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The Chancellor-Archbishop Character Analysis

A political realist and high-ranking Catholic official who hides his true motives under a mask of piety, the Chancellor-Archbishop tells the Emperor that evils afflict his realm. He is also the only counselor who openly challenges Mephistopheles’s proposal that the Emperor resuscitate his state by digging for hidden gold. He does this not to protect the empire, however, but to consolidate his own power by maintaining the integration of Church and State. Later, the Chancellor-Archbishop squeezes lands, taxes, and tithes from the Emperor in exchange for hushing up the fact that his victory over rebels came only because of an alliance with the devil himself.

The Chancellor-Archbishop Quotes in Faust

The Faust quotes below are all either spoken by The Chancellor-Archbishop or refer to The Chancellor-Archbishop. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Reason and Passion Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Princeton University Press edition of Faust published in 2014.
Part 2: Act 1: An Imperial Palace: The Throne Room Quotes

Nature and intellect are not words said to Christians.
Because such language is so dangerous
the atheist is executed at the stake.
Nature is sin, and Intellect the devil;
hermaphroditic Doubt their child
which they foster together.

Related Characters: The Chancellor-Archbishop (speaker), Mephistopheles, The Emperor
Page Number: 4897-4902
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage from the beginning of Part Two, Mephistopheles has joined the court of the Emperor as a kind of jester. Mephistopheles makes some bold suggestions to the Emperor about how to solve some of the various crises of his kingdom. Mephistopheles' suggestions show off his intelligence and his belief that the natural resources of the kingdom (and the gold buried somewhere beneath the kingdom) are sufficient for fighting off the effects of the economic "panic." The Chancellor-Archbishop of the kingdom, on the other hand, objects to the way glib way Mephistopheles suggests easy solutions to the Emperor's problems--he points out that Mephistopheles is relying too heavily on his own intellect and nature.

It's important to recognize that the Archbishop is using Christian language to criticize Mephistopheles, when in reality he's just frightened that Mephistopheles is weakening the Archbishop's own position in court. Mephistopheles may be an evil character, and yet the Archbishop seems equally corrupt in his willingness to manipulate religion for his own selfish reasons.


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The Chancellor-Archbishop Character Timeline in Faust

The timeline below shows where the character The Chancellor-Archbishop appears in Faust. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: Act 1: An Imperial Palace: The Throne Room
Politics Theme Icon
...precedes the solemn Christian observance of Lent in spring), the empire is in dire straits. The Chancellor announces that evils haunt the realm: fever, theft, injustice, civil turmoil, flattery, and corruption. A... (full context)
The Human Desire for Meaning and Transcendence Theme Icon
Pleasure and Love Theme Icon
Politics Theme Icon
...gold buried by desperate people in times past, like those fleeing Rome during its collapse. The Chancellor (also the Archbishop of Mainz, a city in the Holy Roman Empire) accuses Mephistopheles of... (full context)
Part 2: Act 1: An Imperial Palace: A Garden
Pleasure and Love Theme Icon
Politics Theme Icon
The Chancellor explains: Faust and Mephistopheles came up with the idea of having paper money printed on... (full context)
Part 2: Act 4: The Anti-Emperor’s Tent
Politics Theme Icon
...high titles to the princes—Arch-Marshal, Arch-Cupbearer, and the like—and he grants them, along with the Chancellor-Archbishop (who enters during these proceedings), fine estates and authority subordinate only to his own. The... (full context)
Politics Theme Icon
The Chancellor-Archbishop remains. He is gravely concerned that the Emperor conspired with Satan to achieve his magical... (full context)
Politics Theme Icon
Finally, the Chancellor-Archbishop reminds the Emperor that he granted Faust the Empire’s coasts to rule as a feudal... (full context)