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Doctor Faustus Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- Among modern newsworthy public figures, who would populate the parade of the Seven Deadly Sins? Go ahead, go crazy. Your secret's safe with Shmoop.
- The Chorus at the end of Doctor Faustus suggests that Faustus's story should be a warning to the wise to "wonder at" but not get involved in "unlawful things" that might tempt them to sin. Is this an appropriate moral for the story? Why or why not? Do you think Faustus's story proves this point? How so?
- What do you think of the things Faustus asks Mephistopheles to do for him? How do these things compare to what you would demand from someone with Mephistopheles's power (who happens to be at your beck and call)? Do you think Faustus made the most out of handing over his soul?
- Some scholars believe that the comedic scenes in Doctor Faustus were written by people other than Marlowe, because they don't "fit in" with the rest of the play. Based on what you've read, what do you think about this theory? And how do you feel about the comedic scenes in general? Were they funny? Jarring?
- Why does Faustus keep making such bad choices? Why doesn't he ever learn his lesson?
- What do you think of Mephistopheles? He's a demon, sure, but is he admirable in any way? Sympathetic?
- This play is based on a German legend that has been around for ages, and it's a legend that still persists in many forms today. Why do you think the story is so lasting?