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MonkeyNotes-Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
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Act II, Scene 3

Summary

Robin, the Clown, tells Dick, another servant, that he has acquired 2one of Doctor Faustus’ conjuring books and wants to try some spells. Dick says he should go and attend to the horses, but Robin is more interested in magic. He promises by this means to provide Dick with all the wine he wants.


Notes

This short scene brings comic relief after the serious subject matter of the previous two scenes. It also puts the theme into perspective. Robin seeks to try out the knowledge stolen from Faustus’ book. His idiocy is laughable, while Faustus’ ineffectual arrogance and immaturity are tragic. The parody of conjuring is suggested in this scene, but never fully articulated. It degenerates into a demonstration of the Clown’s inability to manipulate magic. Possibly, there is a suggestion that the more basic appetites (drinking, for instance) of Robin and Dick act as a defense against the perils into which Faustus is being led.

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