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October 12, 2005

Marlowe, "The Tragedie of Doctor Faustus" (act III - finish)

It is important to consider the kind of messege this play sent about the Catholic church. Faustus' specifically asks Mephistophilis to empower him to, "In this show let me an actor be, That this proud Pope may Faustus' cunning see." There must be a reason Mephistophilis takes the shape of a monk...

Mephistophilis then talks gleefully of how such actions will,

"By coming in thine art to cross the Pope,
Or dash the pride of this solemnity,
To make his monks and abbots stand like apes,
And point like antiques at his triple crown:
To beat the beads about the friars' pates,
Or clap huge horns, upon the cardinals' heads,
Or any villainy thou can'st devise,
And I'll perform it, Faustus. Hark, they come:
This day shall make thee be admired in Rome.

I suppose that since this is a conjured devil speaking about the church in such a way, the audience will realize that having such an anti-church ideology was bad. Nonetheless the fact that the idea is readily introduced to the people says something about their religious loyalty, not to mention suggests corruption in the church-- remember Mephistophilis looks like monk, but is still a devil.

Posted by DavidDenninger at October 12, 2005 12:18 AM


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