What is the ending of Doctor Faustus?

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With a terrifying sense of inevitability Doctor Faustus meets with a pretty sticky end. It's act 5, scene 3, and the First Scholar can hear blood-curdling screams coming from Faustus's room. As the Second Scholar confirms, the devils have arrived; they've come to drag Faustus down to Hell.

It's a pretty gruesome scene, to put it mildly. Faustus has literally been torn limb from limb. And the devils weren't quick about their bloody handiwork, either; they dragged out Faustus's exquisite torture over the course of one whole hour. If there's one consolation in all this, it's that Faustus will still be given a good Christian burial, despite having turned his back on God and making a pact with the Devil.

In the play's Epilogue, the Chorus reflects on the tragedy of Doctor Faustus's demise. The branch that might have grown straight and achieved great heights—i.e., Faustus—has now been cut. This sad lament highlights the tragic waste of what could so easily have been a worthwhile life.

For good measure, the Chorus also goes on to warn the audience of the dangers of messing around with the forces of darkness, which is strictly prohibited by God—although having just witnessed Faustus's gruesome death, it's unlikely that the audience would need much of a warning anyway.

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