Doctor Faustus (Marlowe)


Mephistophilis is a demon which Faustus conjures up while first using his magical powers. Readers initially feel sympathy for the demon when he attempts to dissuade Faustus from giving his soul to Lucifer. Mephistophilis gives Faustus a description of hell and the continuous horrors it possesses. He wants Faustus to know what he is getting himself into before going through with the plan.

“Think’st thou that I who saw the face of God
And tasted the eternal joy of heaven
Am not tormented with ten thousand hells
In being deprived of everlasting bliss?
O Faustus, leave these frivolous demands
Which strikes a terror to my fainting soul!” [29]

Sadly, his attempts fail with Faustus believing that supernatural powers were worth a lifetime in hell.

“Say he (Faustus) surrender up to him (Lucifer) his soul
So he will spare him four and twenty years,
Letting him live in all voluptuousness
Having thee (Mephistophilis) ever to attend on me” (Marlowe 15)

Some scholars argue that Mephistophilis depicts the sorrow that comes with separation from God. Mephistophilis is foreshadowing the pain Faustus would have to endure, should he go through with his plan.[30] In this facet, Faustus can be likened to Icarus, whose insatiable ambition was the source of his misery and the cause of his plight.

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