What did Doctor Faustus mean by this quote?   "mere old wives' tales"  

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The first quote, "mere old wives' tales," is used to show that Faustus does not believe in the afterlife. An "old wives' tale" basically refers to a silly superstition. Faustus is telling Mephistopheles that he is not worried about selling his soul to Lucifer because he does not believe that there is an afterlife where he will be punished:

Think'st thou that Faustus is so fond to imagine
That, after this life, there is any pain?
Tush; these are trifles and mere old wives' tales.

 

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