Scene 13: A Room in the House of Faustus Notes from Dr. Faustus

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Dr. Faustus Scene 13: A Room in the House of Faustus

Wagner believes his master is near death for he has bequeathed all his goods to him. But Wagner is upset that his master continues to drink and banquet with his colleagues, something he has never experienced before. Faustus enters with some fellow scholars.

One of the scholars convey how in their discussion about fair ladies, they chose Helen of Troy as the most admirable. He asks for the privilege to see her in person. Faustus honors the request. He makes Helen of Troy appear and the scholars are quite taken by her beauty.

An Old Man enters and dismisses the scholars. When they are alone, the Old Man pleads with Faustus to repent and be washed by the blood of the Savior, Christ. Faustus, realizing that he will soon meet his end, wonders whether it is better to kill himself (Mephistophilis provides him a dagger). The Old Man stops Faustus by telling him that he sees an angel over his head. He tells Faustus that God's mercy is still available to him. Faustus asks to be left alone to think on it. The Old Man leaves with a heavy heart, fearing that Faustus will not listen to him.

Topic Tracking: Hubris 11

Faustus repents, but only partially. He feels the tension between hell and grace pulling at his heart. Just then, Mephistophilis comes to warn Faustus that if he repents, he will tear him to pieces. Faustus asks for forgiveness from Lucifer, even offering to reaffirm his vow by writing the deed with his blood again. Faustus pricks his arm and rewrites the vow, while cursing the Old Man for trying to dissuade him from his destiny. Mephistophilis admits he cannot touch the Old Man's soul because of his great faith, but promises to afflict the Old Man's body.

Topic Tracking: Duality of Man 7
Topic Tracking: Sin & Repentance 7

Faustus asks Mephistophilis one more thing-to have Helen of Troy as his lover. Upon seeing Helen of Troy appear, Faustus exclaims:

"Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships, and burnt the topless towers of Ilium? Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss. Her lips suck forth my soul; see where it flies!-Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again. Here will I dwell, for Heaven be in these lips, and all is dross that is not Helena." Scene 13, pg. 52

Faustus, seduced by Helen's beauty, forgets about repentance. The Old Man appears and pities Faustus for rejecting heaven. As devils come to torment him, the Old Man stands triumphant in faith:

"My faith, vile hell, shall triumph over thee. Ambitious fiends! see how the heavens smiles at your repulse, and laughs your state to scorn! Hence, hell! for hence I fly unto my God." Scene 13, pg. 52

Topic Tracking: Sin & Repentance 8

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