FASTUS

FASTUS

treatment of the legend was that of the English dramatist Christopher Marlowe. Faustus becomes dissatisfied with his studies of medicine, law, logic and theology; therefore, he decides to turn to the dangerous practice of necromancy, or magic. He has his servant Wagner summon Valdes and Cornelius, two German experts in magic. Faustus tells them that he has decided to experiment in necromancy and needs them to teach him some of the fundamentals. When he is alone in his study, Faustus begins experimenting with magical incantations, and suddenly Mephistophilis ppears, in the form of an ugly devil.

Faustus sends him away, telling him to reappear in the form of a friar. Faustus discovers that it is not his conjuring which brings forth Mephistophilis but, instead, that when anyone curses the trinity, devils automatically appear. Faustus sends Mephistophilis back to hell with the bargain that if Faustus is given twenty-four years of absolute power, he will then sell his soul to Lucifer. Later, in his study, when Faustus begins to despair, a Good Angel and a Bad Angel appear to him; each encourages Faustus to follow his advice.

Mephistophilis appears nd Faust agrees to sign a contract in blood with the devil even though several omens appear which warn him not to make this bond. Not all Elizabethan dramas include a Chorus; where it does appear, it has been reduced to a single voice. Its inclusion depends very largely on the kind of play that is being presented and whether a Chorus is necessary or appropriate. In Shakespeare’s King Henry V (1 599), for instance, a play which includes military sieges and battle scenes, the Chorus is used to ask the audience to exercise their imaginations to conceive of such vast doings taking place in so small a theatre.

Doctor Faustus employs the Chorus in a number of functions: To explain the kind of play the audience is about to witness (Chorus 1) ??? Tell the story so far’ and fill in details of Faustus’ birth and early career (Chorus 1) ??? To anticipate the first part of the action, as Faustus turns towards forbidden knowledge (Chorus 1) ??? To fill in episodes not represented on the stage and to introduce a new location (Chorus 2).

This is spoken by Wagner, but in a manner very similar to that of Choruses 1 and 3 ??? To inform the audience of Faustus’ increased reputation as a earned man, and his summons to the court of the Emperor (Chorus 3) ??? To offer a more intimate view of the change in Faustus’ behaviour as the end of the play approaches.

In scene 12, the Chorus identifies himself as Wagner and speaks in a language register similar to that he uses elsewhere in the play ??? In the final lines of the play, as a moral guide for the audience. He asks them to: ‘exhort the wise / Only to wonder at unlawful things’ and to think carefully about what they have Just seen, so as to avoid being tempted ‘To practise more than heavenly power permits’. FASTUS By aniJeni