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In 16th-century Germany, the elderly Doctor Faustus--a scholar of alchemy, astrology, and philosophy--is awarded the highest academic honors by the University of Wittenberg. Insatiable in his quest for knowledge and power, he resorts to necromancy to invoke from hell the spirit of Mephistopheles. Faustus bargains with Mephistopheles for the sale of his soul to Lucifer, provided that he will be allotted 24 years to live "in all voluptuousness" and signs the pact with his own blood. Now transformed into a young man, Faustus commands Mephistopheles to accompany him on his search for beauty and wisdom. Ever obedient, Mephistopheles shows his pupil the seven deadly sins, permits him to become invisible so that he may tease and harass a convocation of the pope and his cardinals, and escorts him through time to the court of Alexander the Great. To please three of his students, Faustus conjures up Helen of Troy and is so taken with her beauty that he beseeches Mephistopheles to let him become her lover. Though the wish is granted, Faustus can do little but contemplate his loss of heaven and his pending eternal damnation. When his time expires, Faustus follows the beckoning Helen and descends into hell.