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

Summary

In the midst of thunder and lightning, Mephistophilis brings in devils with food which they take to Faustusí study. Wagner tells the audience that he thinks Faustus is preparing for death and that he has made his will in which he gives all his wealth to Wagner. However, he does not understand why Faustus appears to be spending all his time feasting and drinking with the scholars. At this point Faustus and Mephistophilis come in with some scholars. One of the scholars suggests that Faustus should make Helen of Troy appear before them. Faustus agrees. Mephistophilis brings in Helen. The scholars praise her beauty and then exit.

An old man enters. Hoping to save Faustusí soul, he tries to persuade him to give up magic. Faustus is now desperate at the thought of the suffering he must undergo and feels he has no hope of salvation. He decides to end everything quickly by killing himself. Mephistophilis gives him a dagger, and Faustus is about to use it. The old man stops him, saying that he sees an angel above Faustusí head. He advises Faustus to pray for Godís mercy. Faustus is moved to consider this.


Alone with Faustus, Mephistophilis threatens him with indescribable torment if he backs out of the pact he signed twenty- four years earlier. Faustus humbly and fearfully begs Lucifer to pardon him. He even offers to confirm the pact by rewriting it in his blood. Mephistophilis says that he will make the old manís body suffer, but that nothing can touch his soul.

Faustus is resigned to his fate. He is determined to enjoy what little time remains. He therefore asks Mephistophilis to bring Helen to him again, this time as his mistress. Helen comes in and Faustus kisses her. He says that she is his heaven and that her love is worth the price of his soul. The old man enters and watches as Faustus goes off with Helen. The devils come in to drag the old man away, but he calls upon God as they go off.

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