Character Analysis in Doctor Faustus
Doctor Faustus: The title character of this play is a renowned theological scholar at the University of Wittenberg when we first meet him in the play. Despite his achievements, Faustus is unsatisfied by the knowledge that is available to him. He turns to black magic to achieve ultimate knowledge and power. Faustus at first appears arrogant and short sighted. However, as the play goes on he becomes a more sympathetic character. He refuses to repent for his sins either because he is too prideful or because he believes that his actions cannot save him. He spends the play squandering the power that his deal granted him, choosing instead to distract himself with frivolous magic, practical jokes, and paramours created by Mephistophilis.
Mephistophilis: Mephistophilis is the demon sent to collect Faustus’s soul and attend on him for the duration of Faustus’s 24-year contract. While some productions of the play have depicted Mephistophilis as an agent of evil, Marlowe’s text portrays the demon as a sympathetic character. Mephistophilis is similarly condemned by his choice to follow Lucifer in a war against God. He not only warns Faustus about the horrors of hell but also behaves like a friend when Faustus grows ill at the end of his life. If nothing else, Mephistophilis appears empathetic to Faustus’s fear and suffering.
Character Analysis Examples in Doctor Faustus:
"Why, think'st thou, then, that Faustus shall be damned? ..." See in text (Scene 5)