Structure of Doctor Faustus


Acts I-II: Early Life -- The Contract and the Confirmation

Act I

scene i: Faustus’s rejection of philosophy, medicine, law and divinity for necromancy; Valdes and Cornelius's description of necromancy's so-called miracles

scene ii: Comic subplot involving Wagner and the two Scholars, in which Wagner employs choplogic like Faustus

scene iii: Faustus's conjuring; Faustus’s dialogue with Mephistophilis, setting the terms of the contract

scene iv: Comic subplot involving Wagner and Robin, in which Wagner tempts Robin to sell his soul

Act II

scene i: Faustus’s signing the contract; his questions about Hell; his desires for a wife; his receiving books on changing weather, raising spirits, and understanding planets and vegetation

scene ii: Faustus’s struggle of conscience after seeing the heavens; his discussion with Mephistophilis concerning astronomy; his question: who made the world? his calling on Christ; Lucifer’s arrival, confirming Faustus in evil; Lucifer’s calling up the Seven Deadly Sins

scene iii: Comic subplot involving Robin and Dick, in which the two illiterate men make their grand plans

Act III-IV: Passage of Time -- Pranks and Tricks

scene i: Faustus’s pranks on the Pope, by which Faustus arranges Bruno’s escape

scene ii: Faustus’s pranks on the Pope at banquet

scene iii: Comic subplot involving Robin and Dick’s theft of the Vintner’s goblet; Mephistophilis’s transforming them into an ape and a dog

Act IV

scene i: Gentlemen's discussing Faustus's arrival at Court

scene ii: Faustus’s raising Alexander and. his paramour for the Emperor; Faustus’s prank upon the knight Benvolio

scene iii: The gentlemen’s attack upon Faustus (false head prank); Faustus’s punishment of them

scene iv: The gentlemen’s complaint and retirement to the country

scene v: Faustus’s prank on the Horse-courser

scene vi: Comic subplot involving Robin, Dick, Horse-courser, and Carter, in which they all narrate the pranks which Faustus has pulled on them

scene vii: Faustus’s producing grapes for the Duchess of Anhalt; Faustus’s confrontation with Robin, Dick, Carter, and Horse-courser

Act V: Later Life -- Helen, Reconfirmation, and Hell
Act V

scene i: Faustus’s raising Helen for Scholars; Old Man’s sermon on repentance and grace; Mephistophilis’s raising Helen for Faustus; the devil’s tormenting the Old man at Faustus’s request

scene ii: Faustus’s confession to the Scholars; his vision of Hell; his end

scene iii: The Scholars’ discovery and burial of Faustus