Short Summary of Dr. Faustus: "Dr. Faustus" by Christopher Marlow



Chorus introduces the parentage of Dr. Faustus, a renowned dr. of the city whom the entire city gives utmost respect for his knowledge and intelligence. His parents were well average and he has claimed present success owing to his hard work and mental faculties. But the same doctor has gone greedy to the extent that he is prone to learn magic for the satisfaction of his worldly lust of pleasure and accumulation of fame with abundance of wealth. He strikes a deal with the Mephistophilis, an assistant to Lucifer, of selling his soul in exchange of a life of 24 years. Lucifer and all satanic forces shall provide him full support for his unchecked life of evil.

It is on several occasions that God does intervene in the best interest of Faustus to set him right, but as the law of nature is, instead of direct imposition of any solution to the problem of Faustus, he is severally guided to return to the right path and adopt the method of repentance but Faustus would not do so because he does not intend to. He would relish his sinful life of 24 years for an ever abiding hell where devil has purchased his permanent abode. But Faustus cared for worldly fame and success:

"All things that move between the quiet poles

Shall be at my command: emperors and kings

Are but obeyed in their several provinces".

Good angel warns Faustus of the blasphemy of magic while the bad angel encourages him. But Faustus is almost lost in the dream of becoming a demigod through magic: he would use the spirits.

"I'll have them fly to India for gold,

Ransack the ocean for orient pearl,

And search all corners of the new-found world

For pleasant fruits and princely delicates".

When Faustus wants Mephistophilis to strike the deal of a blissful life of 24 years in the world, the reply is very painful and troublesome because the devil does not want Faustus to become evil:

"Think'st thou that I, that saw the face of God,

And tasted the eternal joys of heaven,

Am not tormented with ten thousand hells,

In being depriv'd of everlasting bliss? O, Faustus, leave these frivolous demands,

Which strike a terror to my fainting soul!"

While Faustus cuts his arm to write with blood, his wound is congealed by powers divine; unfortunately, Faustus draws no meaning from it and wounds himself again to bind himself to the devil. Soon Faustus discovers on his arm: "Homo, fuge" and Faustus is wondering where he can run and he determines "Faustus shall not fly". He completes the letter and hands it over to the devil, confirming his soul given to the devil.

Later Faustus becomes sinful and cannot repent:

"My heart is harden'd, I cannot repent;

Scarce can I name salvation, faith, or heaven".

Faustus is in deep pains: "let this hour be but A year, a month, a week, a natural day, That Faustus may repent and save his soul!" Faustus seeks heaven's favours now when half an hour is left of his life: "Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years, A hundred thousand, and at last be sav'd!" But the devils come and tear apart Faustus's limbs.




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