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October 11, 2005

What happened?

Marlowe, Faustus (Finish) -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

Faustus: I hope his Holiness will bid us welcome.

What happened to not speaking of anything dealing with God? Wouldn't the Pope be a symbol related to God? When Faustus spoke Christ's name Lucifer, Belzebub, and Mephostophilis came rushing to shut him up. Now even Mephostophilis speaks of the Pope. Why would a demon be able to stand in the Vatican it doesn't make sense, wouldn't he despise the Holy City?

Posted by SeanRunt at October 11, 2005 11:10 AM


When Marlowe wrote this play, at this point in British history, protestants were in control.

How does that affect your understanding of the representation of the pope in this play?

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 11, 2005 11:28 AM

Oh now I understand the Pope wouldn't have been the leader of the church, the King of England would have been. I completely forgot about that. So Faustus and Mephostophilis wouldn't have viewed the Pope as having any power.

Posted by: Sean Runt at October 11, 2005 12:27 PM

That's right! This is one example of how historical context can really assist our understanding of the significance of a literary work.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 11, 2005 1:02 PM

I understand that after Henry VIII's break away from the church they was not respect for the pope. But what I don't understand is how would we know that it Marlowe himself that disliked the pope. It could be just that he wanted the character of Faustus to dislike the pope. What do you think?

Posted by: KevinHinton at October 11, 2005 6:29 PM

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