historical figure. While there
are more than...

 What is an example of Faustus' attitude, his opinions, and his life before practicing magic

Marlowe doesn't give very much background information, but there is enough from the
Chorus and from Faustus' introductory soliloquy to give us some idea of his life before
necromancy (magic)....

 What is a brief summary of Doctor Faustusby Marlowe?

Marlowe's drama Doctor Faustus is based on what purported to be a real account of a

German scholar and magician of the name of Doctor John Faustus (1488-1541) who is
said to have performed wonders...
Plot Summary
The Tragic History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly shortened to
the title character's name, Doctor Faustus, is a play that was written by Christopher
Marlowe and was published in 1604. In this lesson, we'll explore the plot of this play,
and analyze some of the major characters, themes, and symbols.

Doctor Faustus, a respected German scholar, is bored with the traditional types of
knowledge available to him. He wants more than logic, medicine, law, and religion.
He wants magic. His friends, Valdes and Cornelius, begin to teach him magic, which
he uses to summon a devil named Mephistophilis. Faustus tells Mephistophilis to
return to his master, Lucifer, with an offer of his soul in exchange for twenty-four
years of having Mephistophilis and all his knowledge of magic at his beck and call.

Mephistophilis returns to Faustus with a contract for his soul, which Faustus signs in
his own blood. As soon as he signs the contract, words appear on his arm, which give
him doubts about what he has just done. Mephistophilis calms Faustus' doubts by
giving him valuable gifts and a book of spells to learn.

Later, Mephistophilis answers all Faustus' questions about the nature of the world, and
refuses to answer only when Faustus wants to know who created the universe. This
sets off yet another series of doubts in Faustus, but Mephistophilis and Lucifer quiet
those doubts by bringing in the seven deadly sins in human form to dance for Faustus.

Mephistophilis then takes Faustus on a wild chariot ride through the heavens, landing
in Rome, where Faustus torments Pope Adrian for his passing judgment on a rival
pope by making himself invisible, stealing Pope Adrian's food and smacking his ears.
He becomes famous for this and is invited to visit the German Emperor, Charles V,
who is the enemy of Pope Adrian. Faustus impresses the emperor by conjuring up an
image of Alexander the Great. One of the emperors' knights sneers at Faustus' magical
powers and Faustus punishes him by making antlers sprout from his head.

Meanwhile, Robin, the clown of Faustus' servant, Wagner, has picked up some magic
on his own and, with a stable hand named Rafe, uses his new magical skills to get free
booze, and even summons Mephistophilis, who threatens to turn them both into
animals. Their misadventures add to the comic relief of the play.

Faustus travels to England, where he sells an enchanted horse to a horse dealer. When
the man rides his new horse over water, it turns into a bale of straw. The Duke of
Vanholt hears about this and invites Faustus to visit him and his wife, the duchess.
The horse dealer shows up, along with Robin and Rafe, vowing to get even. Faustus
casts a spell of silence on them so they cannot speak of his wrongs, and sends them on
their way, which amuses the Duke and Duchess of Vanholt.

As the end of his contract approaches, Faustus begins to dread his impending doom,
and has Mephistophilis call up Helen of Troy so that he might impress a group of his
colleagues. An old man urges Faustus to repent and turn back to God, but he sends
Mephistophilis to torment the old man, and drive him away. Faustus then summons up
Helen again so that he might immerse himself in her ancient beauty. But time grows
short. Faustus, filled with dread, confesses his misdeeds to a group of his colleagues,
who vow to pray for him.

On the final night of his life, Faustus is overcome by fear and remorse. He begs for
mercy, but it is too late. The clock strikes midnight and a group of devils enter
Faustus' study to claim his soul. The next morning, his colleagues find his body torn
limb from limb, and decide to give him a proper burial.

Analysis of the Major Characters

Let's take a look at the major characters of this play.

Doctor Faustus is the protagonist and tragic hero of Marlowe's play. He is a

contradictory character, capable of both profound intellectual thought and a grandiose
ambition, yet prone to a blindness and a willingness to waste the powers he has
gained. He imagines piling up wealth from the four corners of the globe, reshaping the
map of Europe, and gaining access to every scrap of knowledge about the universe.
He represents the spirit of the Renaissance, with its rejection of the medieval, God-
centered universe, and its embracing of scientific inquiry and human possibility.

Mephistophilis is a character with mixed motives. He acts as an agent of Faustus'

damnation, witnesses Faustus' pact with Lucifer, and steps in whenever Faustus
considers repentance to convince him to stay loyal to hell. But he himself is damned
and speaks freely of the horrors of hell. There is a sense that a part of Mephistophilis
does not want Faustus to make the same mistakes that he made. But, of course,
Faustus does so anyway, making him and Mephistophilis kindred spirits.