Master servant relationship in doctor faustus summary

Mephastophilis » Doctor Faustus Study Guide from

Lucifer's servant and collector of soulsHandling FaustusA meeting of It is at Lucifer's command that he responds to Faustus' summons and he acts as his master's In these plays, the evil characters disappeared into this hole at the moment. Jun 11, Review | Doctor Faustus | From Christopher Marlowe's Play of the Pope has breadth and vision in evoking an overview of Rome with In the comic counterpoint to Faustus' ambiguous master-servant relationship with. May 1, Free Essay: Master-Servant Relationships in 'The Tempest' and 'Dr Faustus' Prospero, in 'The Tempest', resides on the island with his.

However, he rejects these fields, seeking something more. Faustus turns his back on religion, too, purposefully misinterpreting Christian doctrine to suit his feelings. He notes that the reward of sin is death: Why then, belike, we must sin, And so consequently die. Ay, we must die, an everlasting death. What doctrine call you this?

He conveniently ignores the Christian belief that God will forgive anyone who is truly repentant. Faustus is determined to become a necromancer, and he will employ the aid of Lucifer if that is what it takes. He explains that demons naturally appear when people curse God, in order to take their souls.

Already, Faustus believes he has more power than he actually does. Faustus should realize that he is dealing with spirits far more powerful than he, and that he should be cautious. Faustus is deluded about what making a deal with the devil will entail.

Doctor Faustus vs. Mephistopheles, or The Unfair Bargain

Faustus blindly believes that he will come out ahead in the deal, even if it means eternal damnation in the end.

He puts temporary, immediate pleasures before his eternal fate, which reveals an impatient, unhappy spirit. Even when God reaches out to Faustus through the Good Angel, telling him to think of heaven, Faustus puts all his trust in Lucifer instead. Faustus clearly does not value his own soul and does not reflect on why Lucifer would want it.

Doctor Faustus By Christopher Marlowe everything full analysis ~ Romance Lover blog

Indeed, Faustus does not focus on or care about his ultimate fate, as he is willing to spend an eternity of damnation for a mere twenty-four years of amusement. Given what awaits him after his time runs out, Faustus had better make the most of his brief stint of power. Faustus seems to waver at times, wondering if he should turn back to God and repent.

He claims that his heart is hardened and he cannot think of heavenly things without thinking of his inevitable damnation. Then swords and knives, Poison, guns, halters and envenomed steel Are laid before me to dispatch myself. And long ere this I should have done the deed, Had not sweet pleasure conquered deep despair. Not only does he reject God, he also believes that God cannot and will not save him. In his paranoid, depressed state, he hears God telling him that he is damned.

Perhaps because of his prideful and self-important attitude, he believes he is being unjustly persecuted. Faustus uses these feelings to justify his dangerous actions.

If he believes God has rejected him, Faustus can in turn reject God. Source Because Faustus is so blinded by pride and so vulnerable because of his unhappiness, Mephistopheles has an easy time deceiving him. He appears to warn Faustus not to make the deal: However, Mephistopheles is thinking of his own torment by being in a constant state of hell. The concept of hell in Dr. Faustus is not a physical location, but instead the absence of God.

Mephistopheles chides Faustus, saying: For Mephistopheles, who used to be a spirit with God until he was thrown out of heaven with Lucifer, poena damni—the punishment of separation from God—is a real torment. He attended on a scholarship founded by Archbishop Parker which was granted for six years to those who were studying for a career in the church. From this fact, it appears that it was Marlowe's intention to go into the church, even though in the college records he first appears as a student of dialectics.

Marlowe received his B. His academic career was fairly conventional except for some long periods of absences during his second year. The only trouble which Marlowe had was just before he was granted his M. Because of the prevalence of certain rumors, the college was going to hold up his degree. The Privy Council of the queen wrote a letter to the university assuring the college about Marlowe's character and asserting that he had been of service to her majesty. The purpose of this letter was to allay rumors that Marlowe planned to join the English Catholics at Reims in France.

Marlowe appears to have performed services for the government during these years, such as carrying dispatches overseas or else acting as a spy in the service of Sir Francis Walsingham, who was the head of Queen Elizabeth's secret service.

No direct evidence, however, remains as to what his specific tasks or assignments were in the service of the queen. After receiving his M. Before the end of the yearboth parts of his first play, Tamburlaine the Great, had been performed on the stage.

At this time, Marlowe was a young man of only twenty-three and already established as a known dramatist as a result of the success of this first play. In the remaining six years of his life after he had left the university, he lived chiefly in the theatrical district of Shoreditch in London.

Although he traveled a great deal for the government during this time, he always retained this London address. For a time, he had as his roommate Thomas Kyd, who is also the author of a very popular Elizabethan play, The Spanish Tragedy.

Kyd later made the statement that Marlowe had a violent temper and a cruel heart. In September ofMarlowe was imprisoned in Newgate for his part in a street fight in which William Bradley, the son of a Holborn innkeeper, was killed.

One of Marlowe's friends named Watson had actually killed the man with his sword, so Marlowe was not charged with murder himself. He was released on October 1, on a bail of forty pounds, and was discharged with a warning to keep the peace.

Three years later, inMarlowe became involved in a court action as he was summoned to court for assaulting two constables in the Shoreditch district. The officers said that they had been in fear of their lives because of Marlowe's threats.

He was fined and released. In the spring ofMarlowe again found himself in difficulty with the Privy Council on the charge of atheism and blasphemy. Thomas Kyd had been arrested for having in his possession certain heretical papers denying the deity of Christ. Kyd denied that they belonged to him and maintained that they were Marlowe's.

Marlowe was then summoned to the Privy Council, which decreed that he must appear daily before them until he was licensed to the contrary.

Then, twelve days later, Marlowe was killed in a tavern in Deptford, a dockyard adjacent to Greenwich. On that day, Marlowe had accepted an invitation from Ingram Frizer to feast at the tavern with several other young men of dubious reputation who had been mixed up in confidence games, swindles, and spy work.

After supper, Marlowe got into an argument with Frizer over the tavern bill. When Marlowe struck Frizer on the head with a dagger, Frizer twisted around somehow and thrust the dagger back at Marlowe, striking him on the forehead and killing him.

During his short career as a dramatist, Marlowe gained a significant reputation on the basis of four dramas. In addition to his dramatic pieces, he translated Lucan's Pharsalia and Ovid's Amores.

The story is thought to have its earliest roots in the New Testament story of the magician Simon Magus Acts 8: Other references to witchcraft and magic in the Bible have always caused people to look upon the practice of magic as inviting eternal damnation for the soul.

During the early part of the fifteenth century in Germany, the story of a man who sold his soul to the devil to procure supernatural powers captured the popular imagination and spread rapidly. The original Faust has probably been lost forever.

But whatever his first name really was, this Faust was apparently a practitioner of various magical arts. A cycle of legends, including some from ancient and medieval sources that were originally told about other magicians, began to collect around him.

One of the most widely read magic texts of the period was attributed to Faust, and many other books referred to him as an authority. Later in the fifteenth century, aroundanother German magician gave further credence to the legend by calling himself "Faustus the Younger," thus capitalizing on the existing cycle of legends about the older Faust. This later Faust was a famous German sage and adventurer who was thought by many of his contemporaries to be a magician and probably did practice some sort of black magic.

After a sensational career, this Faust died during a mysterious demonstration of flying which he put on for a royal audience in It was generally believed that he had been carried away by the devil.

Owing to his fame and mysterious disappearance, popular superstition prompted many more stories to grow up around the name of Faust, thus solidifying the myth and occult reputation of the legendary character of Faust.

During the sixteenth century, additional stories of magical feats began to attach themselves to the Faust lore, and eventually these stories were collected and published as a Faust-Book.

A biography of Faust, the Historia von D. Johann Fausten, based upon the shadowy life of Faust the Younger, but including many of the fanciful legendary stories, was published in Frankfurt, Germany, in That same year it was translated into English as The Historie of the damnable life and deserved death of Doctor John Faustus.

In both these popular editions of the Faust-Book, the famed magician's deeds and pact with the devil are recounted, along with much pious moralizing about his sinfulness and final damnation. In fact, the moral of the story is emphasized in the title of the English translation.


It was in these versions that the legend took on a permanent form. When the Renaissance came to northern Europe, Faust was made into a symbol of free thought, anticlericalism, and opposition to church dogma. The first important literary treatment of the legend was that of the English dramatist Christopher Marlowe.

Marlowe, unfortunately, allowed the structure of his drama to follow the basic structure of the Faust-Book, thus introducing one of the structural difficulties of the play. The first part of the book through Chapter 5 showed Faustus' determination to make a pact with the devil, and after this is accomplished, the large middle portion of the Faust-Book handles individual and unrelated scenes showing Faustus using his magic to perform all types of nonsensical pranks.

Finally, the Faust-Book ends with Faustus awaiting the final hour of his life before he is carried off to eternal damnation by the agents of the underworld.

Marlowe's rendition of the legend was popular in England and Germany until the mid-seventeenth century, but eventually the Faust story lost much of its appeal. The legend was kept alive in folk traditions in Germany, though, and was the popular subject of pantomimes and marionette shows for many years.

The close of the eighteenth century in Germany was a time very much like the Renaissance. Before long, the old Faust story, with its unique approach to the problems of period, was remembered. The German dramatist Lessing wrote a play based on the legend, but the manuscript was lost many generations ago and its contents are hardly known.

Perhaps the most familiar treatment of the Faust legend is by the celebrated German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, one of the rare giants of world literature. A brief outline of Goethe's Faust will show both similarities and differences in the handling of this famous theme.

Heinrich Faust, a learned scholar, feels that none of his many achievements has provided him with satisfaction or a sense of fulfillment.

He yearns to gain knowledge of truth and the meaning of existence. Faust turns to magic in the hope of finding a way to transcend human limitations. When Mephistophilis appears to him, Faust is willing to make a pact with the devil but includes many conditions in his agreement.

The Scholars and Wagner - Act One Scene Two - Doctor Faustus

He will yield his soul only if the devil can provide him with an experience so rewarding that he will want the moment to linger forever. But this experience will have to combine extreme opposite emotions such as love and hate at the same time. Furthermore, Faust knows that his essential nature is one of upward striving, and if the devil can help him strive upward enough, then Faust will be at one with God.

There is no mention of the traditional twenty-four years of servitude. In Part I of Goethe's drama, Faust attempts, with the devil's help, to find happiness through emotional involvement.

Relationship between Dr. Faustus and Mephastopheles - words | Study Guides and Book Summaries

He has an exciting but tragic relationship with the beautiful and chaste Gretchen which ends in her disgrace and death, but Faust is much chastened by this experience. In Part II, he tries to satisfy his craving through temporal accomplishments and exposure to all that the world can offer in terms of ideas and externalized gratifications.

He attains an important position at the Imperial Court, learns much from the figures of classical antiquity, woos Helen of Troy, wins great victories, and is renowned for his public works, but none of these things gives him that complete satisfaction which transcends human limitations. When Faust's death approaches, the devil is there to claim his soul, but a band of heavenly angels descend and carry him off triumphantly to heaven. The chief philosophical difference between Marlowe's and Goethe's treatments lies in the final scene of the drama, where Marlowe's Faustus is dragged off to the horrors of hell but Goethe's Faust is admitted to heaven by God's grace in reward for his endless striving after knowledge of goodness and truth and his courageous resolution to believe in the existence of something higher than himself.

Furthermore, Goethe introduced the figure of Gretchen. The Faust-Gretchen love story occupies most of Part I of the drama, whereas Marlowe confined himself to showing tricks performed by Doctor Faustus. Goethe's great tragedy struck a responsive chord throughout Europe and reinforced the new interest in the Faust story. Since his time, it has stimulated many creative thinkers and has been the central theme of notable works in all fields of expression.

In art, for instance, the Faust legend has provided fruitful subjects for such painters as Ferdinand Delacroix Even the motion picture has made use of the ancient story, for a film version of Goethe's Faust was produced in Germany in But most important, the legend has continued to be the subject of many poems, novels, and dramatic works, including the novel Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann and the poetic morality play An Irish Faustus by Lawrence Durell.

Each succeeding artist has recast the rich Faust legend in terms of the intellectual and emotional climate of his own time, and over the past few centuries this tale has matured into an archetypal myth of our aspirations and the dilemmas we face in the effort to understand our place in the universe.

Like all myths, the Faust story has much to teach the reader in all its forms, for the tale has retained its pertinence in the modern world. The history of the legend's development and its expansion into broader moral and philosophical spheres is also an intellectual history of humankind Play Summary Faustus becomes dissatisfied with his studies of medicine, law, logic and theology; therefore, he decides to turn to the dangerous practice of necromancy, or magic.

He has his servant Wagner summon Valdes and Cornelius, two German experts in magic. Faustus tells them that he has decided to experiment in necromancy and needs them to teach him some of the fundamentals. When he is alone in his study, Faustus begins experimenting with magical incantations, and suddenly Mephistophilis appears, in the form of an ugly devil. Faustus sends him away, telling him to reappear in the form of a friar. Faustus discovers that it is not his conjuring which brings forth Mephistophilis but, instead, that when anyone curses the trinity, devils automatically appear.

Faustus sends Mephistophilis back to hell with the bargain that if Faustus is given twenty-four years of absolute power, he will then sell his soul to Lucifer. Later, in his study, when Faustus begins to despair, a Good Angel and a Bad Angel appear to him; each encourages Faustus to follow his advice.

Mephistophilis appears and Faust agrees to sign a contract in blood with the devil even though several omens appear which warn him not to make this bond. Faustus begins to repent of his bargain as the voice of the Good Angel continues to urge him to repent.

To divert Faustus, Mephistophilis and Lucifer both appear and parade the seven deadly sins before Faustus. After this, Mephistophilis takes Faustus to Rome and leads him into the pope's private chambers, where the two become invisible and play pranks on the pope and some unsuspecting friars.

After this episode, Faustus and Mephistophilis go to the German emperor's court, where they conjure up Alexander the Great. At this time, Faustus also makes a pair of horns suddenly appear on one of the knights who had been skeptical about Faustus' powers. After this episode, Faustus is next seen selling his horse to a horse-courser with the advice that the man must not ride the horse into the water. Later, the horse-courser enters Faustus' study and accuses Faustus of false dealings because the horse had turned into a bundle of hay in the middle of a pond.

After performing other magical tricks such as bringing forth fresh grapes in the dead of winter, Faustus returns to his study, where at the request of his fellow scholars, he conjures up the apparition of Helen of Troy.

An old man appears and tries to get Faustus to hope for salvation and yet Faustus cannot. He knows it is now too late to turn away from the evil and ask for forgiveness.

When the scholars leave, the clock strikes eleven and Faustus realizes that he must give up his soul within an hour. As the clock marks each passing segment of time, Faustus sinks deeper and deeper into despair. When the clock strikes twelve, devils appear amid thunder and lightning and carry Faustus off to his eternal damnation.

Character List Doctor John Faustus: A learned scholar in Germany during the fifteenth century who becomes dissatisfied with the limitations of knowledge and pledges his soul to Lucifer in exchange for unlimited power. Faustus' servant, who tries to imitate Faustus' methods of reasoning and fails in a ridiculous and comic manner.

Two German scholars who are versed in the practice of magic and who teach Faustus about the art of conjuring. King of the underworld and a fallen angel who had rebelled against God and thereafter tries desperately to win souls away from the Lord. A prince of the underworld who appears to Faustus and becomes his servant for twenty-four years.

Good Angel and Evil Angel: Two figures who appear to Faustus and attempt to influence him. The clown who becomes a servant of Wagner as Mephistophilis becomes a servant to Faustus. A gullible man who buys Faustus' horse, which disappears when it is ridden into a pond. The head of the Roman Catholic church, whom Faustus and Mephistophilis use as a butt of their practical jokes.

Charles V, Emperor of Germany: The emperor who holds a feast for Faustus and at whose court Faustus illustrates his magical powers. A haughty and disdainful knight who insults Faustus. In revenge, Faustus makes a pair of horns appear on the knight.

Duke and Duchess of Vanholt: A couple whom Faustus visits and for whom he conjures up some grapes. An ostler who steals some of Dr. Faustus' books and tries to conjure up some devils. A friend of Robin's who is present with Robin during the attempt to conjure up devils. A man who appears and tries to get payment for a goblet from Robin. He appears to Faustus during the last scene and tries to tell Faustus that there is still time to repent.

A device used to comment upon the action of the play or to provide exposition. Summary and Analysis Chorus Summary The chorus announces that this play will not be concerned with war, love, or proud deeds. Instead, it will present the good and bad fortunes of Dr. John Faustus, who is born of base stock in Germany and who goes to the University of Wittenberg, where he studies philosophy and divinity.

He so excels in matters of theology that he eventually becomes swollen with pride, which leads to his downfall.