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What is the deal between Pope Adrian and Pope Bruno in Doctor Faustus?

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jmarkman37 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted December 28, 2011 at 6:40 AM via web

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What is the deal between Pope Adrian and Pope Bruno in Doctor Faustus?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 29, 2011 at 4:09 AM (Answer #1)

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This section occurs in Act III of this famous play, and what is more interesting is the way that Faust uses all his power and incredible magic to engage in practical jokes that show how the reality stands in contrast to his high aims of using his knowledge and power constructively and for his ambition. However, let us remember that Pope Adrian has Pope Bruno brought before him and Pope Adrian is wanting to punish Bruno for heresy, as Bruno is the favoured candidate for Pope of Charles V, and therefore Adrian's chief opponent. Faustus puts the cardinals to sleep and then impersonates them, telling Adrian that they have made a resolution to punish Bruno incredibly harshly, at which point Adrian, delighted, orders a banquet to be served up.

Of course, this represents another parody or lampooning of the Catholic church by Marlow. The way in which the pope is shown to be greedy and ambitious and more focused on worldly power than spiritual concerns would have been an image that his contemporaries would have been able to identify with easily. The practical joking of Faustus in his invisible form as he boxes Adrian's ears and disrupts the banquet would have been greatly enjoyed by the English audience where the Catholic church was not widely respected.

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