Doctor Faustus: tragic hero, morality and renaissance play

Doctor Faustus- tragic hero, morality and renaissance play
The surprising life and death of Doctor Faustus

Christopher Marlowe was an English writer, poet and translator of the Elizabethan period. Marlowe’s plays were immensely successful. He presumed to be atheist. Christopher was one of the respectful and compelling craftsman. And the most acclaimed tribute to Marlowe paid by Shakespeare. Shakespeare was abundantly affected by Marlowe in his work. Doctor Faustus was the first dramatised version of the Faust legend of a researcher’s managing the fallen angel. Because Dr. Faustus as the hero and a knowledgeable who chose to offer his spirit to the demon to pick up magic.

Christopher Marlowe - doctor faustus

Christopher Marlowe

Doctor Faustus in summary

Doctor Faustus summary
Doctor Faustus summary

Dr. Faustus is a talented German researcher at Wittenburg. He has learned everything that he can learn. These things have left him unsatisfied, so now he goes to magic. A Good Angle and an Evil Angel arrive, speaking to Faustus’ decision between Christian still and the way to damnation. And from two fellow researchers, Valdes and Cornelius, Faustus learns the essentials of the dark magic. 

He summons the fallen angel Mephostophilis. They substance out the details of their understanding, with Mephostophilis representing Lucifer. But Faustus will sell his spirit, in return for twenty-four years of power. And with Mephostophilis as hireling to his each impulse. He agrees to the deal, signing it with his blood. When he does as such, the words “Homo fuge,” Latin for “O man, fly,” seem marked on his arm. Faustus again has misgivings. So however Mephastophilis offers rich gifts on him and gives him a book of spells to learn.

Good and Evil Angel

The Good Angel and Evil Angel arrive once more. And the Good Angel guides him to repent, and the Evil Angel instructs him to stick to his underhanded ways. Lucifer, Belzebub and Mephostophilis return, they amuse him with an event of the Seven Deadly Sins, and after that Lucifer vows to show Faustus hell. 

Robin the Clown, his companion Dick, the Horse-courser and a Carter all meet. They all have cheated or harmed by Faustus’ magic. And they head out to the court of the Duke to settle scores with Faustus 

Faustus’ twenty-four years are running out. But Faustus goes through his days feasting and drinking with different students. Because for the enjoyment of his fellow scholars, Faustus gathers a soul to take the state of Helen of Troy. Afterward, Faustus tells his researcher companions that he damned, and that his power came at the cost of his spirit. 

As the hour draws near, Mephostophilis insults Faustus. Faustus faults Mephostophilis for his damnation. The Good and Evil Angel arrive, and the Good Angel abandons Faustus. And the entryways of Hell open. As Faustus begs God and the devil for mercy, the demons drag him away. Afterward, the Scholar companions discover Faustus’ body, torn to pieces.

Characters in Doctor Faustus

Characters in doctor faustus
Characters in doctor faustus
  1. Faustus: The protagonist
  2. Valdes And Cornelius: Two friends of Faustus, both magicians 
  3. Mephastophilis: A devil whom Faustus summons with his magical.
  4. Chorus:  A character who stands outside the story.
  5. Old Man: The old man urges Faustus to repent
  6. Good Angel: A spirit that urges Faustus to repent for his pact with Lucifer
  7. Evil Angel:  A spirit that serves as the counterpart to the good angel
  8. Lucifer: The prince of devils, the ruler of hell
  9. Wagner: Faustus’s servant. 
  10. Clown: A clown who becomes Wagner’s servant.
  11. Robin: an innkeeper
  12. Rafe: An ostler, and a friend of Robin 
  13. The Pope: The head of the Roman Catholic Church
  14. Emperor Charles V: The most powerful monarch in Europe
  15. Knight: A German nobleman at the emperor’s court
  16. Bruno:  A candidate for the papacy, supported by the emperor
  17. Duke Of Vanholt: A German nobleman whom Faustus visits.
  18. Martino And Frederick: Friends of Benvolio who reluctantly join his attempt to kill Faustus
  19. Horse-Courser: A horse-trader who buys a horse from Faustus
  20. And the Scholars: Faustus’s colleagues at the University of Wittenberg

Doctor Faustus as a tragedy

Characters in doctor faustus
Characters in doctor faustus

Dr. Faustus also represents to a Classic Elizabethan tragedy. To begin with, the tragic hero has a flaw or makes an error in judgment that prompts his own fate. So, it’s difficult to state whether Faustus had a fatal flaw in his character or whether he was bound by a broken understanding that lead to a lethally unfortunate mistake in judgment. 

Marlowe’s play additionally is a model of the Elizabethan tragedy. Dr. Faustus can framed as far as the Renaissance theory and the Elizabethan tragedy. And which goes in a new direction on certain focuses from the Aristotelian tragedy. Because Faustus makes a mistake in judgment in making an agreement with Lucifer, which achieves his death as well as the damnation of his spirit.

Dr. Faustus introduced as a researcher of all things including holiness, the most noteworthy Renaissance academic control. And at that point, Faustus appeared as disappointed with the limitations of mankind and getting a handle on for boundless learning, which is a Biblical inference to Adam and Eve who ate the Tree of Knowledge.

Doctor Faustus as a morality play

It is significant, first to comprehend the motivation behind morality play: “This kind of play basically portrayed a fight between the powers of good and evil in the human spirit.”

In Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus, Faustus becomes exhausted with life, accepting he has adapted everything. So he gathers Mephistopheles to make a deal with Lucifer to offer his spirit to the devil for twenty-four years of administration from Lucifer’s evil demon. And he tells Mephistopheles:

I charge thee wait upon me whilst I live,

To do whatever Faustus shall command… (I.i.38-39)

 The story keeps on depicting Faustus’ interests. Because he learns of the “seven dangerous sins,” or sins that seen by the Catholic Church as bad behaviors that could prompt eternal damnation, including: wrath, greed, sloth (laziness), pride, lust, envy and gluttony.

Doctor Faustus as a renaissance play

Doctor Faustus as a morality play
Doctor Faustus as a morality play

This play can’t seen as exclusively being about the Renaissance age. And maybe, Marlow presents the conflict of Renaissance values and medieval values in this play and through the person of Doctor Faustus. Because Faustus is definitely shown to be a man who captures the spirit of the Renaissance in his self-aggrandising and arrogant discourse. And eventually announcing his assurance to acknowledge no restrictions on his learning and the power he would like to increase through his magic: 

O, what a world of profit and delight,

Of power, of honour, and omnipotence,

Note the manner in which Faustus considers concentrate to be objective request as the best approach to picking up “profit and delight” and “omnipotence.” But God displaced as humankind’s long for power and desire becomes the overwhelming focus. 

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Conclusion

This is a play in that it uses Faustus’ story and his destiny to warn others for what will occur in the event that they pursue his immoral behaviors, and submit sins against God. And the play in this way presents the group of spectators with an encapsulation of the Renaissance perfect in the character of Doctor Faustus. But he chose to conflict with his destiny and chose to pursue his very own free choice by needing to be the master of his destiny. Because the choice he makes is the basis of his downfall and vanishes. So this has been depicted and represented by the drama.

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