What specifically motivates Faustus to make his satanic compact?

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Faustus makes his bargain with the devil because he is bored and dissatisfied with the extent of his knowledge. He has studied law, medicine, philosophy, and divinity. He has excelled in all and become famous—but still, he is not contented. He wants to know more. So he seeks out diabolical powers to gain knowledge of magic and a greater understanding of the world and the cosmos. Of course, he is still unsatisfied, as he shows in his conversation about astronomy with Mephistophilis; the devil can only tell him things that even students know. The tragedy of Faustus's bargain is that he never gets the satisfaction and excitement that he wanted. Even with a devil at his beck and call, he resorts to playing tricks on people and behaving in a thoroughly juvenile fashion, because he knows that there is nothing he can do with the power he has that will truly compensate for the loss of his soul. He sought knowledge and stimulation, but found only the mundane and disappointing.

Doctor Faustus

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