Faustus Power Over Faustus

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The Master and His Slave; Mephastophilis’ Power over Faustus

Christopher Marlowe is well known for his plays and poetry about atheism, life and death, and love. The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus can be perceived as Marlowe’s most famous and influential play because authors are still referencing back to the idea of selling your soul to the devil. In the play, Marlowe presents an obvious power relationship between Faustus and Mephastophilis. However, who can be considered the master and who can be seen as the slave? This paper will analyse how Mephastophilis actually has the upper hand over Faustus. First of all, lets commence by presenting a polemic argument and reconsider why Faustus can be seen as the master. Just before Faustus sells
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As a result of Faustus’ predestination, Faustus has little to no control over his fate, thus making Mephastophilis more powerful. For instance, Mephastophilis mentions that because of God’s absence on earth, hell actually contains earth as well: (ll. 4.73–76). Due to that, it can be reasoned that Faustus was in hell since the commencement of the play. Basically, Mephastophilis never abandoned the inferno and Faustus is not aware he is already residing in a hell-like zone. This way, Mephastophilis has a power advantage since he does not have to leave hell to reach Faustus. Furthermore, Mephastophilis makes a certain sarcastic remark about obtaining Faustus’ spirit: (l. 5.72). Perhaps Mephastophilis already knows more about Faustus’ fate and mocks it by saying this exact line, simply because he knows that Faustus will provide his soul for his desires anyway. Likewise, Mephastophilis is already playing with him with the before mentioned warning about the horrors of hell. This increases the affirmation that Mephastophilis has knowledge about his inevitable end and that particular precognition places Mephastophilis in a more authoritative position. To further validate Faustus’ predestination, the evil angel, which presumably also derives from hell, makes some bold statements whenever Faustus is questioning his fate by saying lines like: …show more content…
However, Faustus is dependable on whether Mephastophilis is around or not. If Mephastophilis is not present near Faustus, then there is no one around to obey his orders and fulfil his desires, ergo making Faustus impotent. Besides, Mephastophilis cannot fulfil every wish Faustus has. For example, Faustus wants Mephastophilis to fetch him a wife to wed: (ll. 5.139–141). Nevertheless, he cannot arrange him a woman to marry with since marriage is sacramental and is accordingly a Christian ritual. Mephastophilis simply cannot execute these yearnings that are connected to Christianity, for the reason that hell and its servants abjure anything related to God and the Christian religion. Similarly, Mephastophilis cannot provide Faustus knowledge about the universe, and even more explicitly about the creation of earth since, in Christian believes, God created earth: (ll.

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