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Doctor Faustus

Doctor Faustus


by Christopher Marlowe

Doctor Faustus Power Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line)

Quote #10

Upon the bridge called Ponte Angelo
Erected is a castle passing strong,
Where thou shalt see such store of ordnance
As that the double cannons, forged of brass,
Do match the number of the days contained
Within the compass of one complete year,
Beside the gates and high pyramides
That Julius Caesar brought from Africa. (3.1.38-45)

Rome is a place with some major power, huh? This power is symbolized by the "passing strong" castle that guards the bridge into Rome and contains twice as many cannons as the number of days in the year. This palace sits next to gates and pyramids that Julius Caesar brought from Africa, which are a symbol of the glory of the Roman Empire and its ability to conquer the world.

Quote #11

Cast down our footstool.
                    Saxon Bruno, stoop.
Whilst on thy back his Holiness ascends
Saint Peter's chair and state pontifical.
Proud Lucifer, that state belongs to me.
But thus I fall to Peter, not to thee.
To me and Peter shalt thou grovelling lie
And crouch before the papal dignity. (3.1.88-95)

The Pope demands a display of submission from schismatic pope Bruno, forcing him to get down on his hands and knees so he can use his back as a step-stool. Talk about humiliating. Bruno only submits, he says, because he respects St. Peter, implying that he recognizes the power of the office of Pope (which Peter represents), but not the power of the man who now fills it.

Quote #12

Pope Adrian, let me have some right of law;
I was elected by the Emperor.
He grows too proud in his authority
Lifting his lofty head above the clouds
And, like a steeple, overpeers the Church.
But we'll put down his haughty insolence. (3.1.125-126, 132-135)

The dispute between Adrian and Bruno is over who has the power to appoint the pope. Pope Adrian believes that this power belongs only to members of the Church, but Bruno argues that a former pope gave the Holy Roman Emperor this same power. This belief is why Bruno claims "right of law," i.e., that he's the lawfully chosen Pope.

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