Faust is in a black mood. O, I'll leap up to my God! Outside the town gate Faust and Wagner take a walk into the town, where people are celebrating Easter. The chances Are over--'tis all in vain! Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. Faust gives Gretchen a bottle containing a sleeping potion to give to her mother. It's almost like some sort of strange form of reverse psychology. Dejected, Faust spies a phial of poison and contemplates suicide.
I had neither father nor mother: I leapt out of a lions mouth when I was scarce half an hour old; and ever since I have run up and down the world with this case of rapiers, wounding myself when I had nobody to fight withal. Now, body, turn to air, Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell! Dungeon Mephistopheles procures the key to the dungeon, and puts the guards to sleep, so that Faust may enter. Theology,-- From end to end, with labor keen; And here, poor fool! Eventually, he is invited to the court of the German emperor, Charles V the enemy of the pope , who asks Faustus to allow him to see Alexander the Great, the famed fourth-century b. The crowd is thronging, no word is spoken: The square below And the streets overflow: The death-bell tolls, the wand is broken. Then will I headlong run into the earth: Earth, gape! Faust signs in blood, and Mephistopheles first takes him to Auerbach's tavern in Leipzig, where the devil plays tricks on some drunken revelers. Who buzzeth in mine ears I am a spirit? Tell me who made the world.
As a fallen angel, Mephistopheles is someone who knows firsthand both the joys of heaven and the torments of hell, and at least at the beginning of the play, he's clear about which is the better choice. Yet will I call on him: O, spare me, Lucifer! My wedding day it was to be! Then forge the shackles to my feet, Then I will gladly perish there! Many productions use the same actors later in the play to draw connections between characters: the director reappears as God, the actor as Mephistopheles, and the poet as Faust. Faustus sells him a horse that turns into a heap of straw when ridden into a river. And thou hast lulled me, meanwhile, with the most insipid dissipations, hast concealed from me her increasing wretchedness, and suffered her to go helplessly to ruin! He arranges with Martha to bring another witness to meet her in the garden, requesting her also to bring Gretchen to the meeting. You bays, you promontories, O you. Before the bargain with the devil is struck, he even advises Faustus to turn back, as if to say, don't do it, if you know what's good for ya.
Up, and seek the broad, free land! He is a cultivated, witty, and cynical exponent of materialism and nihilism, and preaches a sophisticated doctrine of philosophical negation. He offers a long list of impressive goals, including the acquisition of knowledge, wealth, and political power, that he believes he will achieve once he has mastered the dark arts. Guided by Mephistopheles, Faust defeats Valentine, who curses Gretchen just before he dies. Armed with his new powers and attended by Mephastophilis, Faustus begins to travel. Marthe advises her to secretly wear the jewellery there, in her house.
Mephistopheles realizes his first attempt to lead Faust to ruin is aborted, for Faust expects something different. If the grave is there, Death lying in wait, then come! Later, the actual uses to which he puts his magical powers are disappointing and tawdry. How comes it now, my husband, O, how comes it, That thou art then estranged from thyself? How many heavens, or spheres, are there? Faust translates the Gospel of John, which presents difficulties, as Faust cannot determine the sense of the first sentence specifically, the word logos — In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God. But I dare not: there's no hope any more. Long wretchedly astray on the face of the earth, and now imprisoned! That's a master Baddie if you ask Shmoop. Gretchen is no longer subject to the illusion of youth upon Faust, and initially does not recognize him.
An old man urges Faustus to repent, but Faustus drives him away. The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike, The devil will come, and Faustus must be damn'd. In direction and in time? At midnight, a host of devils appears and carries his soul off to hell. Faust has apparently learned that Gretchen has drowned the newborn child in her despair, and has been condemned to death for. At first Faust refuses, but the devil draws him into a wager, saying that he will show Faust things he has never seen. However he is halted by the sound of church bells announcing , which remind him not of Christian duty but of his happier childhood days.
Furious, the knight vows revenge. The Prologue in Heaven: The Wager The play begins with the prologue in Heaven. Cautionary Tale Yes, Mephistopheles's allegiance is clear. In his initial speech, for example, Faustus establishes a hierarchy of disciplines by showing which are nobler than others. Now hast thou but one bare hour to live, And then thou must be damn'd perpetually! In a magic mirror, Faust sees the image of a woman, presumably similar to the paintings of the nude by Italian Renaissance masters like or , which awakens within him a strong erotic desire. Why wert thou not a creature wanting soul? O, I come of a royal parentage! Ever thine eye, most mournful friend, O'er books and papers saw me bend; But would that I, on mountains grand, Amid thy blessed light could stand, With spirits through mountain-caverns hover, Float in thy twilight the meadows over, And, freed from the fumes of lore that swathe me, To health in thy dewy fountains bathe me! Los Angeles: Black Box Press, 2007. I was begotten on a sunny bank, where I have lain ever since; and you have done me great injury to bring me from thence: let me be carried thither again by Gluttony and Lechery.
You stars that reign'd at my nativity, Whose influence hath allotted death and hell, Now draw up Faustus, like a foggy mist, Into the entrails of yon labouring clouds, That, when you vomit forth into the air, My limbs may issue from your smoky mouths, So that my soul may but ascend to heaven! O lente, lente currite, noctis equi! The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike, The devil will come, and Faustus must be damn'd. O, no, it will not harbour me! Who knows not the double motion of the planets? Ah, half the hour is past! He's a complicated guy, with a complicated name. Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven, That time may cease, and midnight never come; Fair Nature's eye, rise, rise again, and make Perpetual day; or let this hour be but A year, a month, a week, a natural day, That Faustus may repent and save his soul! Stand and defy me with thine intolerable presence! Plot Overview Doctor Faustus, a well-respected German scholar, grows dissatisfied with the limits of traditional forms of knowledge—logic, medicine, law, and religion—and decides that he wants to learn to practice magic. Think, Faustus, upon God that made the world. The time was once when thou unurged wouldst vow That never words were music to thine ear, That never object pleasing in thine eye, That never touch well welcome to thy hand, That never meat sweet-savored in thy taste, Unless I spake, or looked, or touched, or carved to thee. Why suck'st, from sodden moss and dripping stone, Toad-like, thy nourishment alone? I am Lucifer, And this is my companion-prince in hell.