Free Essays On Doctor Faustus Down Fall

Dr. Faustus Essay: The Tragic Downfall of Dr. Faustus

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The Tragic Downfall of Dr. Faustus     


Christopher Marlowe's play, its genre an English tragedy of the sixteenth century, presents the tragic conflict of the Faust theme in the tradition of medieval morality plays. The concepts of good and evil in these plays and their psychological implications reflect a historical background in which the church dominates the ethical and moral concepts of their time. Faustus defies society's norms and embraces the devil with courageous desperation, fully aware of the inevitable consequences, but incapable of being satisfied with his human limitations.


The play is divided into five acts, each of them representing a progressive stage of Faustus' downfall,…show more content…

The conflict between Faustus, the individual, and the church, the earthly representative of "heaven", is a typical Renaissance theme. In a time when a common man like Faustus, who is born of "parents base of stock", can rise to reasonable wealth and power, the traditional institutions are at risk. Mentioning Wittenberg as the town, Faustus is raised in, hints at one of the greatest conflicts of the Renaissance - the Reformation, which shook the foundations of the Catholic Church. Faustus preferres "cursed necromancy" and "magic", which allows him to actively take control of his life and surroundings, to the medieval concept of faith and revelations from God.


In Faustus' opening monologue, he discusses the limitations of various scholarly fields, his ideas and desires to surpass their boundaries. "Is to dispute well logic's chiefest end?"(I.i,8) defines philosophy as a discipline with no higher goal than to improve the technique of dispute. Medicine would only break out of its own cycle, of healing again and again, by overcoming death and creating eternal life. The law is reduced to being "a petty case of paltry legacies"(I.i 28) and "a mercenary drudge who aims at nothing but external trash"(I.i,32,33). Theology finally, considered the highest of all disciplines throughout the middle ages, is the most disappointing to Faustus, because in his eyes it offers only "ever lasting death". Faustus

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The Tragic Downfall of Faustus in Tragical Histor of Doctor Faustus

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The Tragic Downfall of Faustus in Tragical Histor of Doctor Faustus

Christopher Marlowe’s Tragical History of Doctor Faustus is about a man who seeks power that comes from knowledge beyond the human realm. Throughout the story, the seven deadly sins are shown and have an impact on Dr. Faustus during his search for ultimate power. However, it is one of these vices of the seven deadly sins that plays a particular and key role in his demise. Pride, creates Dr. Faustus’ inability to repent, therefore ultimately resulting in his death. “His fall is caused by the same pride and ambition that caused the fall of angels in heaven, and of humanity in the Garden of Eden”
(Abrams 768). Faustus’ fall is foreshadowed during his first…show more content…

Throughout the twenty-four year period in which Faustus has power and knowledge, his pride is constant and emerges in several scenes. Evidence of this threatening pride begins as early as the prologue when the chorus compares Dr. Faustus with Icarus, their similarity being vanity. CHORUS. Excelling, all whose sweet delight disputes In heavenly matters of theology. Till, swollen with cunning, of a self conceit, His waxen wings did mount above his reach, And melting heavens conspired his overthrow. (prologue,18-22)

This excerpt suggests, that like Icarus, Dr. Faustus’ pride will lead to his overthrow. Other examples of Faustus’ arrogance are the scenes in which he comments on the things that the devil shows him. Several times in the play, Faustus remarks that hat Mephastophilis shows or tells him could easily be figured out by his own student, Wagner. FAUSTUS. Tush, these slender trifles Wagner can decide! (scene 5, 222)

To make a statement such as that is egotistical, and typical of his character. Other statements that Dr. Faustus made in which his egotism is apparent are as follows:

FAUSTUS. I charge thee to return and change thy shape, Thou art too ugly to attend on me; (scene 3, 23-24)

FAUSTUS. Come, I think hell’s a fable. ............................................... Thinkest thou that Faustus is so fond to imagine That after this life there is

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