Doctor Faustus vs. Mephistopheles, or The Unfair Bargain | Owlcation
Lucifer's servant and collector of soulsHandling FaustusA meeting of mindsAn empty bargainMephastophilis the manipulatorHonesty, loss and sufferingHell. Everything you ever wanted to know about Mephistopheles in Doctor Faustus, written by masters of this stuff just for you. Mephastophilis. The character of Mephastophilis (spelled Mephistophilis or Mephistopheles by other authors) is one of the first in a long tradition of sympathetic.
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. Faustus is slow to realize that he is not the one in control, that Lucifer has all the power and that Mephistopheles is merely humoring him.
Indeed, Mephistopheles, Lucifer, and Belzebub reveal their true colors when they begin taunting Faustus in Act 2. Faustus is having some emotional distress, calling on Christ to save him.
Doctor Faustus vs. Mephistopheles, or The Unfair Bargain
The demons appear almost instantly and scold Faustus for calling out to God. Chastened, Faustus apologizes and makes some extreme promises to make up for his transgression: It is enough that Faustus realizes who is truly in control.
To further distract Faustus from the severity of his situation, they put on a show for him, showing him the Seven Deadly Sins.
From then on, Faustus has lost any true authority he once possessed. Faustus no longer asks for Mephistopheles to perform incredible feats, seeming to forget his desire to be emperor over the world, move continents, and other such deeds.
Instead, he is busy playing pranks and silly magic tricks on people of the court. His goals seem more frivolous: He seeks fame and attention, content with mediocrity and pettiness, not the majesty he once imagined. It seems that part of the bargain says that Faustus will get what he wants, but what he desires will change.
From the beginning, Mephistopheles does not grant his first request, that he supply Faustus a wife. The demon placates Faustus with some seemingly friendly advice, telling Faustus that he does not know what he wants.
He cuts himself off from God, losing the divine blessing to achieve great things. He asks Mephistopheles for things that demons cannot grant him, such as a holy matrimony, or knowledge of the secrets of the universe. The cruel joke is that Faustus at first does not know the severity of his damnation. He jests when Mephistopheles tells him that he is already in hell: Sleeping, eating, walking and disputing?
Only when it is too late does Faustus realize the true meaning of hell, when he is cut off forever from God and forever damned. Work Cited Marlowe, Christopher. This scene is significant because it resembles what has happened before in the play.
It also sheds light on the relationship of Dr. Faustus and Mephastophilis by offering some comic relief to the readers. The relationship between Dr. Faustus and Mephastophilis undergoes many ups and downs. As the play progresses, we witness many indicators of Homoeroticism. However, the sense of homoeroticism that exists between these two is not sexual. It has more elements of faith, loyalty, devotion and love. There are many instances of homo-eroticism in the play. It is ironic that Faustus feels secure in the presence of the devil but is afraid of God and repenting for his sins.
This also shows that Mephastophilis has a certain type of influence over Faustus. There is also a sense of devotion here like a servant has for his master.Doctor Faustus - Marlowe - Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
Lucifer too refers to Beelzebub as his dame, which is another instance of homo eroticism. There is a strange kind of friendship between Faustus and Mephastophilis.
Yet he never considers using this denial as grounds for maintaining that the contract is void. Faustus requests for knowledge are similarly denied or inadequately satisfied. Mephastophilis acts as a trickster and uses flattery and temptation to distract Faustus from asking significant questions, the answers of which, will make him lament and condemn necromancy.
For example- In Scene V, when he is contemplating his decision while writing the deed, Mephastophilis and the other devils bring crowns and rich clothes to Faustus. They dance and put on a show in front of Faustus to delight him. Faustus gets this high, when he is with Mephastophilishe feels like he is invincible.
He hands him books of black magic, astrology, plants and herbs to keep him distracted from asking many questions about heaven and hell.
Faustus also agrees to play tricks on the Pope and the friars. He puts a robe on Faustus and makes him invisible. The Pope and a group of Friars enter. Faustus plays tricks on them by snatching plates and cups from them. Finally, he boxes the pope on the ear. The Friars begin to sing a dirge to remove the present evil spirit, Mephastophilis and Faustus beat the friars and launch some fireworks among them. The next scene is again a reflection on the previous one as Rafe and Robin too play tricks on the Vintner just like Faustus and Mephastophilis.
Faustus then goes on to achieve greatness by showing off his skills to the Emperor and the Duke by bringing the spirits of Alexander the great and is paramour. With the help of Mephastophilis he brings grapes for the Duchess in the winter season.
Here the role of Mephastophilis is nothing but playing the role of an assistant to Faustus. He stays invisible and serves Faustus. Faustus is too proud and teaches the Knight a lesson for making the Emperor doubt his skills by putting a set of horns on him. He then removes it on the request of the Emperor. Faustus continues to display his skills. With the help of Mephastophilis he gets Helen of Greece to appear before the scholars. But none of these magic tricks make him happy.
Relationship between Dr. Faustus and Mephastopheles - words | Study Guides and Book Summaries
After speaking to the Old Man make he begins to ponder over his sins and attempts to commit suicide. Mephastophilis immediately hands him a dagger to stab himself. He is selfish he wants Faustus to die quickly so he can carry his soul to hell.
Just when Faustus is about to repent for his sins, Mephastophilis appears and calls him a traitor. Just like Faustus, Mephastophilis is greedy too.