The prologue chronicles how Faustus came to be a famous doctor of divinity with his superb ability to discuss theological matters and how he has begun to practice dark magic.

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Scene 1

Faustus considers the many forms of scholarship, logic, medicine, law, and divinity, all of which he rejects in favor of magic. Faustus asks his servant, Wagner, to bring Valdes and Cornelius over to help him learn the art of magic. Faust is visited by a good angel and an evil angel. The good angel suggests that Faustus study and read the Scriptures, while the evil angel encourages Faustus to pursue his interest in the black arts, which Faustus agrees to.

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Scene 2

Two scholars arrive to see Faustus, but upon learning that Faustus is meeting with Valdes and Cornelius, they leave with trepidation, fearing that Faustus will be corrupted by the dark arts.

Scene 3

Faustus successfully summons the devil Mephastophilis, with whom he makes on offer to give up his soul to Lucifer in return for twenty-four years of Mephastophilis’s service.

Scene 4

Wagner terrifies a clown into agreeing to be his servant after conjuring two devils. Wagner promises to teach the clown how to conjure as well, but he insists on being called “Master Wagner.”

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Scenes 2–4

Scene 5

Faustus signs the deed in blood. Mephastophilis gives Faustus a book of magic spells and tells him to read it carefully, yet when Faustus continues to waver about his decision, turning his mind to God and the possibility of repentance, the devils enter and present a show of the Seven Deadly Sins to Faustus. Faustus in turn is delighted by the sight of the sins, and Lucifer agrees to take Faustus to hell later that night.

Scene 6

Robin, a stablehand, discovers one of Faustus’s conjuring books and invites his friend Rafe to a bar where he promises Rafe to conjure up any kind of wine that Rafe desires.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Scenes 5 & 6

Chorus 2

Wagner describes how Faustus has learned the secrets of astronomy by traveling through the heavens, and he explains that Faustus is on his way to Rome.

Scene 7

Faustus and Mephastophilis agree to use their powers to play tricks on the pope by disguising themselves as cardinals who, instead of taking Bruno to prison, send him back to Germany. When the pope approaches the actual cardinals about Bruno’s whereabouts, they claim that they were never given custody of Bruno, so the pope sends them to prison. While the pope and his attendants have dinner, Faustus and Mephastophilis make themselves invisible, making the churchmen suspect that a ghost is in the room, which leads Faustus to wreak havoc.

Scene 8

Robin and his friend infuriate Mephastophilis when they summon him to participate in a prank on their behalf. Mephastophilis chastises them before leaving in a fury and asserting that he will go to Turkey to join Faustus.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chorus 2 & Scenes 7 & 8

Chorus 3

Upon Faustus’s return to Germany, he has acquired notable fame and has subsequently been invited to the German emperor’s palace.

Scene 9

Faustus and Bruno meet with the emperor who tells Faustus that he would like to see Alexander the Great and his lover, but Faustus proclaims that he cannot produce their actual bodies, only their spirits. When a knight expresses his skepticism, Faustus creates a vision and conjures a pair of antlers onto the head of the knight. The knight and his friends cut off Faustus’s head, but before they can celebrate, Faustus rises with his head restored, at which point Faustus summons Mephastophilis and a group of devils to punish his attackers.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chorus 3 & Scene 9

Scene 10

Faustus plays a trick on a horse-courser, who claims that the horse Faustus sold turned into a heap of straw. The horse-courser breaks off Faustus’s leg and runs off. Faustus’s leg immediately restores and Wagner informs Faustus that the Duke has summoned him. While at a tavern, Robin and Rafe overhear two men discuss their strange encounters with Faustus.

Scene 11

Faustus pleases the Duke and Duchess with his displays of magic, and they promise to reward Faustus greatly. Earlier in the scene, Faustus confronts Robin, Dick, the carter, the horse-courser and the hostess from the tavern, and he uses his magical powers to make them silent.

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Chorus 4

Wagner announces that Faustus must be about to die because he has given Wagner all his wealth.

Scene 12

An old man prompts Faustus to repent, and Faustus becomes distraught. Mephastophilis asks Faustus to reconfirm his vow to Lucifer. Faustus asks him to punish the old man for trying to dissuade him away from Lucifer’s service.

Scene 13

On the final night of Faustus’s life, Faustus pleads to God to reduce his damnation in hell and curses his parents and himself, before devils enter and carry Faustus away.


The chorus warns the audience against the trade of one’s soul in exchange for forbidden knowledge.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chorus 4, Scenes 12 & 13, & Epilogue