Faustus had it made…then he sold his soul to the devil.

Dear Readers (who exist?)

Today I will be discussing Christopher Marlowe’s most famous play Doctor Faustus.

I went into my reading being super excited about reading it. Marlowe is a contemporary of Shakespeare and as I said before: I LOVE SHAKESPEARE. When i finished reading it the first time I was left very much unsatisfied. There isn’t really any dramatic conflict in it. Sure he sells his soul to Lucifer and in the end is conflicted but it’s not like (until the last scene) he really tries to get un-damned.

I then had to look at it like a series of vignettes, which made it a bit more clear. Each act, and too an extent each scene is a different “episode” in the 25 years that Faustus is damned and therefore I am sure each has a lesson. Honestly, I have no clue what the lessons are but I am sure that they are there.

My favorite of these episodes is probably when he meets the seven deadly sins, how dope is that pageant, am i right? It would be so fun to play them and it’s interesting that Faustus never really verbalizes his sentiments to what he’s seeing. I wonder why that is?….If i say the deadly since materialize in front of me, you can bet your bottom dollar i’d have some things to say.

One part of the text which i find perplexing is the “subplot” if you can call it that. Why is Wagner the chorus? why does robin and the other guy exist…beside being somewhat funny they don’t add anything to the plot. Well it probably does, but i don’t see it. Also I wanted Helen of Troy to talk, she is legit JUST a pretty face in this.

Mephastophilis is my fav character. I want to play him! He is just kinda there the whole time and his line in his second scene when he references that he misses God and wants the purity back is so touching. Good job Marlowe in making a demon likeable.

I think it is an ok play and brave of an elizabethan playwright to write about selling your soul but it kinda left me wanting more

1 thought on “Faustus had it made…then he sold his soul to the devil.

  1. Nice thoughts here! I hadn’t thought of the various scenes as separate vignettes, but really, they do seem like that. At least the ones where Faustus is visiting various rulers, the Pope, the horse-courser, as well as the ones with the clowns & Wagner. I’m not sure each one has a moral, though I do think that the ones with the clowns are mirroring Faustus’ actions, as discussed in class.

    And good point about Helen. She’s one of the only clear female characters, and she says nothing. Neither she nor the other “spirits” Faustus conjures (Alexander and his paramour) say anything, but simply seem to have some kind of silent life, as if they can’t speak. I’m not sure why that should be; I don’t have an interpretation of that particular aspect, it’s just something I found interesting. And the general lack of women in the play…curious.

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