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MonkeyNotes-Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
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Act IV, Scene 1

Summary

At the court of the Emperor Charles V, preparations are being made for the arrival of Bruno and Faustus. Frederick and Martino discuss their friend, Benvolio, who is suffering after a night’s drunkenness. They call up to Benvolio’s window. However, Benvolio, who is skeptical regarding Faustus’ magic powers, refuses to come down to witness Faustus’ demonstration. He will watch it from his balcony. At the request of the Emperor, Faustus is going to present the ghosts of Emperor Alexander and his paramour.


Notes

The emphasis, in this scene, is not on the great respect, which Faustus commands. The scene, on the contrary, highlights the growing cynicism which some show towards Faustus. Frederick and Martino seem to be impressed by Faustus’ reputation. Benvolio, however, does not believe in Faustus’ magical powers. The audience awaits with expectation and excitement to see “the royal shapes and warlike semblance/ Of Alexander and his beauteous paramour” on the stage.

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