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Dr. Faustus Structure

Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus tells the tale of a learned man who makes a pact with the devil. In exchange for the devil's services (in knowledge and ability), Faustus promises his immortal soul to the devil after 30 years. The devil sends Mephistopheles to serve Faustus. For 30 years, Faustus lives an exciting life. Towards the end of his life, Faustus regrets his decision. It is too late. At the ring of midnight, he is transported to hell.

If you are not familiar with the Faustus story, check out this adaption.

Characters

  • Faustus: the protagonist
  • Mephistopheles: evil, honorable
  • Wagner: Faustus's assistant and friend
  • Lucifer: the source of power, boss of Mephistopheles

Scenes

  1. (Faustus, Mephistopheles) Faustus calls forth Mephistopheles to bring an offer to Lucifer.
    • Establish that Faustus is smart.
    • Faustus is the one who wants to make the deal.
    • The deal is a daring deal.
  2. (Faustus, Wagner) Wagnercomes to dissuade Faustus of making the pact.
    • Establish that this deal is perilous.
    • Establish that Faustus is so convinced in his own skills that he thinks he can deal with the consequences.
    • Wagner has Faustus's best interests in mind.
  3. (Faustus, Mephistopheles, Lucifer)Lucifer shows up. Faustus and Lucifer negotiate the terms of the deal. They agree and Mephistopheles is made Faustus's servant.
    • Lucifer is not a good guy.
    • Faustus is a good negotiator, so there will be significant benefits to him.
    • Mephistopheles will serve Faustus.
  4. (Faustus, Mephistopheles, etc.) Life is good for Faustus. The benefits of the deal are good. In the play, there are actually a series of these kind of scenes. In your play, you can have a number of these too.
    • Lucifer holds his part of the agreement.
    • The agreement does have good effects.
  5. (Faustus, Wagner) At the end of his life, Wagner visits Faustus. Faustus realizes it is about to get ugly. Faustus wants to repent and pull out of the deal. He can't. Lucifer has held up his end of the bargain.
    • Faustus realizes he made a mistake.
    • Faustus can't back out of the deal.
  6. (Faustus, Lucifer) Faustus dies and Lucifer takes his soul to hell.
    • The deal must be executed though Faustus would love to get out of it.
    • The bad part of the deal is not worth the good part.