Study Guide

Doctor Faustus Act 4, Scene 4

By Christopher Marlowe

Act 4, Scene 4

  • A horse-courser asks Faustus to sell him his horse for forty dollars.
  • Faustus wants fifty, but finally accepts the courser's offer of forty. He's up for bargaining.
  • He warns the horse-courser not to ride the horse over water, and the horse-courser declares himself to be a "made man forever."
  • Then Faustus muses about the fact that the time for his own damnation is getting closer and closer. But he's comforted with the thought that Christ forgave the thief as he was dying on the cross. That's his last hope.
  • He dozes in his chair. Nothing like a cat nap to assuage your worries of eternal damnation.
  • The horse-courser enters again, soaking wet. 
  • Apparently, he rode the horse over water because he thought Faustus was hiding some good quality the horse possessed. 
  • Over the water, however, the horse disappeared and he found himself suddenly sitting on a bale of hay instead. Whoops.
  • He pulls at Faustus's leg in an attempt to wake him, and it comes off. Um, ew?
  • The horse-courser leaves with the leg, promising to throw it in a ditch. Faustus just laughs.
  • Then Wagner enters and tells Faustus that the Duke of Vanholt is asking for him.
  • Faustus agrees to pay him a visit.