Christopher Marlowe – Doctor Faustus (ctd.)

The friars re-enter to condemn solemnly the tricksters by bell, book and candle. Mephastophilis and Faustus beat them up, throw some firecrackers and leave.

In the next scene Rafe and Robin are practising their newly-learned tricks. Robin is very happy to learn the spell which will make his horses go without hay. But then comes the vintner, in whose shop they have been presumably drinking, accusing the boys of stealing a goblet. He searches both of them, but can’t find it, probably because of the magic. Robin then takes umbrage at being, as he claims, innocently accused and throws a complicated spell at the vintner, which causes Mephastophilis to appear. Again he scares them by throwing firecrackers at them. Rafe gives back the goblet to the vintner, who promptly leaves. M. is very pissed about the boys. He had to come all the way from Constantinople and he was stuck at the layover airport for hours because the connecting plane was late, Starbucks was closed and Wi-Fi was crappy. Robin offers him a sixpence to reimburse his travel expenses, but M. of course does not accept it, instead turning the boys into an ape and a dog. They take it surprisingly well, musing about the amount of food they are going to get. I wonder how it was meant to be staged? Doctor Faustus was evidently not a closet drama, what with all the stage directions about firecrackers, and in the scene of confrontation with the vintner there is a gap, evidently meant for the actor to ad-lib whatever abuse he likes best. The humour of this scene may not be too sophisticated, but then, we have just seen Faustus lowering himself to the same level.

Wagner as Chorus comes again on stage to inform us that after all his journeys Faustus returns home, where he is greeted enthusiastically by his friends and soon wins great fame, especially as an astrologer. This fame reached the ears of the Emperor Charles V and now we are going to see Faustus at his court.

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