Pact Between Faustus and Mephistopheles Essay

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The pact that Doctor John Faustus makes with Mephistopheles is generally viewed as a standard business transaction. Mephistopheles wants Faustus’ soul and Faustus wants power and knowledge, The play begins with Faustus’ cycling through different books of study, and for each, he gives a reason why not to study it. Until he reaches a book of magic. “These metaphysics of magicians are heavenly (ironic);… these are those that Faustus most desires. What a world of profit and delight, of power, of honor, and of omnipotence, is promised to the studious artisan!.. A sound magician is a mighty god. Here Faustus, try thy brain to gain a diety.” Based on these thoughts, Faustus conjures up Mephistopheles and makes his offer. so the two strike…show more content…
If thou deny it, I will back to hell.” (2.1.34-37). Faustus writes in the deed that he is selling his soul to Lucifer in exchange for twenty-four years of Mephistopheles’ services. Once the contract is signed, however, neither Faustus nor Mephistopheles instantaneously achieves what he sought after. Faustus never seems to take his end of the deal seriously, even after he is convinced that Hell actually does exist, and Mephistopheles does not follow through on his part of the contract either. Faustus is refused an answer to his philosophical questions because Mephistopheles refuses to acknowledge God’s accomplishments. Faustus often tries to repent and Mephistopheles is always right there to make him reconsider repentance. The Good Angel and the Old Man also attempt to convince Faustus to repent long after the contract is signed. Had the deal been genuine the concept of repentance would not have been introduced because Faustus’ soul would have already sold to Lucifer. John D. Cox touches on the apparent lack of authority in the pact in his article “The Devil and the Sacred in English Drama”. He writes, “The bargain thus appears to be another demonic feint, as the Good Angel and the Old Man suggest in their assurance of divine mercy long after Faustus has signed” (264). If Faustus’ soul was already signed over to Lucifer, the Good Angel and
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