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The ending and fate of Doctor Faustus

Summary:

In the ending of Doctor Faustus, Faustus meets a tragic fate. After years of enjoying the benefits of his pact with Mephistopheles, he is ultimately unable to repent and is dragged to hell by demons as his time runs out. His demise serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of overreaching ambition and the consequences of forsaking one's soul.

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What is the ending of Doctor Faustus?

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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What is the fate of Doctor Faustus?

In the play Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, the title character comes to a horrific end, and it is all due to his very own fault. Doctor Faustus is a scholar, but he isn't satisfied with the level of his knowledge. He wants more: more knowledge, more power, more control over his destiny. Therefore, he starts meddling in the dark magical arts, and he ends up summoning the demon Mephistophilis.

This demon provides Faustus with the very opportunity he has been seeking. Through this connection, Faustus thinks he can finally find all the knowledge he wants through the power of this demon. But there is a catch, of course. Mephistophilis's boss, Lucifer, demands Faustus's soul in return for twenty-four years of service by Mephistophilis. Faustus doesn't value his soul one bit (even though his conscience pokes him), and he makes the deal.

For a long time, nearly the whole twenty-four years in fact, Faustus revels in his newfound knowledge and power. His demon servant tells him nearly everything he wants to know and gives him much power. He plays tricks on his fellow academics, becomes famous throughout Europe, and even disrupts a banquet hosted by the pope. He attracts many people by his abilities and enjoys himself thoroughly. He even gets to see imitations of the famous Helen of Troy.

But all too soon, time runs out for Doctor Faustus. The end of the twenty-four years approaches, and Faustus begins to regret what he has done. He is terrified by the fate he now faces, but there is nothing he can do about it. He has made his choice, and it is now too late to turn back. At midnight, the devils arrive and carry Faustus's lost soul off to hell.

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