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

Summary

Benvolio, assisted by his friends, Martino and Frederick, and some soldiers, seeks revenge by planning to ambush and kill the “peasant” Faustus in a grove. Faustus, however, proves to be indestructible. He has his head cut off, only for it to be revealed to be a false one.


Notes

The theatrical trick of this scene is bound to be effective. This is particularly so when it is seen for the first time on the stage. The same theatrical trick is used in a morality play, Mankind.

It is true that Faustus escapes death on this occasion. However, Benvolio and his accomplices gloat over the task of dismembering his apparently lifeless body. This incident foreshadows the final image of Faustus’ limbs “(a)ll torn asunder by the hand of death” (Act V, Scene 3).

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MonkeyNotes-Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
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