Scene 13Sin & Repentance 7: Faustus takes a step toward repentance, but still hesitates to fully trust in the mercy of God. Before he can fully repent, Mephistophilis comes to stop him. Faustus misses another chance and instead, repents to Lucifer for turning from his vow.In another ironic gesture, Faustus damns the Old Man for trying to turn him away from Lucifer.Sin & Repentance 8: The Old Man stands in contrast to Faustus. Even as devils come to torment him, the Old Man remains steadfast in faith. He heeds the words that appeared on Faustus' arm-Man, fly! He flies unto the arms of God.Scene 14Sin & Repentance 9: As the time draws near for his departure from the world, Faustus regrets living his life as he did. Even at the last hour, he wishes he was a beast or a drop of water so as to avoid eternal damnation.19
Prologue (Chorus)The Chorus enters to introduce the play to the audience, stating that the story is not of battles or love or kings, but the person of Faustus. He is born to lowly parents in the German town of Rhodes and goes off to study at Wittenberg, where he is brought up by a kinsman. Faustus is naturally gifted in divinity and is soon made a doctor. He is without equal when it comes to discussing theology, but his great learning makes him proud and full of self-conceit. The Chorus alludes to Faustus' "waxen wings," symbolic of his attempts to reach beyond the limits of knowledge by practicing in "cursed necromancy," or black magic.Topic Tracking: Hubris 1Topic Tracking: Duality of Man 120
Scene 1Faustus is in his study preparing his teaching materials. Although a professor of divinity, he seeks to plumb the depths of every academic discipline. He examines Aristotle and logic; he has already mastered it. Galen and medicine too. Faustus, although a reputed physician, is dissatisfied with medicine because he cannot make men live forever. Justinian and law is deemed too petty. When it comes down to it, divinity is most worthy of his great mind. He reads from Jerome's bible."The reward of sin is death." That's hard."If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and there's notruth in us." Why then, belike we must sin and so consequently die.Ay, we must die an everlasting death.What doctrine call you this, Che sera sera,"What will be shall be?" Divinity, adieu!Scene 1, p. 4He finds the bible passages difficult to accept. Why must men sin and inevitably die? Hecasts off the bible and embraces books on black magic."O what a world of profit and delight,Of power, of honour, and omnipotenceIs promis'd to the studious artisan!"Scene 1, pg. 5Faustus concludes that the practice of magic will bring him what he wants in life-to be a god. He asks his servant, Wagner, to summon his friends, Valdes and Cornelius, so thathe can consult with them about magic.Topic Tracking: Sin & Repentance 1Topic Tracking: Duality of Man 2While Faustus waits for his friends, the Good Angel and the Evil Angel appear (on stage, Faustus is oblivious of their presence). The Good Angel reproves Faustus for reading magic books and beckons him to read the bible instead. The Evil Angel encourages Faustus in his pursuit of power over through the practice of magic.