Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Faustus (FOWS-tuhs), a learned scholar and theologian. Ambitious for boundless knowledge, he abandons the accepted professions for black magic and sells his soul for knowledge and power. Although haunted by remorse, he is unrepentant. After he gains power, his character deteriorates, and he adds cruelty to cowardice in asking tortures for an old man who tries to save his soul. He shows a final flash of nobility in sending his friends away before the expected arrival of the devils, and he delivers a poignant soliloquy while awaiting his death and damnation.
Mephistophilis (mehf-ih-STOF-ih-lihs), a tormented devil aware of the horror of being an outcast from the sight of God. He speaks frankly to Faustus before the signing of the bond; after that, he is not concerned with fair play, being sometimes tricky and sometimes savage. At the appointed time, he carries Faustus off to Hell.
Lucifer (LEW-sih-fur), the commander of the fallen spirits. Eager for human souls to join him in misery, he puts forth great efforts to keep Faustus from escaping by repentance.
Belzebub (BEHL-zee-buhb), the third evil spirit of the perverted trinity.
An Old Man
An Old Man, a godly elder...
(The entire section is 578 words.)
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