How is power abused in Doctor Faustus?

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Faustus abuses his power from the very beginning of the play. He uses his intellectual capacities and the knowledge he gained from his study of divinity to summon demons. He states in his initial speech that he is capable of healing the sick. His education in divinity suggests that he would be able to save souls as well. Instead, he chooses to sell his own soul to the devil.

Once he's done so and acquired the power of Mephistophilis to serve him, all his actions are oddly mundane: he plays tricks on the Pope, he has the demon fetch grapes for a pregnant Duchess, he conjures an image of Alexander the Great for the Emperor. When he first decides to sell his soul, he talks about how he wants to gain land and acquire political power over others, but he never pursues these aims.

However, in reading the play, one must question whether it is possible to have power granted by the devil and not abuse it. Faustus certainly makes only petty use of the power he has, but would it be any better if he...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 686 words.)

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