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Dr Faustus - Consider Scene 5 (lines 167 to 280). What is the importance of this in context of the whole play? Consider: 16th century view of the presentation of the UniverseDramatic effects of good and evil angels

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Introduction

Consider Scene 5 (lines 167 to 280). What is the importance of this in context of the whole play? Consider: 16th century view of the presentation of the Universe Dramatic effects of good and evil angels Language used by Faustus and Mephastophilis Scene 5 is a particularly significant scene in the play, which is hinted at by its relatively large length, due to the many issues it addresses including the presentation of the Universe, doubt over whether Faustus will repent and the interesting dialogue between Faustus and Mephastophilis. Lines 167 to 280 contain much of this therefore making this passage, in itself, one of high importance in reference to the whole play. The good and evil angels offer the passage much drama due to the effect they have on Faustus. ...read more.

Middle

They order him 'to talk of the devil' rather than of Christ and they suggest, as does the evil angel, that Faustus is unable to repent. However, this is certainly not true because they would not be so concerned with the actions of Faustus if there was no possibility of him repenting. The general uncertainty over whether Faustus will repent or not is highly dramatic and is essentially presented in the form of the good and evil angels. In this respect the good and evil angels also represent the two sides of Dr Faustus. This is evident all throughout the play as we see that Faustus often does not act in an evil manner; it is influence from others that push him to act in certain ways. ...read more.

Conclusion

The refusal to reveal too much: 'I will not tell thee', because it might lead Faustus to repent as God would be revealed to have made the World, almost results in the repentance of Faustus anyway. Even here Mephastophilis appears to be controlling the situation because he orders Faustus to 'move me not' suggesting that he is just toying with Faustus and that he may refuse to comply with the requests of Faustus whenever he wishes to do so. Despite these clear signs of contempt Faustus stills sees himself as the one who should be giving the orders as he mocks Mephastophilis: 'Hath Mephastophilis no greater skill?' but he does not realise that this attitude will remain constant throughout the play. A high proportion of the dialogue between Mephastophilis and Faustus contains references to the presentation of the Universe. ...read more.

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