Please explain and analyze this quotation from Doctor Faustus?Faustus I charge thee wait upon me whilst I live To do whatever Faustus shall command: Be it to make the moon drop from her sphere, Or...

Please explain and analyze this quotation from Doctor Faustus?

Faustus

I charge thee wait upon me whilst I live

To do whatever Faustus shall command:

Be it to make the moon drop from her sphere,

Or the ocean to overwhelm the world.

Faustus

Did not he charge thee to appear to me?

Mephastophilis

No, I came now hither of mine own record.

Please explain in simple terms.

Asked on by rozh

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

First let's explain the quote in "plain" English

Faustus :I charge thee wait upon me whilst I live; To do whatever Faustus shall command:

This is the moment in Scene III when Faustus meets Mephistophilis and tells him, verbatim, "I command you that you serve me throughout the rest of my life and you will do whatever I want you to do".

Be it to make the moon drop from her sphere,Or the ocean to overwhelm the world.

Basically Faustus tells Mephistophilis that he MEANS IT when he says "whatever he wants", even if it is something out of this world, or considered "impossible" such as commanding the heavenly bodies to move, and such.

Faustus, at this point, has a delirious ambition to become powerful beyond this world's limitations. He even gets so arrogant that he questions the reason why Mephistophilis appears to him. Faustus wants to hear Mephistophilis say that he (Mephisto) is the devil himself and he is willing to serve Faustus, who is a mere mortal. However, Faustus learns more about this fact:

Faustus: Did not he charge thee to appear to me?

Mephistophilis: No, I came now hither of mine own record.

Faustus thinks that he is so powerful that he awakens the interest of the devil, himself. However, Mephistophilis explains that he is just another servant of Lucifer, and that each time he hears someone rejecting God's word or taking His name in vain, he comes "in hopes of getting the soul" of the person cursing.

This is interesting, for it shows that Faustus does not have as much control of his situation. He did not have to summon anybody: the Lucifer servant came on his own accord. Hence, Faustus may fall victim to his weak ego, which is what happens in the very end.                   

Sources:

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