Doctor Faustus (Marlowe)

Faustus and Mephastophilis

Throughout the course of The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, a complex relationship develops between Dr. Faustus and the devil Mephastophilis that can be characterized by Faustus' total dependence on his counterpart and a mutual sense of possessiveness that inadvertently reveals the despair and longing of Mephastophilis. The pact that Faustus makes with Lucifer is similar to a dark ceremony of matrimony that binds Mephastophilis to Faustus as a servant, "I, John give both body and soul to Lucifer...and his servant Mephastophilis,"(Scene V/ Lines 104-106). The devil is a servant with a certain degree of authority over his master, however, because he is the source of the man's power, and with the lines of influence blurred, the two characters grow on one another and bring the inherent sentimentality of their personalities to the surface. It is this imbalance of power between Faustus and Mephastophilis that affects the dynamic of the play most directly.

Even though Mephastophilis is technically defined as Faustus' servant in the contract, Faustus is completely reliant on the devil, because he is powerless without him. The doctor himself realizes that Mephastophilis is an essential conduit for...

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