Study Guide

Doctor Faustus Act 1, Scene 4

By Christopher Marlowe

Act 1, Scene 4

  • Now we meet Wagner, one of the townspeople.
  • He calls over a guy named Robin, merely by saying "boy," to which little Robin takes offense. Wagner wants to know if Robin makes any dough. 
  • Sure. Robin claims he has "comings in" and "goings out" as well (both income and expenses).
  • Yeah right, says Wagner. He knows that Robin is jobless and hungry.
  • He offers to bind Robin to him—to make him his apprentice—for a period of seven years, threatening to turn Robin's lice into a chronic problem if he doesn't agree to. Agree, Robin! Agree!
  • Lice? No sweat dude, says Robin. He's got lice up the wazoo. 
  • To try to seal the deal, Wagner gives Robin two coins, but Robin ain't havin' that.
  • So Wagner calls two devils to frighten Robin, then sends them away at Robin's request.
  • Fine. Robin's down for seven years of servitude as long as Wagner agrees to teach him how to conjure. 
  • A deal's a deal.