Scene 5 Notes from Dr. Faustus

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Dr. Faustus Scene 5

Faustus is in his study deep in despair because of his thoughts about God and heaven. So as not to waver in his decision, Faustus convinces himself to forget about such things and be resolute about his decision. But he hears something in his hear telling him to turn to God again. Faustus, however, recommits himself in his decision:

"To God?-He loves thee not-
The God thou serv'st is thine own appetite,
" Scene 5, pg. 19

Topic Tracking: Duality of Man 4

The Good Angel and the Evil Angel appear again. The Good Angel urges Faustus to turn away from black magic. Faustus considers the acts of contrition, prayer, and repentance, and concludes that they are merely foolishness. While the Good Angel appeals to Faustus to think of heavenly things, the Evil Angel counters by encouraging Faustus to think about honor and wealth. Both angels then exit.

Picking up on the words of the Evil Angel, Faustus begins to think about wealth and how great things would be if Mephistophilis served him. He calls for Mephistophilis to come quickly with news from Lucifer. Mephistophilis enters and tells Faustus that he will indeed serve him, but Faustus must first write a deed with his own blood. Faustus asks why Lucifer would want his soul and Mephistophilis answers candidly that it enlarges Lucifer's kingdom, as "misery loves company" (p. 20). Faustus has more questions about hell, but Mephistophilis distracts Faustus by urging him to prick his arm and seal the agreement. Faustus obeys, but when he tries to write, the blood on his arm congeals so that he cannot go on. Mephistophilis quickly goes off to get some fire to open the wound again. While Mephistophilis is away, Faustus wonders if the congealment of his blood is a sign that he should not continue. Mephistophilis re-enters with some coals, and as an aside, he says slyly (to the audience) how he will do anything to obtain Faustus' soul. Faustus writes the deed and says in Latin, "Consummatum est," it is finished. As soon as he signs over his soul to Lucifer, there appears an inscription on his arm-Homo, fuge!-Man, fly! Faustus wonders if his eyes are deceiving him, but it is clearly written on his arm. Is it a sign from God to turn back to him? Faustus wonders.

Mephistophilis loses no time in disappearing and reappearing with some other devils to distract Faustus with displays of crowns, rich apparel, and dancing. Faustus asks Mephistophilis whether he can call up the spirits as he pleases. Mephistophlilis promises this and more, whereupon Faustus reads the contract he has written, stipulating five conditions: first, that Faustus be a spirit in form and substance; second, that Mephistophilis be his servant at his command; third, that Mephistophilis brings him whatever he desires; fourth, that he (Mephitophilis) shall be in his chamber or house invisible; and fifth, that he shall appear to Faustus in what form or shape at all times. In exchange, Faustus gives both body and soul to Lucifer, Prince of the East, and his minister Mephistophilis; after twenty-four years, they are allowed to carry Faustus' body and soul to their habitation.

Topic Tracking: Sin & Repentance 4

After receiving the deed, Mephistophilis asks Faustus what he wants. Faustus' first question is about hell-where is it? Mephistophilis explains that hell is where devils like him are tortured forever, that in the end times, hell will be all that is not heaven. Faustus does not believe in life after death and considers hell to be an old wives' tale. Mephistophilis points to himself as proof of hell's existence. But Faustus thinks that if hell affords the freedom to walk about doing things like Mephistophilis, then he will gladly be damned. He then asks for the fairest maiden in Germany to have as a wife. Mephistophilis tries to discourage Faustus, but without success. Because of Faustus' insistence, Mephistophilis goes off and returns with a devil dressed like a woman. Faustus is repulsed. Mephistophilis explains that marriage is just ceremonial, and that Faustus should not think about it. Rather, he can have a different woman every morning. Mephistophilis offers Faustus a book of spells that can create gold, control weather, and bring forth men in armor. Faustus asks Mephistophilis for a book that can raise spirits, a book that shows the motions of the heavenly bodies, and a book that shows all the plants on the earth.

Topic Tracking: Duality of Man 5

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