by Christopher Marlowe
Doctor Faustus Act 3, Scene 1 Summary
- Faustus gives the scoop on his journey to Rome, telling how he traveled over Trier, France, the Rhine River, Naples, the tomb of Vergil, Venice, and Padua.
- Then, to Mephistopheles, he's all, dude, where are we? To which Meph tells him: duh, Rome.
- Mephistopheles explains the geography of Rome—how it stands on seven hills with the Tiber River running through it, and how a palace upon the Angelo Bridge sits next to the gates and pyramids that Julius Caesar brought there from Africa. Sounds kind of like Vegas.
- Faustus really wants to let loose and see the sights, but Mephistopheles thinks he should stay where he is in order to catch the Pope's procession and feast.
- Faustus agrees, but tells Mephistopheles that he wants to be an "actor" in the Pope's show. Geez, someone's a diva.
- Mephistopheles agrees, and they make a plan to humiliate the Pope and all his devout buddies.
- The cardinals of France and Padua, bishops, monks, and friars enter in a procession, followed by Pope Adrian, King Raymond of Hungary, and the Archbishop of Rheims.
- They lead a man named Bruno in chains.
- The Pope makes Bruno get down on his hands and knees, then uses his back to mount into his carrier-chair. Classy.
- Bruno remarks that the Pope's position actually belongs to him.
- Then the Pope commands the cardinals to go to his library and read what the Council of Trent says is punishment for the one who unlawfully claims the Pope's position.
- Under Faustus's orders, Mephistopheles follows the cardinals and makes them fall asleep before they can carry out the Pope's orders. Then he tells everyone his plan: he wants to free Bruno. Bruno reminds the Pope that he was elected by the Emperor.
- Oh really? Says the Pope. Well then he'll just have to excommunicate the emperor, maybe even dethrone him while he's at it. The emperor is too big for his britches anyway.
- But, Bruno reminds the Pope, a prior pope, Julius, swore to hold the emperors as their lawful lords.
- The Pope counters that Julius overstepped his bounds in doing so, so his decree isn't valid anyways. In short, bully for you, Bruno!
- He shows Bruno his seven seals, which is another way of saying, can't touch this, Bruno.
- And then he has the nerve to threaten Bruno with his curse.
- Enter Faustus and Mephistopheles, dressed as the Cardinals of France and Padua. Oh, trouble's a'brewin'.
- The Pope asks these—ahem—Cardinals what they have decided about Bruno's punishment.
- Faustus answers that Bruno and the German emperor should be considered heretics and disturbers of the Church's peace. Basically, it's time to burn them.
- So the Pope hands over Bruno to Faustus and Mephistopheles. He tells them to take the poor guy to a prison tower, and tells everyone that tomorrow, he'll pass judgment on the heretic.
- Faustus and Mephistopheles leave with Bruno; the Pope says it's time to party and calls for a banquet to celebrate his victory with King Raymond of Hungary.
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