by Christopher Marlowe
Doctor Faustus The Supernatural Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line)
Go, haste thee, gentle Mephistopheles,
Follow the cardinals to the consistory,
And, as they turn their superstitious books,
Strike them with sloth and drowsy idleness,
And make them sleep so sound that in their shapes
Thyself and I may parley with this Pope,
This proud confronter of the Emperor,
And, in despite of all his holiness,
Restore this Bruno to his liberty
and bear him to the states of Germany. (3.1.112-121)
Here, Faustus uses magic to do something that actually has an impact (beyond entertainment). He rescues a schismatic Pope, Bruno, from the punishment of the Roman Pope, who's more than a little ticked off. Faustus's characterization of the books of the cardinals as "superstitious" shows that he has a typically Protestant attitude toward Catholicism, which means he thinks Catholicism is just a bunch of superstitious nonsense.
Faustus, thou shalt, then kneel down presently,
Whilst on they head I lay my hand
And charm thee with this magic wand.
First, wear this girdle; then appear
Invisible to all are here.
The planets seven, the gloomy air,
Hell, and the Furies forkèd hair,
Pluto's blue fire and Hecate's tree,
With magic spells so compass thee
That no eye may thy body see.
So, Faustus, now, for all their holiness,
Do what thou wilt; thou shalt not be discerned. (3.2.14-25)
Mephistopheles's magic spell lumps the powers of Hell in with the powers of Pagan deities, which makes sense when you consider the belief some folks held that Greco-Roman paganism was simply a manifestation of the Christian Satan. But this fancy spell is all in the name of the rather anticlimactic trick of turning Faustus invisible, just so he can have a little fun at the Pope's expense. Compared to Faustus's rescue of Bruno, this isn't exactly the most exciting, or most noble of feats.
Dick, make me a circle, and stand close at my back, and stir not for thy life. Vintner, you shall have your cup anon. Say nothing, Dick. [Chants.] 'O' per se 'O'; Demogorgon, Belcher, and Mephistopheles!
[Enter Mephistopheles] (3.3.29-32)
Dick's use of magic to help him steal a cup from the local tavern-keeper occurs just after Faustus has stolen a valuable crown, but also some food and dishes, from the Pope. Once again, the scene reminds us that at the end of the day, the well-educated and ambitious Faustus's goals are pretty similar to those of some simple peasants. At the same time, the ease with which they conjure suggests that Faustus's abilities might not be so rare or special after all.