Doctor Faustus

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O Faustus, lay that damned book aside,
And gaze not on it lest it tempt thy soul
And heap God's heavy wrath upon thy head.

The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus is a tragedy by Christopher Marlowe, and is his most well known work. It was first published in 1604, but would have been written by 1593.

Act I[edit]

  • Live and die in Aristotle's works.
    • Faustus, scene i, line 5
  • If we say that we have no sin
    We deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us.
    Why then, belike, we must sin,
    And consequently die.
    Ay, we must die an everlasting death.
    • Faustus, scene i, lines 41–54. In the first two lines, Marlowe is quoting 1 John 1:8.
  • What doctrine call you this, Che serà, serà:
    What will be, shall be
    ? Divinity, adieu!
    • Faustus, scene i, lines 47–58
  • O Faustus, lay that damned book aside,
    And gaze not on it lest it tempt thy soul
    And heap God's heavy wrath upon thy head.
    • Good Angel, scene i, lines 69–71
  • How am I glutted with conceit of this!
    Shall I make spirits fetch me what I please,
    Resolve me of all ambiguities,
    Perform what desperate enterprise I will?
    • Faustus, scene i, lines 77–80
  • Unhappy spirits that fell with Lucifer,
    Conspir'd against our God with Lucifer,
    And are for ever damn'd with Lucifer.
    • Mephistopheles, scene iii, lines 71–73
  • Why this is hell, nor am I out of it.
    Think'st thou that I, who saw the face of God,
    And tasted the eternal joy of Heaven,
    Am not tormented with ten thousand hells
    In being depriv'd of everlasting bliss?
    • Mephistopheles, scene iii, lines 76–80
  • Now, Faustus, must thou needs be damned?
    And canst thou not be saved?
    What boots it then to think on God or heaven?
    Away with such vain fancies and despair,
    Despair in God and trust in Beelzebub.
    Now go not backward. No, Faustus, be resolute.
    Why waverest thou? Oh, something soundeth in mine ears
    Abjure this magic, turn to God again.
    • Faustus, scene iv, line 1

Act II[edit]

  • Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscrib'd
    In one self place; but where we are is hell,
    And where hell is, there must we ever be.
    • Mephistopheles, Act II, scene i, line 118
  • When all the world dissolves,
    And every creature shall be purified,
    All places shall be hell that are not heaven.
  • Have I not made blind Homer sing to me?
    • Faustus, Act II, scene ii, line 26
  • My heart's so harden'd, I cannot repent.
    • Faustus, Act II, scene iii, line 18

Act V[edit]

Was this the face that launched a thousand ships?
  • Oh gentle Faustus, leave this damned art,
    This magic, that will charm thy soul to hell,
    And quite bereave thee of salvation.
    Though thou hast now offended like a man,
    Do not persever in it like a devil.
    • Old Man, scene i, lines 35–39
  • Accursed Faustus, wretch, what hast thou done?
    I do repent, and yet I do despair.
    Hell strives with grace for conquest in my breast.
    What shall I do to shun the snares of death?
    • Faustus, scene i, lines 66–69
  • Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships,
    And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
    Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss!
    Her lips suck forth my soul; see where it flies!
    Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again.
    • Faustus, scene i, lines 91–95
  • O, thou art fairer than the evening air
    Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars.
    • Faustus, scene i, line 106
  • Pray for me! and what noise soever ye hear, come not unto me, for nothing can rescue me.
    • Faustus, scene ii, lines 57–58
  • All: God forbid!
    Faustus: God forbade it indeed, but Faustus hath done it.
    • Scene ii, lines 66-68
  • Now hast thou but one bare hour to live,
    And then thou must be damn'd perpetually!
    Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of Heaven,
    That time may cease, and midnight never come
    Fair Nature's eye, rise, rise again, and make
    Perpetual day; or let this hour be but
    A year, a month, a week, a natural day.
    • Faustus, scene ii, lines 64–70
  • O lente, lente currite, noctis equi!
    The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike,
    The Devil will come, and Faustus must be damn'd.
    O, I'll leap up to my God! Who pulls me down?
    See, see, where Christ's blood streams in the firmament!
    One drop would save my soul, half a drop: ah, my Christ.
    • Faustus, scene ii, lines 72–77. Marlowe quotes Ovid, O lente, lente currite, noctis equi ("O slowly, run slowly, horses of the night!"), in Amores.
  • Ay, Faustus, now hast thou no hope of heaven
    Therefore despair! Think only upon hell,
    For that must be thy mansion, there to dwell.
    • Mephostophilis, scene ii, lines 94-96 (B-text [1])
  • No, Faustus, curse thyself, curse Lucifer
    That hath deprived thee of the joys of Heaven.
    Oh, it strikes, it strikes! Now, body, turn to air,
    Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell!
    O soul, be chang'd into little water-drops
    And fall into the ocean, ne'er be found.
    My God, my God, look not so fierce on me.

    Adders and serpents, let me breathe awhile.
    Ugly hell, gape not, come not, Lucifer!
    I'll burn my books!—ah, Mephistopheles!"
    • Faustus, scene ii, line 111–120
  • And now, poor soul, must thy good angel leave thee,
    The jaws of hell are open to receive thee.
    • Good Angel, scene ii, 121-122 (B-text [2])


  • Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,
    And burnèd is Apollo's laurel bough,
    That sometime grew within this learnèd man.
    Faustus is gone. Regard his hellish fall,
    Whose fiendful fortune may exhort the wise
    Only to wonder at unlawful things,
    Whose deepness doth entice such forward wits,
    To practise more than heavenly power permits.
    • Chorus, lines 1–8

External links[edit]

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