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Additional resources for Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
So far Faustus's magic actions have been described rather than demonstrated. In fact, the only necromancy we have seen him perform is the conjuration of Mephostophilis. Act UI, Scene i Summary Faustus describes to Mephostophilis his journey through Europe and together they plan to cause mischief in Rome on the occasion of the Pope's celebration of St Peter's Feast. A great procession arrives headed by cardinals and bishops, accompanied by chanting monks and friars. With the Pope is Raymond , King of Hungary, followed by the chained captive Bruno (a rival Pope elected by the German Emperor).
They range from popes, emperors, kings and courtiers to servants, tradesmen and country folk. We are also confronted with supernatural beings: Lucifer, Belzebub, and, in particular, the Devil's emissary, Mephostophilis. These, together with a group of attendant devils, engage in the action of the play. There is also a further group of spirits: some speaking, like the Seven Deadly Sins; others silent, like Alexander and Helen. Two angels offer advice, as does an unnamed old man. In all, Marlowe offers samples from every stratum of society, from the most elevated to the most base.
J. Palmer (in 'Magic and Poetry in Dr. Faustus') calls 'hubristic blindness,' a stubborn refusal to acknowledge what Fate (or God) will use to bring about your eventual downfall. Such a characteristic should be totally alien to a learned scholar. This troubled conscience and 'blindness' combine to combat or negate the positive elements of ambition and energy. The tension they create is what eventually destroys him. Another kind of tension is observed when we consider Faustus's use of his power.