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MonkeyNotes-Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
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Act V, Scene 2

Summary

With Mephistophilis and Beelzebub, Lucifer himself, comes to claim Faustus’ soul. Mephistophilis speaks contemptuously of Faustus as a “worldling,” seeking pleasure, in vain, since he faces eternal damnation.

Faustus and Wagner have just finalized Faustus’ latest will. Faustus asks Wagner if he has perused his will and whether he likes it. Wagner replies in the affirmative. In humble duty Wagner submits his life and lasting service for the sake of his love for Faustus.

Faustus’ end approaches. He speaks to the scholars about his fate. He realizes that his sin has led to his damnation. The scholars urge him to look to heaven and call on God. Faustus once more despairs. His sin is the one that can never be pardoned. He has been led astray by the desire for knowledge and pleasure for twenty-four years. Now his time is up. If he calls out to God, the devil will tear him to pieces. He begs his friends to leave him if they do not wish to share his fate. His friends are loyal to him and promise to pray that God will have mercy on him.

Faustus’ meeting with the scholars is followed by a meeting with Mephistophilis. Mephistophilis tells Faustus that he has no hope of heaven now. Therefore, he must despair and think only of hell, since he will be dwelling there as in a mansion. Faustus blames Mephistophilis, his “bewitching friend,” for his troubles. Mephistophilis says that it was he (Faustus) who obstructed his own passage to heaven. Faustus begins to weep. Mephistophilis remarks that it is too late, since “Fools that will laugh on earth, must weep in Hell.”


When Mephistophilis has gone, the two angels enter. They remind him that his present suffering is his own fault. He chose to listen to the Bad Angel. The Good Angel shows Faustus a magnificent throne symbolizing the glory that would have been his had he not lost his chance at heaven. Then the Bad Angel shows him a vision of hell. The two angels exit.

As the clock strikes eleven, Faustus realizes that he has but one hour to live before he is forever damned. He begs time to stand still so that he may still save his soul, but time moves on. One drop of Christ’s blood would still save him. He wishes that the mountains and the hills would fall on him to hide him from God’s anger. Neither the earth nor the clouds hold any refuge for Faustus.

The clock strikes the half-hour; Faustus still begs God’s mercy and asks, in the name of Christ, for some limit to his damnation. He envies the beasts for whom death is the end and for whom there is no eternal damnation. He curses himself and Lucifer, who has deprived him of the joys of heaven. The clock strikes twelve, hell reaches out for Faustus and the devils bear him away.

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MonkeyNotes-Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
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