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Doctor Faustus

Critical Evaluation

❶Faustus, in return for his soul, receives use of supernatural knowledge or power for twenty-four years, the parallel with hours of the day indicating the brief time in comparison with eternity.

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by Christopher Marlowe
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This is true of Doctor Faustus, it uses angels and devils, and shows them as real, rather than fiction, and Marlowe uses these characters to show the struggles Faustus encounters with regards to his soul. Morality plays used allegory to dramatise the struggles between good and evil. It has been mentioned that in morality plays the characters were personifiedabstractions of vice or virtues. He symbolizes the forces of righteousness and morality.

The sevendeadly sins are also there in a grand spectacle to cheer up the despairing soul of Faustus. Hesurrenders his soul to the Devil out of his inordinate ambition to gain.

By selling his soul to the Devil he lives a blasphemous life full of vain and sensual pleasures justfor only twenty-four years. There is struggle between his overwhelming ambition and consciencewhich are externalized by good angel and evil angel.

But Faustus has already accepted the opinionof Evil Angel, who says: When the final hours approaches, Faustus find himself at the edge of eternal damnation and crieswith deep sorrow: The chief aim of morality play was didactic.

It was a dramatized guide to Christian living andChristian dying. And it hasfound the most touching expression in the closing lines of the play. The tradition of chorus is also maintained. We find the chorus introducing the story just before thebeginning of the first scene and subsequently filling in the gaps in the narrative and announcingthe end of the play with a very solemn moral. The seven Deadly sins- pride, Covetousness, Wrath, Envy, Gluttony, Sloth and Lechery of good old Moralityplays are also very much here in this play in a grand spectacle to cheer up the dejected soul of Faustus.

And the old favourite and familiar figure of the devil is also not missing. Mephistophilis, anassistant to Lucifer, appears as a servile slave of Faustus in many scenes. The comic scenes were not integralpart of those plays but were introduced to entertain. They throw light on the nature of the tragedy of Dr. The comic episodes underline the fact that Faustus has sunk to the low level of a sordidfun-loving sorcerer. Then just like the earlier Morality plays, it also suffers from looseness of construction especially in the middle part of the play.

The difference is that in morality plays, all characters areabstractions, not concrete. Thenthe element of conflict is the fountain head of the entire action in the play and the movement of theaction defines the plot of the play. Faustus heart and soul is the greatest battle field for the internalor spiritual conflict. Though Faustus has abjured God and has made his pact with the devil, yetthere is a conflict in his mind between good and evil, he feels the pricks of conscience.

This inner conflict in Faustus is the element of tragedy not of morality, on the basis of which wesome times think that it is not a morality play. In a morality play, the moral is always positive andgoodness always triumphs over evil, truth over lie and virtue over vice. Virtue is always rewarded. The present should be viewed as a preparation for eternal life; the struggle for salvation calls for faith, endurance, repentance, and constant alertness. Furthermore, the morality play is allegorical; it personifies virtues and vices.

For example, in the morality play, the main character, representing all, encounters characters such as Faith, Hope, and Charity as well as Pride, Lust, and Envy. Medieval culture had emphasized that believers should detach themselves as much as possible from things of this world. These dramatic encounters, as with those involving Faustus and Mephostophilis, and the varying comic ones, illustrate that acts of choice and their motivations have temporal and eternal consequences.

In addition, Marlowe sets the morality-play framework of Doctor Faustus within the wider context of Renaissance Christian humanism, in which intellectual and cultural currents greatly differ from the medieval period. He makes Doctor Faustus represent the new learning that highlights the importance of individual thought, expression, and worldly experience. Christian humanism seeks to extend boundaries of knowledge beyond the religious sphere, with a revival of classical learning.

It stresses all knowledge of human and physical nature, the arts, and sciences together. It values and appreciates the present life—the good things of the here and now and the almost unlimited potential of humans to be, have, or do what they would.

For example, the discovery of the New World had greatly broadened physical, intellectual, and imaginative horizons. Human beings, having wondrous capabilities and possibilities, should realize them through generalized curiosity about all things. Struggles to understand how the world works and to discover how its parts are connected makes humans more than they already are. Initially, Faustus exemplifies the new humanistic learning and its open-ended possibilities; he is a person at the height of human knowledge and is the greatest theologian in Europe, despite humble origins.

Although typifying the high aspiration of the Renaissance, he grows discontent, unhappy with the constraints of his learning and his life, unable even to approximate his personal ambitions. He wants, for example, observable proof of answers to ultimate or cosmic questions and increasingly seeks fame or worldly renown and sensual gratification, epitomized in Helen of Troy. He turns to forbidden, occult things, acting against his better knowledge. He thinks the fact of death and the dread of it, as well as the existence of evil and its depth, renders orthodox forms of knowledge inadequate.

He might make the tragic quality of life more manageable or tolerable by means of magical or demoniac practices. Faustus, in return for his soul, receives use of supernatural knowledge or power for twenty-four years, the parallel with hours of the day indicating the brief time in comparison with eternity.

His supposed supernatural ability is a mystery operating outside the laws of God and nature. He thinks it attainable by select intellectuals only. It was thought to bring worldly gratification and a sense of self-sufficiency, or independence from faith. Still, Faustus realizes, though sporadically, that attempts to remedy somehow the brevity of human life—the toil and trouble inherent in it—by means of a power other than God are sinful and false, bringing damnation.

Also, he wavers in convincing himself that the soul dies with the body, that he will accordingly escape damnation, his contract with Lucifer voided. His indecision, a delirium of self-deception, demonstrates the perversion or deformity that is the actual nature of evil, something he sees in the parade of the Seven Deadly Sins but fails to understand.

In addition, because of his pride, the root of the Seven Deadly Sins, Faustus never recognizes Mephostophilis, Lucifer, and Beelzebub as sly, worldly-wise tempters and tricksters, temptation always and everywhere being present in life; nor does he recognize the devils as unwilling servants of God, a means of divine justice.

Furthermore, Marlowe adds another source of tension and conflict to his play, the doctrine of predestination.

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Doctor Faustus (Marlowe) Essays The Tragic Fate of Marlowe's Tragic Hero Jason Bergstrom Doctor Faustus (Marlowe) In the world of theatre, there are many plays in which the central figure is one who harnesses extreme personality traits above all others. For example, Sophocles' Oedipus is a fatherly king with great ambition and strength; and.

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Doctor Faustus is probably Christopher Marlowe’s most famous work. A contemporary of William Shakespeare, and author of nondramatic poetry as well, Marlowe wrote only seven plays. If Shakespeare.

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Sep 05,  · Suggested Essay Topics. paydayloanslexington.gq does Faustus use the magical gifts that he receives? How are the uses to which he puts his powers significant? What do they suggest about his character or about the nature of unlimited power? Doctor Faustus as Apollonian Hero - Doctor Faustus as Apollonian Hero How long will a man lie i' th' earth ere he rot. - Hamlet, V, i, The Tragic History of Doctor Faustus is Marlowe's misreading of the drama of the morality tradition, the Faust legend, and, ironically, his own Tamburlaine plays.

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Doctor Faustus Essay. BACK; NEXT ; Writer’s block can be painful, but we’ll help get you over the hump and build a great outline for your paper. Organize Your Thoughts in 6 Simple Steps Narrow your focus. Build out your thesis and paragraphs. Vanquish the dreaded blank sheet of paper. Faustus is a character ideal to be the hero of a tragedy where man alone is the maker of his fate,good or bad. He falls not by the fickleness of fortune or the decree of fate, or because he has beencorrupted by Mephistophilis, the agent of Lucifer; the devil, but because of his own will.