Questions over Doctor Faustus

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Questions over Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

  1. What other types of stories/plays will this NOT be (1-6)?

  2. What will the play consider (7-8)?

  3. What background is Faustus from(10-19)?

  4. What has happened to him(20-28)?

Scene 1

  1. Where is Faustus – what is he doing as the scene opens (1-2)?

  2. How successful has Faustus been in his learning? Is he happy with his efforts?

  3. Look up the Biblical passage Romans 6:23 that Faustus quotes in lines 37. What does he leave out? How is that important to the conclusion he reaches?

  4. What arguments do the good/evil angel present to Faustus in lines 70-77?

  5. What does Faustus plan to do with his magical powers (78-97)?

Scene 2

  1. In lines 4-8, what is the jest/joke that Wagner is making?

  2. How does this help establish the tone of scene 2? How is this a contrast to scene 1?

Scene 3

  1. What happens when the devil appears (23-34)? Does Mephistophilis follow Faustus’ direction? How does Mephistophilis appear when he returns(35)?

  2. What does Faustus learn from Mephistophilis about his ability to conjure (45-54)? How is this surprising?

  3. What does Faustus learn from Mephistophilis about Hell (73-82)? Again how is this surprising?

  4. What is Faustus’ offer in lines 87-97? What does Faustus expect in return (102-114)?

Scene 4

  1. In lines 10-12, what is the joke?

  2. In lines 56-57, the clown mistakenly calls the devil Baliol by the name of Banio? Look up the meaning in Spanish and then explain what the pun/joke is in this line.

Scene 5

  1. What struggle is Faustus having in the opening of this scene (1-21)? What word in line 22 causes Faustus to change his mind?

  2. How must Faustus sign the contract? What difficulty does he encounter in signing the contract?

  3. Why does Faustus dismiss the notion of damnation in lines 118-134?

  4. What is Faustus’ first request (140-141)? Is Faustus happy with what Mephistophilis gives him?

  5. The transition from lines 176 to 177 is not very smooth. Many scholars think that there are missing lines here. Why does this line not seem to follow what is before it?

  6. What happens when Faustus asks Mephistophilis who made the world in lines 242-248? Why?

  7. What happens when Faustus calls on Christ in 5.258-259? Does Christ answer? Who does (5.260-261)? Is this a theologically correct answer? What does Faustus end up saying?

  8. What show does Lucifer have for Faustus (who appears)?

  9. Is Faustus pleased by this show or not?

Scene 6

  1. How does this scene echo what happened in scene 5?

  2. Could it have fit after line 176 in scene 5 – why/why not?

Chorus/Scene 7

  1. Where is Faustus now?

  2. What magical power does Mephistophilis bestow on Faustus before the Pope arrive in this scene?

  3. How does Faustus use this power against the Pope? Is this the type of magic Faustus initially planned on using?

Scene 8

  1. How are Robin and Rafe hoping to use magic? How does this contrast Faustus’ ambitions?

Scene 9

  1. What does the Emperor request of Faustus (16-35)?

  2. The knight is very skeptical of Faustus’ ability. What happens to him/what does Faustus do to him?

  3. What will Faustus doe next (86-90)? Is he fulfilling his original plans?

Scene 10

  1. Horse-courser is a medieval equivalent of a used car salesman. He makes a deal for Faustus’ horse. What happens to the horse-trader? Why did this occur?

Scene 11

  1. What magic trick does Faustus perform for the Duke and Duchess?

Chorus 4

  1. Why is Wagner worried about Faustus?

  2. What is Faustus doing with his scholar friends? How might this reinforce Wagner’s concerns?

Scene 12

  1. What request do the scholars have of Faustus? How doe he respond?

  2. What does the Old Man tell Faustus?

  3. Whose pardon does Faustus ask for in lines 60-65?

  4. How is Faustus’ reaction to Helen different than his reaction to the wife he requested in scene 5?

Scene 13

  1. Reread the last speech of Faustus in lines 57-113. What is he trying to do? Why can’t he? What does Faustus want time to do? Is Faustus go willingly to his death or not?


  1. According to the chorus, what is the lesson of the play? Do you agree? What other lessons/ideas are conveyed by the play?

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