What role does Mephistopheles play in ‘Doctor Faustus”


Doctor Faustus written by Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) is a very praiseworthy tragedy. In this tragedy, Mephistopheles is a very essential character who plays an important role in the development of the drama. By the influence of Mephistopheles Faustus leaves God, religion and Christ to gain superhuman power. 

More Notes: Doctor Faustus

The role of Mephistopheles:

Mephistopheles is a devil. He is very crafty and cunning. We may consider him to be the villain of Doctor Faustus He works as the agent of Satan. Faustus directly deals with him.  He is the source of Faustus’s rise and downfall. Though Mephistopheles acts as the agent of the Devil, he does not influence the decision of Faustus in any matter. Faustus himself with his extreme pride and boundless ambition is the main cause of his own damnation. Faustus himself decides to gain superhuman power. Mephistopheles shows him the path to hell. For example, when Faustus’s blood clots during the signing of the treaty, Mephistopheles brings his ‘coal shell’ to drain the blood. besides When Faustus wants to marry the most beautiful woman in Germany, Mephistopheles very cleverly discourage him from marrying like a Christian and offers him a mistress. At the request of the Old Man, when Faustus thinks of repenting Mephistopheles threatens to kill him if he dares to repent. In the final scene, he appears with other devils to snatch away Faustus’s soul and to hell for eternal damnation. In the play, Mephistopheles is the symbolic representation of the evil in Faustus’s mind. “He symbolizes power without conscience. Power without conscience ultimately brings about the downfall and eternal damnation of Doctor Faustus. 


finally, it is water-like clear that Mephistopheles is the servant of Lucifer. He encourages Faustus to waste his life for a voluptuous life of twenty-four years. So, we should not follow any bad person for temporary pelf and power in the world.

Rashedul Islam
Rashedul Islam

Hi, This is Rashedul. Researcher and lecturer of English literature and Linguistics.

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