Christopher Marlowe – Doctor Faustus (ctd.)

Faustus figures out that since he has already entered into negotiations with the Devil, there is no point in turning to God. Again his Good Angel and Evil Angel argue with him, Good Angel trying to convince him that there is still a chance for him if he repents for his sins and Evil Angel saying these are just illusions and Faustus had better think about honour and wealth his contract with the Devil is going to bring him. Mephastophilis enters and says Lucipher agrees to Faustus’ terms. Faustus then inquires why Lucipher is actually so keen on getting human sould and M. answers sententiously in Latin “Misery loves company”. Faustus then stabs his arm to write the deed, but his blood congeals too soon and M. goes to fetch a portable stove. I would think it would be enough for a devil to snap his fingers to produce enough heat, but of course we are working within the limitations of the Elizabethan theatre here.

Left alone, Faustus wonders whether the fact that his blood literally freezes at what he is about to do is not an ill omen (you betcha!). M. returns with some coals and Faustus can sign his deed. He then hallucinates, believing he can see on him arm the words Homo fuge, i.e. “Man, run away!”. But he says he has no one to run to, because God is going to throw him into hell anyway. Throughout the scene Faustus digs himself deeper, not only because he sells his soul, but also because he despairs about God’s mercy and forgivenes, thus committing the ultimate sin. M., seeing Faustus wavering, decides to take his mind off his troubles by providing some entertainment, so he brings in some devils carrying expensive gifts and dancing. Then Faustus, before he gives the scroll with the contract to M., is about to go through all the terms and conditions once again.


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