Doctor Faustus Wisdom and Knowledge Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
CORNELIUSHe that is grounded in astrology,Enriched with tongues, well seen in minerals,Hath all the principles magic doth require.Then doubt not, Faustus, but to be renownedAnd more frequented for this mysteryThan heretofore the Delphian oracle. (1.1.131-136)
Faustus's friend tells him he's already well suited to learn magic because of his education in astrology, languages, and alchemy. Now isn't that convenient? Hmm… maybe Faustus was predestined for magic ages ago…
MEPHISTOPHELESSo now, Faustus, ask me what thou wilt.FAUSTUSFirst I will question with thee about hell.Tell me, where is the place that men call hell?[…]I think hell's a fable.MEPHISTOPHELESAy, think so still, till experience change thy mind. (2.1.109-111, 122-123)
One of the perks of Faustus's bargain with Lucifer is that he can ask Mephistopheles whatever he wants, and ol' Meph will have to deliver the scoop. And what does Faustus want to know about? Hell, of course. No doubt, he's hoping to learn that hell's a fable (understandable), but Mephistopheles just tells Faustus to wait for the wisdom of experience. In other words, time will tell. Faustus, though, with years of book learning behind him isn't used to waiting around for the wisdom of experience. He'd rather just use the Internet.
FAUSTUSI am resolved, Faustus shall not repent.Come, Mephistopheles, let us dispute againAnd reason of divine astrology.Speak; are there many spheres above the moon?Are all celestial bodies but one globe,As is the substance of this centric earth? (2.3.30-35)
While Faustus hems and haws, wondering if he should regret his decision to make a deal with Lucifer, it's Mephistopheles that helps convince him he made the right call, because Mephistopheles promises that Dr. F will gain a ton of knowledge as a result of handing over his soul. In a way, this means that knowledge has become a kind of idol for Faustus—something that has taken the place of God for him.