Intellectual aspiration and sensual desire

Although Faustus aspires to intellectual knowledge, his desire to learn is fuelled by other aspects of his personality. In particular, he tends to confuse intellectual and sensuous desire and to express the latter in terms of the former.

Here are a number of quotations in which words connected with appetite and desire are given in bold:

And glutted more with learning's golden gifts,
He surfeits upon cursed necromancy:
Nothing so sweet as magic is to him.
Chorus 1, 24-26

Sweet Analytics, ‘tis thou hast ravished me
Scene 1, 6

How am I glutted with conceit of this!
Scene 1, 78

The god thou servest is thine own appetite.
Scene 5, 11

The use of words like ‘glutted' and ‘surfeits' suggests that Faustus goes beyond the mere satisfaction of intellectual hunger, to gorge himself. He parallels the figure of Gluttony in the pageant of the Seven Deadly Sins in Scene 7.

Also, the use of the word ‘ravish'd', which can mean both ‘raped' and being overwhelmed with delight, suggests that his satisfaction in his earlier studies has both sexual and intellectual dimensions.

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