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Plot in Doctor Faustus

Plot Examples in Doctor Faustus:

Chorus 1

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"divinity..."   (Chorus 1)

By "divinity" Marlowe means "theology." Faustus studied religion in his university and received his doctorate.

"Ubi desinit Philosophus, ibi incipit Medicus:..."   (Scene 1)

This Latin phrase means "where the philosopher leaves off the physician begins." Galen was the ancient authority on medicine and his theories were the foundation of Early Modern medicine. Having dismissed philosophy as below his level of wit, Faustus begins to contemplate pursuing medicine.

"commenced..."   (Scene 1)

By "commenced" Faustus means that he has now received his doctoral degree. He begins this scene trying to decide what to do with his life now that he has achieved the highest level of education.

"Jerome's Bible..."   (Scene 1)

Jerome's Bible, or the Vulgate Bible, was a Latin translation of the Bible by Saint Jerome in the 4th century. Faustus's final consideration is theology after he has dismissed all other disciplines.

"charm me..."   (Scene 7)

Notice that Faustus did not actually gain any power himself, but instead relies on Mephistophilis to perform magic on his behalf. The deal that Faustus made was not what he expected.

"compass..."   (Scene 7)

Compass in this context means to take part in. Notice how Faustus's grand plans of world domination and power have been reduced to playing practical jokes on monks.

"shall command me...."   (Scene 9)

Notice that Faustus is subservient to Charles V. Unlike his visions of grandeur at the beginning of the play, Faustus ends up being servile rather than ruling the world.

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