Doctor Faustus is my favorite story we have read so far. The character development and themes that run throughout the story are fascinating, if not a bit frustrating. I rather enjoyed a particular theme that I brought up in class multiple times. The theme that captures my attention every time is the Doctor's constant distractions, provided by Mephastophilis. These distractions are also for the audience. .
Doctor Faustus sells his soul for some reasons, but the most prevalent are that he seeks knowledge. Faustus grows malcontented with the limits of traditional forms of knowledge, so he turns to magic. He sells his soul to Lucifer for twenty-four years of Mephastophilis's service. The first hint of distractions come in during the summoning of Mephastophilis. After he summons the devil Faustus says, "I charge thee to return and change thy shape, Thou art too ugly to attend on me; Go and return an old Franciscan friar, That holy shape becomes a devil best." (1135) Faustus commands Mephastophilis to change his form, which will distract him, and the reader from the devil that Mephastophilis is. He no longer sees the monster behind the mask thus, luring himself into a false sense of security and making it that much easier to distract him later own. The audience would also become fooled as well. We now all see a friar instead of the demon. Even though we all read the lines and know what he is talking about, we also become distracted from the danger just as Faustus has. .
After signing his soul over to Lucifer, Faustus begins to question his decision. This leads to Mephastophilis creating another, more obvious distraction. Mephastophilis summons devils to dance around distract Faustus from his thoughts. He even says that is his goal when Faustus asks, "Speak, Mephastophilis, what means this show?" Mephastophilis answers, "Nothing, Faustus, but to delight thy mind withal, and to show thee what magic can perform.