Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Faustus notes act 3 scene 1

I note first of all that act 3 is a very disappointing scene in light of Faustus and his expectations.

The act begins with blank verse, which usually connotes high status, a sense of being noble and intelligence. Faustus still sounds controlled and proper.

It then becomes apparent that Faustus is becoming more dependant on Mephistopheles. “But tell me now, what resting place is this?” It seems that Faustus is being taken wherever Mephistopheles wants to go, so he is not in control. “Conducted me within the walls of Rome?” This also indicates that Faustus is not in control. He doesn’t appear to know where he is, which implies he is quite vulnerable, whereas Mephistopheles is taking charge.

Mephistopheles lowers the tone by speaking in prose. “Faustus, I have. And because we will be un provided, I have taken up his holiness’ privy chamber for our use.” He is losing the high ideal of what Faustus wants to do. This also seems to be a big ant-climax, for Faustus in particular. Instead of seeing all the wonderful things he was hoping to see and visit, he is visiting the pope to have a laugh.

Then Faustus plays about with the pope in his chamber, in a childish manner. Everytime the pope goes to eat something or drink something, Faustus steels it away. (this would be very amusing for the protestant audience as they don’t like the pope, on stage it is seemingly devils playing with devils, as they nickname the pope)

We now begin to get the feeling that Faustus dream is not going to be fulfilled. Not only had the scene had a huge anti-climax on visiting all these wonderful places, but we don’t actually get the feeling that Faustus has any sort of control on whether he gets to or not, which is quite worrying.

Everything that Faustus wanted to achieve has been taken down to a slapstick level. Faustus wanted to move the river Rhine, now it is simply “maine fall into Rhine”, he wanted to control everything between the north and south poles, now he is simply mocking the pope? We also see a childish behaviour in Faustus which we would not expect to see. “How? Bell, book, and candle, candle, book, and bell?” His use of childish mockery emphasises his sudden change in character and status. It also shows how Mephistopheles has managed to lower Faustus’ ambitions to mere games.

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