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Unit I – Chaucerian Age (1400 – 1600)


S. No


P. No



Chaucer’s Prologue to The Canterbury Tales



2.1 Spenser

      2.2 Faerie  Queene – Book-I

      2.3 Epithalamion

      2.4 Prothalamion






Wyatt’s Poems (Selections in Peacock’s English verse, Vol-I)



Surrey’s Poems (Selections in Peacock’s English verse, Vol-I)



Ballads (Peacock – Vol-II)




6.1 Sir Francis Bacon

6.2 Of Truth

6.3 Of Adversity

6.4 Of Studies

6.5 Of Revenge

6.6 Of Ambition

6.7 Of Friendship









Sidney’s An Apologie for Poetrie



The Bible – The Book of Job




Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus



Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy     



Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist





  1. Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus

Christopher Marlowe


  • Christopher Marlowe was born in Canterbury, Kent on 6 February, 1564.
  • He was born to shoemaker John Marlowe and his wife Catherine.
  • He was born the same year as William Shakespeare during the reign of Elizabeth I.
  • He went to King’s School and was awarded a scholarship that enabled him to study at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
  • He went to Cambridge University and he was granted a BA in 1584.
  • However, the university refused to give Marlowe an MA because he was suspected of being a Roman Catholic.
  • A fight broke out between Marlowe and Ingram Frizer over the bill.
  • Marlowe was stabbed in the forehead and killed by Ingram Frizer in Deptford, Kent on 30 May
  • He was buried in the churchyard of St Nicholas, Deptford.


  • Marlowe was a poet and playwright at the forefront of the 16th-century dramatic renaissance.
  • He was known as Kit Marlowe.
  • He was a great Elizabethan playwright.
  • He is called as ‘Father of English Tragedy’.
  • He is described as ‘Sexual political thinker’.
  • He joined ‘Lord Admiral’s Company of Players’.
  • He was associated with ‘The School of Night or School of Atheism’. The other members are George Chapman, Mathew Roydon and Thomas Harriot.
  • He was the central figure in ‘University Wits’.
  • ‘The University Wits’ are Robert Greene, Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Nashe, Thomas Lodge, John Lyly and George Peele.
  • They are playwrights who studied either in Oxford or in Cambridge.
  • Thomas Kyd did not get university education.
  • The term ‘Unoversity Wits’ was coined by George Saintsbury.
  • Marlowe’s plays are known for the use of blank verse and their overreaching protagonists.
  • His plays are called as ‘One man type of tragedy’.
  • Shakespeare was heavily influenced by Marlowe in his work, as can be seen in the re-using of Marlovian themes in Antony and Cleopatra, The Merchant of Venice, Richard II, and Macbeth (Dido, Jew of Malta, Edward II and Dr Faustus respectively).
  • The first edition of his plays was published in the form of Quarto in 1604.
  • The enlarged edition was appeared in



  • Dido, Queen of Carthage (1586):
  • Its full title is ‘The Tragedie of Dido Queene of Carthage’.
  • It is based on ‘Virgil’s Aeneid’.
  • It describes the story of Dido and her love for Aeneas.
  • It is the collaboration work with Thomas Nashe.
  • Tamburlaine, part 1 (1587)
  • Tamburlaine, part 2 (1587–1588)
  • It is based on the great and ruthless Central Asian conqueror Timur the Lame (1336-1405).
  • Timur is depicted as Scythian shepherd who rises to the rank of emperor.
  • He conquers the kingdoms of the east.
  • The death of his wife Zenocrate made him to realize his mistake.
  • The Jew of Malta (1589)
  • Its full title is ‘The Famous Tragedy of the Rich Jew of Malta’.
  • It is based on a Turkish invasion of the island in 1565.
  • It depicts the Jew Barabas, the richest man on all the island of Malta.
  • His wealth is seized, however, and he fights the government to regain it until his death at the hands of Maltese soldiers.
  • The character, Barabas, is seen as the main inspiration for Shakespeare’s Shylock character in The Merchant of Venice.
  • The play is considered the first successful black comedy, or tragicomedy.


  • Doctor Faustus (1589)
  • Its full title ‘The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus’.
  • It is called as ‘morality paly and the tragedy of damnation’.
  • It is based on a real person, a German scholar called Johann Faust who lived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and sold his soul to the Devil in return for magic powers.
  • It is based on the German Faustbuch, was the first dramatised version of the Faust legend of a scholar’s dealing with the devil.
  • It is the story of the life and death of a medival scholar Dr.Faustus.
  • Faustus sells his soul to the devil in exchange for twenty four years of power and pleasure.
  • Edward II (1592):
  • Its full title is ‘The Troublesome Reign and Lamentable Death of Edward the Second, King of England, with the Tragical Fall of Proud Mortimer’.
  • It is based on the English king who reigned 1284-1327.
  • It is extremely bold, dealing with a love story between Edward II and Gaveston.
  • It is an English history play about the deposition of King Edward II by his barons and the Queen.
  • It is a tragedy featuring a weak and flawed monarch, and it paved the way for Shakespeare’s more mature histories, such as Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V.
  • The Massacre at Paris (1593):
  • Its full title was ‘The Massacre at Paris: With the Death of the Duke of Guise’.
  • It portrays the events of the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of 1572, in which 3000 Protestants were killed by catholic government.


  • Translation of Book One of Lucan’s Pharsalia
  • Translation of Ovid’s Amores (1580)



  • The Passionate Shepherd to His Love (1593)
  • It begins with the line “Come live with me and be my love” by John Donne.
  • It is a love poem in pastoral setting.
  • Hero and Leander (1593)
  • It is a fragmentary poem published in 1598.
  • It was completed by George Chapman.
  • It retells the Greek myth of Hero and Leander.


  • George Peele remembered him as “Marley, the Muses’ darling”.
  • Ben Jonson said, “Marlowe’s blank verse is mighty line”.
  • Thomas Nashe called Marlowe as, “poor deceased Kit Marlowe”.
  • Shakespeare quotes a line from ‘Hero and Leander’, “Dead Shepherd, now I find thy saw of might, ‘Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?” in his ‘As You Like It’.
  • ‘Marlowe is not only the father of English Tragedy but also the teacher and guide of Shakespeare’ – Swinburne







Character List:

  • Faustus:
  • Faustus is protagonist of the drama.
  • He is a brilliant sixteenth century scholar from Wittenberg, Germany, whose ambition for knowledge, wealth, and worldly might makes him willing to pay the ultimate price—his soul—to Lucifer in exchange for supernatural powers.
  • His initial tragic grandeur is diminished by the fact that he never seems completely sure of the decision to forfeit his soul and constantly wavers about whether or not to repent.
  • His ambition is admirable and initially awesome, yet he ultimately lacks a certain inner strength.
  • He is unable to embrace his dark path wholeheartedly but is also unwilling to admit his mistake.
  • Mephastophilis:
  • Mephastophilis is a devil whom Faustus summons with his initial magical experiments.
  • His motivations are ambiguous: on the one hand, his oft-expressed goal is to catch Faustus’s soul and carry it off to hell.
  • He actively attempts to dissuade Faustus from making a deal with Lucifer by warning him about the horrors of hell.
  • He is ultimately as tragic a figure as Faustus, with his moving, regretful accounts of what the devils have lost in their eternal separation from God.
  • Chorus:
  • The Chorus stands outside the story, providing narration and commentary.
  • The Chorus was customary in Greek tragedy.
  • Old Man:
  • Old man is an enigmatic figure who appears in the final scene.
  • He urges Faustus to repent and to ask God for mercy.
  • He seems to replace the good and evil angels, who, in the first scene, try to influence Faustus’s behavior.


  • Good Angel:
  • Good Angel is a spirit that urges Faustus to repent for his pact with Lucifer and return to God.
  • Along with the old man and the bad angel, the good angel represents, in many ways, Faustus’s conscience and divided will between good and evil.


  • Evil Angel:
  • Evil Angel is a spirit that serves as the counterpart to the good angel and provides Faustus with reasons not to repent for sins against God.
  • The evil angel represents the evil half of Faustus’s conscience.


  • Lucifer:
  • He is the prince of devils, the ruler of hell, and Mephastophilis’s master.


  • Wagner:
  • He is Faustus’s servant.
  • He uses his master’s books to learn how to summon devils and work magic.
  • Clown:
  • He becomes Wagner’s servant.
  • His antics provide comic relief.
  • He is a ridiculous character, and his absurd behavior initially contrasts with Faustus’s grandeur.
  • As the play goes on, though, Faustus’s behavior comes to resemble that of the clown.
  • Robin:
  • He is an ostler, or innkeeper.
  • He is like the clown, provides a comic contrast to Faustus.
  • Robin and his friend Ralph learn some basic conjuring, demonstrating that even the least scholarly can possess skill in magic.
  • Marlowe includes Robin and Ralph to illustrate Faustus’s degradation as he submits to simple trickery such as theirs.
  • Ralph:
  • He is an ostler, and a friend of Robin.
  • He appears as Dick (Robin’s friend and a clown) in B-text editions of Doctor Faustus.
  • Valdes and Cornelius:
  • They are two friends of Faustus, both magicians, who teach him the art of black magic.
  • Horse-courser:
  • He is a horse-trader who buys a horse from Faustus, which vanishes after the horse courser rides it into the water, leading him to seek revenge.
  • The Scholars:
  • They are Faustus’s colleagues at the University of Wittenberg.
  • Loyal to Faustus, the scholars appear at the beginning and end of the play to express dismay at the turn Faustus’s studies have taken, to marvel at his achievements, and then to hear his agonized confession of his pact with Lucifer.
  • The pope:
  • He is the head of the Roman Catholic Church and a powerful political figure in the Europe of Faustus’s day.
  • The pope serves as both a source of amusement for the play’s Protestant audience and a symbol of the religious faith that Faustus has rejected.
  • Emperor Charles V:
  • He is the most powerful monarch in Europe, whose court Faustus visits.
  • Knight:
  • He is a German nobleman at the emperor’s court.
  • The knight is skeptical of Faustus’s power, and Faustus makes antlers sprout from his head to teach him a lesson.
  • The knight is further developed and known as Benvolio in B-text versions of Doctor Faustus.
  • Benvolio seeks revenge on Faustus and plans to murder him.
  • Bruno:
  • He is a candidate for the papacy, supported by the emperor.
  • He is captured by the pope and freed by Faustus.
  • He appears only in B-text versions of Doctor Faustus.
  • Duke of Vanholt:
  • He is a German nobleman whom Faustus visits.
  • Martino and Frederick:
  • They are Friends of Benvolio who reluctantly join his attempt to kill Faustus.
  • Martino and Frederick appear only in B-text versions of Doctor Faustus.




Prologue: Chorus

  • “Not marching in the fields of Thrasymene,

Where mars did mate the warlike Carthagens” – Chorus

  • The chorus says that the poet has no intention to present the battle of Thrasymene or the war like Carthagens or the great love affairs or the great heroes in the play.
  • The poet intends to present the life of Faustus.
  • Faustus is born of humble parents in the town of Rhodes in Germany.
  • He studies divinity at the University of Wittenberg and gets a Doctorate Degree.
  • Then he practises the black art of magic to acquire superhuman powers.
  • His condition is like Icarus who flew too near to sun and fell down into the sea.

Act – 1:

Scene – 1: Faustus in his study

  • Faustus rejects all subjects such as philosophy, Logic, Medicine, Law and Theology.
  • Logic aims only to argue. (Aristotle)
  • Physic brings only good health. (Galen)
  • Law settles petty disputes. (Justian)
  • Divinity says that wages of sin is death. (St.Jerome’s Bible)
  • “A sound magician is a demi God

Here tire my brains to get a deity” – Faustus

  • Finally he decides to study necromancy because he thinks that ‘a sound magician is a mighty God.’
  • He asks his servent, Wagner to call his friends like Valdes and Cornelius.
  • He considers that their advice would help him to practice the black art of magic.
  • The good angel asks him to study the Bibie and sacred books and to avoid the black art of magic.
  • The Bad angel tempts him to study necromancy to become the God on earth.
  • Faustus visualizes that he will achieve the following activities with the help of magic.
  • He will…
  • send spirits to fetch gold from India.
  • bring pearls from ocean.
  • get tasty sweets from America.
  • build walls of brass round Germany.
  • make the river Rhine flow the city of Writtenberg.
  • give silk garments to the students of public schools.
  • drive away the Prince of Parma (the Spanish general) from Germany.
  • Faustus desires to become as Agrippa.
  • Valdes and Cornelius agree to teach him to summon spirits.
  • Valdes counsels Faustus to study the works of Bacon and Abanus, the works of Ovid and Homer to conjure up spirits.
  • Cornelius teaches him the magic formulas and rituals.
  • Valdes asks him to go to lonely grove to call up the spirits of the dead.
  • “And more frequented for this mystery

      Than heretofore the Delphian Oracle” – Cornelius to Faustus

  • Cornelius says that if Faustus becomes a learned magician, people will gather to hear predictions rather than the oracles of Apollo at Delphin.

Scene – 2: Two Scholars

  • Wagner informs the two scholars that Faustus is having dinner with Valdes and Cornelius.
  • The first scholar is afraid that Faustus will be tempted into magic.
  • The second scholar offers to inform the Rector of the University so that he will stop Faustus from the art of necromancy.

Scene – 3: Faustus in Gloomy Night

  • Faustus begins his incantations in a grove to raise the spirits at night.
  • He draws a circle and writes the name of a god in reverse order.
  • He calls upon the spirits of hell with the help of the signs and wandering planets.
  • As Mephistophilis appears in the guise of Franciscan Friar.
  • Mephistophils is the great lieutenant of Lucifer.
  • Lucifer is called as the Prince of Hell or the Prince of the Devils.
  • Mephistophilis says that he can execute the commands of Faustus only after getting the permission of Lucifer.
  • He appears before him not for the incantations of Faustus but for his condemning the name of God and the Bible.
  • “Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it.

            Think’st thou that I saw the face of God

            And tasted the eternal joys of heaven,

            Am not tormented with ten thousand hells

            In being deprived of everlasting bliss?” – Mephostophilis to Faustus

  • Faustus points out that he is not afraid of damnation.
  • Like the Pagon scholars, he believes that the dead people will go to Elysium and live luxury life there.
  • He asks Mephistophils says that Lucifer was once an arch angel.
  • He was very close to god.
  • God threw him from heaven because he was ambitions, proud and irrespective.
  • Mephistophils has also fallen along with Lucifer.
  • Faustus is ready to surrender his soul to Lucifer, if he will grant Faustus 24 years of sensual powers.
  • Mephistophils should attend on him as his attendant.
  • He should kill his enemies and obey his commands.
  • Faustus asks him to meet in the library to know the decision of Lucifer.
  • Faustus soliloquies his intentions.
  • If he had as many souls as stars, he will exchange them for Mephistophils.
  • He will conquer the world and he will fly all over the world with the help of Mephistophils.
  • He will isolate the hills which surrounded Africa and it will be conducted with spain.
  • He will rule the both countries.
  • He will make the Roman Emperor Charles as his subordinate.

Scene – 4: Wagner and Clown

  • Wagner says that the clown may give his soul to the devil for a slice of meat.
  • The clown declares that he may give his soul for roasted mutton served with sauce and not for raw meat.
  • Wagner wants him to be a servant but the clown does not obey him.
  • He threatens the clown to turn all of his lice into demons, if he doesn’t go into service for 7 years.
  • When Wagner gives some French coins, the clown declines because he can understand only English coins.
  • Wagner frightens him saying that the two devils Baliol and Belcher will take him away to hell.
  • But the clown replies that he will knock the devils down so violently and he will be called as a devil-killer.
  • As Wagner calls the two devils, the clown is terrified and the clown has accepted to be a servant of Wagner.
  • He teaches the clown the art of transforming himself like a dog, cat, mouse etc.
  • The clown doesnot want to be transformed into any such animals.
  • He wants to be a flea and so he can amuse the charming maidens with its light and touch.
  • Wagner insists him to call as ‘Master Wagner’.

Act – II:

Scene – 1: Faustus Meets Mephistophils

  • Faustus is wavering whether he should surrender to Lucifer or beg for mercy from God.
  • The Good Angel asks Faustus to give up the detestable practice of magic.
  • The Evil Angel wants him to practise the famous art of magic.
  • The Good Angel reminds him of meditation on God and heaven.
  • The Evil Angel tempts him with wealth, honour and position.
  • Faustus yields to evil passions and temptations.
  • He thinks of wealth and of becoming the Lord of Embden.
  • So he awaits the arrival of Mephistophilis with good news.
  • Mephistophilis points out that Lucifer will allow him to serve Faustus only if Faustus exchanges his soul in a document signed with his own blood.
  • When Faustus writes in a document, his blood stops flowing.
  • He completes the document with the help of brazier a glowing coal brought by Mephistophils.
  • He notices an inscritption on his arm ‘Home Fuge’. These are Latin words which mean ‘O, Man Fly’.
  • He reads the agreement between him and the devil.
  • He is to be transformed into a spirit both in body and soul.
  • Mephistophilis shall be his attendant to carry out Faustus’s orders.
  • He will be present unseen in the room and he will appear before Faustus at any time.
  • Faustus gives up his soul, body, flesh and blood to the devil for 24 years.
  • After this stipulated period, Lucifer will carry his soul to hell for eternal damnation.
  • The document is sealed and signed.
  • Singing his pact with Satan, Faustus says ‘Consummatum est’ which means ‘It is finished’.
  • Mephistophilis describes that there is no particular locality for hell.
  • Hell is a place where the sinful souls live and undergo physical and mental agony.
  • The people are judged and purified of their sins on the doomsday.
  • When Faustus asks Mephistophilis to obtain a wife, Mephistophilis brings a devil dressed woman.
  • Mephistophilis says that marriage is a silly idle ceremony.
  • “Be she as Chaste as was Penelope

As wise as Saba or as beautiful” – Mephistophilis to Faustus

  • If Faustus really wants a wife, for shall bring for him such as chaste and faithful as Penelope (the wife of Ulysses) or as wise as the Queen of Sheba or as bright as Lucifer.
  • Mephistophilis gves him a book that will teach him how to raise storm, thunder and lightening.
  • Faustus wants a book of heavenly bodies and their movements.



Scene – 2:

  • Faustus calls Mephistophilis wicked because he has robbed him of the blessings of heaven.
  • The Good Angel says that if he repents, God will show him mercy.
  • The Evil Angel says that as Faustus has become a devil and God will not show any mercy.
  • When Faustus utters the words ‘redemption, faith and heaven’, he sees poison guns, daggers, hanging ropes and poisoned lances laid before him.
  • To distract himself, Faustus makes Homer to sing of Alexander’s love for the Nymph Oenone and Amphion to play on his harp.
  • Amphion built the walls of Thebes with the power of music.
  • He can enjoy all these sensuous pleasures of the world with the help of Mephistophilis and so there is no reason why he should feel despair.
  • Faustus asks Mephistophilis whether there are many skies beyond the moon.
  • Mephistophilis points out that all these heavenly bodies move together on an axis.
  • The farthest ends of the axis are called as poles of the Zodiac.
  • He says that there are a number of spheres revolving round one axle and carrying them the stars and the plants.
  • Faustus remarks that thses facts are familiar to the beginners in astronomy.
  • He asks Mephistophilis to reaveal secret knowledge to him.
  • He asks Mephistophilis why these heavenly bodies do not have same time.
  • Mephistophilis replies that such inequalities are due to their unequal rotation with regard to the universe.
  • They move in their orbits at varying speeds.
  • Faustus asks Mephistophilis who made the world.
  • Mephistophilis says that such questions are against their laws.
  • The Good Angel says that if Faustus repents sincerely, the devils cannot even touch his skin.
  • So Faustus makes an earnest appeal to God: ‘Ah Christ, my savior; seek to save my distressed soul’.
  • Mephistophilis comes back with Lucifer and Beelzebub.
  • Lucifer says that as Faustus has already pledged his soul to him and so Christ cannot save Faustus’s soul.
  • He says that talking of God is against their contract.
  • Faustus replies that he will neither speak of God nor pray to him.
  • He will burn all holy books; kill clergyman and demolish churches.
  • Lucifer entertains Faustus with the Seven Deadly Sins in their own shapes.
  • The Seven Deadly Sins are Pride, Covetousness, Envy, Wrath, Glouttony, Sloth and

      1) Pride is represented as a woman disdaining her own parents.

      2) Covetousness is represented as miser wishing to turn both animate and inanimate                          objects into gold and hoard it.

      3) Wrath comes out of lion’s mouth.

      4) Envy curses all those who enjoy the pleasures of life and wishes all books to be burnt.

      5) Gluttony is represented as eating thirty meals a day and ten beverages and still feels                       hungry.

      6) Sloth is lying down on a sunny bank.

      7) Lechery wants Faustus to go back to hell.

  • Lucifer assures to show Faustus hell at midnight.
  • He hands over a book which will help to transform himself to any form.

Act – III: Chorus

  • The Chorus explains that Faustus has travelled all over the skies in a chariot drawn by dragons.
  • The dragons carried him up to the top of mount Olympus in order to study the heavenly bodies.
  • The adventurous spirit makes him fly into the high sky to study the cosmos.
  • After studying the clouds, the orbits, the stars and the sky, hr returns back home in 8 days.
  • Next, he will go to meet Pope and his conferences.



Scene – 1:

  • Faustus recalls the course of their journey.
  • They have visited the city Tier and the river Maine falling into Rhine and Naples.
  • They also visited the tomb of Virgil who built a one mile tunnel with his power of music.
  • Mephistophilis describes the city Rome situated on seven hills.
  • The river Tiber flows through it and divides into two parts.
  • The people can move from one part to the other part over the four bridges built on the river
  • There are tapering towers and gates brought from Africa by Julius Caesar.
  • Mephistophilis takes Faustus to the palace of Pope of Rome.
  • The Pope brings a prisoner, Bruno who supported the German Emperor.
  • Faustus and Mephistophilis appear before Pope as Cardinals.
  • The Pope orders them to carry Bruno to prison.
  • But they give him a fast horse and send him back to Germany.
  • They confound Pope and the Monks who are in Peter’s Feast.
  • Faustus makes himself invisible and damages the solemnity of the occasion.
  • He boxes the Pope’s ear.
  • He snatches away dishes from Pope, when he gives to the Cardinal.
  • The Friars sing songs to excommunicate the evil spitits.
  • Mephistophilis and Faustus beat the Friars and throw fire at them.


Act – IV: Chorus

  • The chorus speaks of Faustus who has stopped his wanderings.
  • Faustus gives a detailed description of his experience and his knowledge of heavenly bodies.
  • The Emperor Charles V invites Faustus to his palace.

Scene – 1:

  • Ralph calls Robin to do some brushing and cleaning.
  • Robin is the ostler or the horse keeper.
  • He carries a magic book stolen from Faustus.
  • He tells Ralph that it is one of the most dangerous books of magic.
  • He can do wonders with the help of the book.
  • He says that he can bring Nan Suit (Kitchen maid) for him.

Scene – 2:

  • Rabin and Ralph have stolen a silver goblet of a wine seller of an inn.
  • Vintner searches Robin and Ralph for the goblet.
  • Robin blames Vintner for accusing honest people of stealing the goblet.
  • They return the cup of the Vintner.
  • Robin reads from a book and utters a magic spell for calling up spirits.
  • Mephistophilis comes from Constantinople and threatens them that he will transform Robin into an ape and Ralph into a dog for their impertinence.
  • He leaves in a fury saying that he will join Faustus in


Scene – 3:

  • At the court of the emperor, the two gentlemen, Martino and Frederick discuss the imminent arrival of Faustus.
  • Faustus goes to the court of Emperor Charles V at Innsbruck in Germany.
  • Charles V pays tributes for the magic skill of Faustus.
  • He assures that Faustus’s performance will not cause any danger to him.
  • Faustus is ready to perform anything that the emperor orders him to do.
  • The emperor wants to see the ghost of Alexander and his wife in their own shapes and dress.
  • Faustus creates the ghost of Alexander and his paramour Thais in front of the emperor
  • The knight, Benvolio interrupts Faustus during his conversation with the emperor.
  • He is punished with horns on his head.
  • Faustus tells the emperor that the punishment is not for the interruption of the knight but he wants to entertain the emperor.
  • At the request of the emperor, the knight is set free and given his own shape.


Scene – 4:

  • A Horse Courser comes to buy a horse from Faustus.
  • He offers 40 dollars for the horse but Faustus demands fifty.
  • At the request of Mephistophilis, Faustus accepts the offer.
  • Faustus warns the Horse courser not to ride the horse over water.
  • Then he goes to sleep due to his mental agitatation.
  • The Horse Courser rides the horse into a deep pond where the horse vanishes and he gets a bundle of hay.
  • He returns to get his money back.
  • He says that Fustian (wrong pronunciation) should be called as Lopus.
  • Roderigo Lopez was a physician to Queen Elizabeth I.
  • He involved in a murder plot against her.
  • He wants to speak to Faustus.
  • But Mephistophilis objects him as he is in sound sleep.
  • He says that Faustus didn’t sleep for 7 days.
  • The Horse Courser says that even if Faustus has not slept for 8 weeks, he will talk to him.
  • He shouts in Faustus’s ears and pulls his leg to wake him.
  • The leg comes away in his hands.
  • Faustus roars for the police.
  • The terrified Horse courser promises another 40 dollars if he is allowed to go and he runs away.
  • Wagner informs Faustus that the Duke of Vanholt has invited him to his palace.
  • Faustus goes to the palace of the Duke of Vanholt to perform his magic.
  • The Duke of Vanholt enjoys the entertainment provided by him.
  • The Duchess who is pregnant asks for a dish of ripe grapes.
  • To the great surprise of the Duke, Mephistophilis returns with ripe grapes.
  • The Duke questions how he could get grapes in the peak winter season.
  • Faustus explains that it is winter in one hemishphere; it is summer in other hemisphere.
  • He gets the grapes from those places.
  • The Duchess says that they are the best grapes which she has ever tasted.


Act V:

Scene – 1:

  • In his soliloquy, Wagner points out that Faustus has transferred all his property to him beacuase Faustus is expecting death shortly.
  • But Faustus indulges himself in drinking, singing and dancing with his friends.
  • During the discussion, the scholar reminds of Helen of ancient Greece who enravished the Prince, Paris of Troy.
  • Faustus makes her to appear before them on the stage.
  • The scholars are amazed at seeing the matchless beauty of the woman.
  • The other scholar says that there is no wonder that the Greeks fought a war for ten years against the Trojans for kidnapping their most beautiful princess.
  • An oldman makes an earnest appeal to Faustus to give up magic.
  • He urges him to turn to the right path and pray to Christ for divine mercy.
  • As Faustus is much moved at the words of the oldman, Mephistophilis offers him a dagger to kill himself.
  • The oldman states that he sees an angel hovering over Faustus’s head to pardon him if he really atones for his sins.
  • He leaves with a grief heart, when Faustus wants him to quit the spot.
  • There is a fierce struggle between God’s mercy and the forces of the Devil.
  • Mephistophilis imprisons the soul of Faustus for rebelling against his Lord.
  • He even threatens Faustus to tear his body to pieces for the offence.
  • Faustus wants Mephistophilis to punish the oldman who dissuades him.
  • Mephistophilis replies that the oldman has unshakeable faith in God and so he cannot harm the oldman’s soul.
  • Faustus wants to have Helen as his mistress to forget his thoughts on God.
  • Mephistophilis calls up Helen to gratify Faustus.
  • Faustus is enraptured by her beauty and kisses her.
  • “Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss

Her lips suck forth my soul: see where it flies”Faustus to Helen of Troy

  • He begs Helen to make him immortal with a kiss.
  • It means that Helen is a demon and she can make him also a demon.
  • He declares that she takes his breath away.
  • He asks for another kiss because he thinks that heaven is in those lips.
  • Faustus will destroy Witttenberg for the love of Helen just as Greeks destroyed Troy.
  • He compares her to Semele and Arethusa.
  • Jupiter fell in love with Semele.
  • On the insistence of Semele, Jupiter showed himself in lightening and thunder.
  • She was reduced as ashes.
  • Arethusa was nymph who loved by the river god Alpheus.
  • Helen is more beautiful than Apollo.
  • “Was this the face that launch’d a thousand ships,

And burnt the topless towers of Illium” – Faustus

  • Faustus marvels at her beauty that caused for a fleet of thousand ships to be launched into battle in Trojan War.
  • Trojan War is a fight between the Greeks and the Trojans.
  • Helen was captured by Paris.
  • The Greek heroes fought against Trojans brought Helen to Greece.
  • Faustus says that he will be modern day Paris; He will combat Menelaus; He will wound Achilles in the heel to get Helen.

Scene – 2:

  • The old man comes again and makes his last attempt to bring him back to the right path.
  • The devils try to hurt him.
  • Inspite of the tortures of devil, he remains unsffected due to his faith in God.

Scene – 3:

  • Though Faustus has enjoyed the company of scholars, he is troubled in mental agony.
  • It is the day on which his soul would be claimed by Lucifer.
  • He tries to weep but the devils have dried up his tears.
  • His friends urge him to repent and pray God.
  • He can’t do prayer as the devils would tear him to pieces.
  • He requests them to go to the next room to pray for him.
  • He will have to face death and damnation alone.
  • It is now eleven in the night.
  • In his soliloquy, Faustus wishes the clock to stop and the hour may be turned a year, a month, a week or even a day and so he will have time to repent and save his soul.
  • He prays for the freezing of the last hour like a lover in Ovid’s Amores.
  • But Faustus knows that devils can claim his soul within an hour.
  • “One drop would save my soul, half a drop: ah my Christ—

Ah, rend not my heart for naming of my Christ” – Faustus

  • He gets a vision of Christ’s blood trickling in the sky.
  • One drop of the saviour’s blood may wash away all his sins.
  • He makes a last attempt to leap upto heaven where he sees the blood of Christ.
  • But not even a single drop of blood falls on him.
  • God appears to be angry with him.
  • “Thus Christ did call the thief upon the Cross

Then rest thee, Faustus, quiet in conceit” – Faustus to himself

  • Faustus has a hope that the Christ who showed mercy to thief even while dying on the cross and so He would show mercy on Faustus also.
  • The time is eleven thirty.
  • Faustus suffers unbearable spiritual agaony.
  • He is ready to be in hell even for a hundred thousand years but let him be not damned forever.
  • He wishes that he were born an animal without soul.
  • He appeals to the mountains to cover him and to the earth swallow him and to the stars to raise him up like a mass of vapour into the dark clouds and so he will be saved from the clutches of the devil.
  • Faustus says that his offence cannot be forgiven by God.
  • “Faustus’ offence can never be pardoned

The serpent that tempted Eve may be saved not Faustus” – Faustus

  • Even Satan who appeared as a serpent and tempted Eve could be saved but not Faustus.
  • The clock strikes twelve.
  • Lucifer, Beelzebub and Mephistophilis come to take away Faustus’s soul to hell.
  • The devils enter in thunder and lightning and take off Faustus into hell for eternal damnation.


  • The chorus regrets for the tragic end of Faustus.
  • “Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,

And burned is Apollo’s laurel bough” – Chorus

  • Faustus who acquired knowledge and won the praise of Apollo has been destroyed.
  • Faustus is compared to a branch of a tree that might have grown full straight, has died prematurely.
  • He is the devotee of Apollo (the god of wisdom).
  • He has died before he completes his learning.
  • “Whose deepness doth entice such forward wits

            To practice more than heavenly power permits” – Chorus

  • Man should not try into unlawful knowledge and should not practise things which are forbidden to mankind.
  • The practice of black art has spoiled even a learned scholar like Faustus.












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