The Devil to Pay: A Stage Play

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In this play, Dorothy L. Sayers reworked the legend of Faustus as a serious ‘comedy, ‘ presenting Faustus as one who chooses wicked means as an end to an admirable goal: the relief of suffering (while becoming entirely focused on his own supposed satisfactions). In the last scene, in the Court of Heaven, Azrael, angel of the souls of the dead, claims Faustus’ soul, opposing Mephistopheles’ claim. With the knowledge of good and evil returned to him, Faustus finally accepts that his evil must be cleansed, with Mephistopheles serving as the agent of that purgation. Faustus accepts his need for cleansing, trusting that the divine Judge/Court President, will indeed in mercy meet him at the very gates of hell, finally redeemed. “”I am delighted at the long overdue republication of Dorothy L. Sayers’ religious plays, which will help make these valuable texts available to the current generation. Let us hope that some theatre enthusiasts will be encouraged to re-stage them “” Suzanne Bray, Lille Catholic University “”As Ann Loades makes clear in her extremely informative introduction, Dorothy L. Sayers’ plays are arguably the place where she did her best theological work. The republication of these plays makes it possible again for this remarkable writer to have the readers she so richly deserves.”” Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957), born and educated in Oxford, was an accomplished novelist, poet, playwright, scholar, and Christian apologist. Along with her religious drama, her numerous writings include translations of Dante, detective stories, theological works, and studies of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.



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