Special Sub-Topic: Dr. Faustus
|Fausus sells his soul in exchange for a period of service from the devil. What is this period of time?|
Twenty four years. "So he will spare him four and twenty years" (Act I, scene 3, line 88).
Faustus is likely already in his mid to late twenties and lives a full twenty four years from the time he sells his soul. This is actually a reasonable age for a man to die in the Medieval period, which is when this play was written. Faustus is not punished by a premature death, he is punished by an eternity in hell.
|Faustus signs this contract with the devil in blood. What problem does he encounter?|
His blood congeals. "My blood congeals and I can write no more" (Act II, scene 1, line 63).
Mephostophilis fetches him a chafer of fire to loosen the blood and Faustus continues on to finish the contract.
|After Faustus finishes signing the contract, two Latin words appear inscribed on his arm: Homo fuge. What is the translation of these words?|
Fly, man. "Homo fuge! Yet shall not Faustus fly!" (Act II, scene 1, line 78).
|The first thing that Faustus does with his powers is question a devil, Mephostophilis, about the nature of the world. What is the one question that Mephostophilis refuses to answer?
Please note that there are several alternate spellings of Mephostophilis throughout different editions of 'Dr. Faustus'. |
Who made the world?. "Now tell me, who made the world?" (Act 11, scene 2, line 67).
Faustus begs and commands Mephostophilis to answer this question but Mephostophilis will not concede.
|What reason does Mephostophilis give for not answering the question about the nature of the world?|
It is against their kingdom. Faustus: "Villain, have not I bound thee to tell me anything?"
Mephostophilis: "Ay, that is not against our kingdom. This is."
(Act II, scene 2, lines 73-74)
|In Faustus's final speech, just minutes before his contract term is up, which of these does he ask for?|
For his time in hell to be limited to a hundred thousand years. "Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years,/ A hundred thousand, and at last be saved" (Act V, scene 3, lines 168-169).
Faustus wishes for more time, or for time to stand still, so that he can repent but he does not wish to take back his actions.
|What does Faustus do to Carter, the Horse-Courser, Dick, Robin and the Hostess?|
Strikes them dumb. This can be found in Act IV, scene 7. As each of them begin to harp on Faustus, he charms them such that they cannot speak.
Faustus only conjures horns on the head of Benvolio.
|At the very end of the play, who is last to beg Faustus to repent? |
The Old Man. The Old Man says his speech in Act V, scene 1. Faustus considers repenting but Mephostophilis conjures the image of Helen of Troy for Faustus. He essentially seals his soul to the devil by kissing Helen.
|The seven deadly sins make an appearance in this play and Faustus is delighted by the sight of them. |
t. "O, how this sight doth delight my soul!" (Act II, scene 2, line 63).
|When Mephostophilis first enters, Faustus says that he is too ugly and demands him to return as something else. What does he tell Mephostophilis to return as?|
A Franciscan friar. "Go, and return an old Franciscan Friar:/ That holy shape becomes a devil best" (Act I, scene 3, lines 23-24).
This is actually making fun of Catholicism, suggesting that a member of the Catholic Church is the devil. This play was originally performed in Medieval England, right after King Henry VIII's reformation of the Church of England. Since the audience was now Protestant, anti-Catholic satire pleased the audience.
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