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How Does Marlowe Establish Faustus And Mephosopheles In The First 2 Acts Of Dr. Faustus?

610 words - 3 pages

In the first 2 acts of Dr Faustus, Marlowe makes it clear that Faustus is very academically smart as he talks a lot about logic
and all of the things he can do. He reads "to dispute well logics chiefest end" he says, "affords this art no greater miracle?" He has mastered
this art and achieved his goals already. He even decides that medicine is not good enough as he has no power over life and death. He the turns to necromancy and decides that he wants to be more than a mortal "yet art thou still but Faustus and a man." Marlowe is pushing boundaries by making the protagonist want to do Gods work, to be above him, by raising the dead. The audience may view Faustus as the villain as he turns to black magic and sells his soul to the devil. However, Marlowe also portrays him as a protagonist whose ambitions lead him to his downfall.

Marlowe uses the seven deadly ...view middle of the document...

" There is also evidence of power struggle in the first two acts as Marlowe introduces Mephostopheles' character. Mephostopheles is good at tempting and manipulating his target. He understands and exploits Faustus' weaknesses, failings and deepest desires and he exploits Faustus' sensual desires, his taste for luxury and his sexual longings "I'll fetch him somewhat to delight his mind."

Marlowe also plays with irony here as the audience may expect Faustus to be really intelligent as described in the beginning but instead is fooled by Mephistopheles whom is much more intelligent than he is. Faustus demands to be obeyed yet he cannot grasp the fact that Mephistopheles is "a servant of great lucifer" and only wants Faustus' soul as it seems to be very valuable. He tells Faustus that his soul would "enlarge his kingdom" and even though Mephostopheles is a servant of lucifer, he showe that he has more power over Faustus as he doesn't obey his first command about wanting a wife. Mephostopheles knew that giving him a wife would interfere with his plans so he cleverly manipulated Faustus by putting him off of having a wife by sending him a "hot whore" but by also satisfying his sexual desires "bring them every morning to thy bed." Mephostopheles tells Faustus that marriage is nothing but a ritual, a "ceremonial toy." Faustus of course does not realise this as Mephistopheles promised to grant him another wish and distracts him every time he is having second thoughts.

An unexpected element of Mephistopheles' character is his capacity for suffering. Perhaps his own experience of a sense of loss and rejection is essential to his ability to understand, manipulate and capture souls. Certainly, his ejection from Heaven with Lucifer has not robbed him of the ability to feel exclusion or to regret "being deprived of the joys of heaven." Marlowe uses this to make it clear to the audience, if not always to Faustus, that by challenging God, one will inherit eternal suffering.

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