Pact Between Faustus and Mephistopheles Essay

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The pact that Doctor John Faustus makes with Mephistopheles is generally viewed as a standard business transaction. Mephistopheles wants Faustus’ soul and Faustus wants power and knowledge, The play begins with Faustus’ cycling through different books of study, and for each, he gives a reason why not to study it. Until he reaches a book of magic. “These metaphysics of magicians are heavenly (ironic);… these are those that Faustus most desires. What a world of profit and delight, of power, of honor, and of omnipotence, is promised to the studious artisan!.. A sound magician is a mighty god. Here Faustus, try thy brain to gain a diety.” Based on these thoughts, Faustus conjures up Mephistopheles and makes his offer. so the two strike a deal that appears to satisfy both sides. As the play progresses, however, it is apparent that the document holds no power at all. In view of the fact that the contract is fraudulent, Faustus should have the upper hand because Hell does not have a guaranteed claim on Faustus’ soul. Mephistopheles is still able to use the counterfeit agreement to his advantage and cause Faustus to surrender his soul. The end result appears to indicate that the pact was legitimate, but the way the result comes to fruition signifies otherwise.

Doctor Faustus begins with Dr. John Faustus contemplating career options. After consulting two of his friends he decides to pursue magic and sorcery, through which he believes he can obtain immense power and knowledge. He goes about this acquisition by summoning Mephistopheles, a servant of Lucifer. Faustus asks Mephistopheles to be his servant because “By him I’ll be a great emperor of the world” (Marlowe A 1.3.104). Mephistopheles tells Faustus that he will bec...

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... about a chess match between man and the devil. The deal struck between Faustus and Mephistopheles is exposed as fraudulent. The deal is a false agreement in which both sides think they are outsmarting the opponent in order to quench their desires. Faustus wants power and knowledge, Mephistopheles wants a human soul, and each thinks that the contract will yield positive results for him while simultaneously not benefiting the other at all. The result is Mephistopheles winning Faustus’ soul while Faustus acknowledges that he was duped. It is evident throughout the entire play that neither Faustus nor Mephistopheles ever views the contract as a legally binding document. Faustus is aware repentance is an option while Mephistopheles does not accede to every demand made by Faustus. The contract itself is merely an attempted business scam on both sides.

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