A Relationship Between Faustus And Mephastophilis Essay

A Relationship Between Faustus And Mephastophilis Essay

Length: 1889 words (5.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


The relationship between Faustus and Mephastophilis creates a dynamic that is rejected by society at this time. Although Faustus is well educated, he still lacks the one thing he truly desires: someone to control him, especially in a sexual manner. When Faustus decides to give Mephastophilis his soul for servitude, Faustus proclaims: “Lo, Mephastophilis, for love of thee, / I cut my arm, and with my proper blood, / Assure my soul to be great Lucifer’s,” (I.V.53-54). The declaration of love for Mephastophilis suggests that Faustus realized that, by giving Mephastophilis his soul, he will be able to gain his desire for control through Mephastophilis acting as his servant and granting him his wishes. Faustus does not realize until the last line of the play, however, that Mephastophilis is the one who is able to control him the way he desires, rather than a wife,. Upon his death, Faustus exclaims, “I’ll burn my books- ah Mephastophilis,” indicating to readers that it was Mephastophilis himself who ended up fulfilling Faustus’s desires (I.XIII.114).
This transition from Faustus’s desire to be controlled in a heterosexual relationship to being controlled in a homosexual relationship shows the emotional control Mephastophilis had over Faustus. Mephastophilis preys on Faustus’s desire to be controlled, denouncing marriage to Faustus shortly after his request for a wife. By saying to Faustus, “Tut, Faustus, Marriage is buy a ceremonial toy; / If thou lovest me, think no more of it,” Mephastophilis is not only calling into question Faustus’s love for him, showing the emotional manipulation he is capable of, but is suggesting to Faustus that what he thinks he desires might not be what he truly desires (I.V.148-149). He continues with this...


... middle of paper ...


...a dynamic like this in the play, Shakespeare openly questions the heterosexuality required by society. Olivia, while married to Sebastian, fell in love with Viola acting as Cesario. She would never be able to marry Viola because of their genders, but being related through marriage is allowed. The actors, however, are both male actors portraying female characters. While throughout the entire play Olivia remains female, the actor playing Viola shifts between female and male when playing Cesario. This then allows the audience to question the sexuality of the actors, considering the play has both characters married to male counterparts, but they themselves are male and are taking part in a homosexual relationship onstage. Viola and Olivia’s relationship, both as characters and for the actors that play them, have the ability to arouse questions regarding their sexuality.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Devil in Dr Faustus Essay

- The Devil in Dr Faustus   In Scene 3 Mephastophilis appears to Faustus in his real form. Faustus reacts with disgust and asks the devil to come back in a shape more pleasant to the eye - as a Fransiscan friar. Faustus’s reaction is typically renaissance - he objects to ugliness and craves aestheticism. It also shows his sense of humour (or rather sense of irony) - as he says “That holy shape becomes a devil best” (l 26). What is striking is that when Mephastophilis appears first, Marlowe does not bother to describe him....   [tags: Doctor Faustus Essays]

Better Essays
706 words (2 pages)

The Tragical History Of Dr. Faustus Essay

- “The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus”, the tittle seems to say it all. Dr. Faustus is a bright mind, no doubt, a man who studies everything from medicine to law. Yet is still not content with the life he lives. Early on Faustus believes he has a bigger purpose to accomplish before the Curtin is pulled down on his life. However, as the play progresses it becomes much more difficult for the reader to truly understand Faustus and whether or not his intentions are good or bad. As bright of a man Faustus is, common sense is something the good doctor Seems to lack....   [tags: God, Atheism, Devil, Meaning of life]

Better Essays
1237 words (3.5 pages)

Mephistophilis in Marlowe’s Faustus Essay examples

- Mephistophilis in Marlowe’s Faustus Mephistophilis is a striking central character in the play ‘Doctor Faustus’, written by Christopher Marlowe in the late sixteenth century. His role in this flamboyant yet tragic play is ultimately to aid Faustus’ downfall from renowned scholar to foolhardy prey of Lucifer. However, Mephistophilis’ motives are perceptibly ambiguous throughout ‘Doctor Faustus’; he seemingly alternates between a typically gleeful medieval devil, and a romantically suffering fallen angel....   [tags: Marlowe Faustus Essays]

Better Essays
1450 words (4.1 pages)

Dr. Faustus Essay: Faustus' Changing Relationship with the Audience

- Doctor Faustus' Changing Relationship with the Audience Any good drama will have interesting and multi-faceted characters; some go a step further by developing some of those characters throughout the story, using the events of the plot to change them in various ways. The audience (in the case of a play) follows the characters throughout, watching as they move away from their originally crafted personalities and become something different. Naturally, during this period, the audience's opinion of the characters will change, as will their sympathies....   [tags: Doctor Faustus Essays]

Better Essays
1531 words (4.4 pages)

"Dr. Faustus:" An Analysis of Mephastophilis Essay

- Mephastophilis is the devil that Faustus summons through his initial magical experiments. He is the same devil that was cast from paradise with his master Lucifer. In `Dr Faustus,' Marlowe creates Mephastophilis' personality from his own imagination, which causes Mephastophilis to be almost human at times. Mephastophilis is bound to Faustus because Faustus sold his soul to Lucifer for twenty-four years of Mephastophilis' service. During this time Mephastophilis sometimes openly despises Faustus' folly in disbelieving him, yet at other times Mephastophilis is like a companion or servant to Faustus as the scholars used to be....   [tags: European Literature]

Better Essays
1466 words (4.2 pages)

Marlowe’s Presentation of Mephastophilis in Dr. Faustus Essay

- Marlowe’s Presentation of Mephastophilis in Dr. Faustus Literary works in sixteenth- century England were rarely if ever created in isolation from other currents in the social and cultural world and Marlowe’s Dr Faustus is no exception. It is significant that Marlowe’s great play was written at a time in which the possibility of sorcery was not merely a theatrical fantasy but a widely shared fear. Dr Faustus was also performed at time in which many artists such as Bosch and Jacques Callot were depicting horrific images of hell in their paintings making the play all the more disturbing to the medieval audience....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1417 words (4 pages)

Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus - The Folly of Dr. Faustus Essay example

- Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus - The Folly of Dr. Faustus Christopher Marlowe's tragedy of Dr. Faustus envelops a realm of theological issues around one man's quest for knowledge. Feeling a university education to be inadequate for his purposes, Faustus makes the ultimate sacrifice possible to quench his thirst for otherworldly wisdom. Yet even though he gains amazing powers and a broad reputation as a man in the know, his quest is incomplete. He actually learns very little. The nature of knowledge involves both the ability to recall facts, dates, events etc....   [tags: Dr Faustus]

Better Essays
607 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus

- Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus is a psychological study of inner struggle. One of the most prominent themes in Doctor Faustus is the conflict between good and evil within the human soul. Marlowe’s play set the precedent for religious works concerned with morals and suffering. The play is centered on the title character, Doctor Faustus who is painted by Marlowe as an ambivalent character who is easily led down a path of agnostic tendencies. Doctor Faustus is a divided figured. His capricious character causes heightened duality and inconsistent conduct....   [tags: Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus]

Better Essays
729 words (2.1 pages)

Doctor Faustus as Apollonian Hero Essay

- Doctor Faustus as Apollonian Hero How long will a man lie i' th' earth ere he rot. - Hamlet, V, i, 168 The Tragic History of Doctor Faustus is Marlowe's misreading of the drama of the morality tradition, the Faust legend, and, ironically, his own Tamburlaine plays. In the development of the character of Doctor Faustus, we find one of the supreme artistic achievements of English dramatic literature, a milestone of artistic creativity and originality. The force of Marlowe's dramatic poetry resonates with lyrical intensity in its dialectic between world and will....   [tags: Doctor Faustus]

Free Essays
4836 words (13.8 pages)

Doctor Faustus Essays: Dr. Faustus and the Christian Moral

- Dr. Faustus and the Christian Moral In the play Doctor Faustus the main character sells his soul to the devil and later dies and is sent to hell. A question that comes to mind when reading this book is, "Does Doctor Faustus have a Christian moral?" Even though he is persuaded to sell his soul to the devil he still may have some Christian beliefs. Some of the dialogue in the play gives some signals that tell the reader if Faustus has a Christian moral. The Cultural Studies method is shown in this paper because we are talking about someone's beliefs or morals....   [tags: Doctor Faustus Essays]

Free Essays
534 words (1.5 pages)