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Faustus - The Life and Times of a Renaissance Magician

Secrets of a Real Magician

Do you have to sell your soul to the Devil to master the magic arts? Find out in this true-life account of the secrets of a real Renaissance magician. Set in a time of witchcraft trials and magical adventure, "a work of meticulous scholarship" and "a gripping page-turner".

Christopher Marlowe, The Tragicall History of Doctor Faustus

The Elizabethan dramatist Christopher Marlowe derived the inspiration for one of his greatest plays from The Damnable Life of Doctor Faustus, published 1592. See Faustus: The Life and Times of a Renaissance Magician.

Top 10 Quotes from Doctor Faustus

  1. Sin
    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.

    Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 41-46: Faustus to himself

  2. Temptation
    Oh 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.

    Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 69-71: Good angel to Faustus

  3. Power
    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?

    Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 77-80: Faustus to himself

  4. Hell
    Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it.
    Think'st thou that I saw the face of God
    And tasted the eternal joys of heaven,
    Am not tormented with ten thousand hells
    In being deprived of everlasting bliss?

    Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 76-80: Mephostophilis to Faustus

  5. Repentance
    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.

    Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 1-8: Faustus to himself

  6. Repentance
    Oh gentle Faustus, leave this damned art,
    This magic, that will charm they 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.

    Act 5, Scene 1, Lines 35-39: Old man to Faustus

  7. Repentance
    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?

    Act 5, Scene 1, Lines 68-71: Faustus to himself

  8. Beauty
    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.

    Act 5, Scene 2, Lines 99-101: Faustus to Helen of Troy

  9. The End
    No, Faustus, curse thyself, curse Lucifer,
    That hath deprived thee of the joys of heaven.
    The clock strikes twelve.
    Oh, it strikes, it strikes! Now body turn to air,
    Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell.
    Oh soul, be changed 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!

    Act 5, Scene 2, Lines 191-199: Faustus to himself

  10. The Moral
    Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,
    And burned is Apollo's laurel bough,
    That sometime grew within this learned 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.

    Act 5, Scene 3, Lines 20-28: Chorus to audience

Explore Faustus

Discover the secrets of Faustus

Faustus: The Life and Times of a Renaissance Magician


Faustus, Faust, magic, black magic, alchemy, astrology, necromancy, witchcraft, grimoires, Germany, Renaissance, sixteenth century, Goethe, Marlowe, biography, history, folklore, legend, Devil, Mephistopheles, pact, damnation, soul


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