The carter the horse trader and the clowns continue

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monster, like a troll. The carter, the horse-trader, and the clowns continue to drink ale. Full of false courage, they decide to find the magician and give him a rough time about his missing leg. ^^^^^^^^^^ DOCTOR FAUSTUS: ACT IV, SCENE VII Faustus has been summoned to the Duke of Vanholt's castle, where he's busy showing off his magic arts. He asks the Duchess, who is pregnant, if there is any special food she craves. The Duchess admits she has a yen for grapes. Only it's January, she sighs. Snow covers the ground, and the grapes have long since vanished from the vines.
Faustus replies graciously that grapes are no trouble at all. He sends Mephistophilis whizzing around the globe to warmer climates. The spirit returns in a twinkling of an eye with a ripe cluster of grapes. This scene asks you to exercise some historical imagination. In the twentieth century, we have electric freezers for storing summer fruits and vegetables during the winter. But the Elizabethans didn't. In their eating habits, the Elizabethans were strictly subject to the seasons. With that point in mind, what do you think of Faustus' latest trick? Is it just some good-natured hocus-pocus that you shouldn't take too seriously? Or is Faustus doing something rather impressive by thumbing his nose at the calendar? The issue at stake, as you've probably guessed, is Faustus' dignity. Either he retains the heroic stature he had in the early scenes, or he deteriorates as he wades deeper and deeper into evil--and into the illusions of Lucifer's hell. You can make an argument for Faustus' steady decline that runs something like this. In Act II, Faustus wanted knowledge and questioned Mephistophilis about the stars. In Act III, Faustus opted for experience and enjoyed the delights of travel. But by Act IV, Faustus has become obsessed with food. All he can think about is something to eat--hay for himself, "dainties" for pregnant women, and so on. In other words, Faustus began with noble aims, but under the influence of demons, he's gone steadily downhill. This leads you back to the play's Christian moral. The rowdy crew from the tavern descends on the castle of Vanholt. They bang on the gates and loudly call for Faustus to show himself. The Duke is shocked and wants to call the police. But Faustus says no. Let the louts be admitted. We'll all have a good laugh at their expense. The noisy, snow-splattered group invades the quiet stone halls of the castle. They are drunk, and the horse-trader calls loudly for beer. Then he starts ribbing Faustus about his supposed wooden leg. (Remember, the trader boasted in the tavern about the way he injured Faustus by pulling off his leg. The horse-trader, the carter, and the clowns all believe Faustus is crippled.) The trader wants to humiliate Faustus by publicizing his
deformity. Stop denying you have a wooden leg, he explodes. I know I pulled your leg off while you were asleep. Faustus lifts his robe to reveal two very healthy limbs. The tavern crew breaks into noisy protests. Faustus decides it's time to silence the fools.

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