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Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus Essay

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In Dr. Faustus, Christopher Marlowe demonstrates how temptation can drag us down into a world of darkness and consequence. He creates a tragic epic based off of a legend in Western culture. He uses allegorical characters to create a morality play and present moral lessons to his audiences, typically of Christian nature. The story of Faustus is based on an actual magician in the fifteenth century who lived in an area of northern Germany. In the play, the common scholarly forms of authority did not please Dr. Faustus. He believed he was too superior to remain in this realm of knowledge and wanted to reach much further than what he was already exposed to. Due to the strong desire to escape humanity and enter a world far beyond reality, Faustus was drawn into Lucifer’s deception. This causes him to turn away from morality and sin against God.
According to Dr. Faustus, the main domains of human knowledge- logic, medicine, law, and theology- were unsatisfactory to reach the level of superiority and control he was aiming for. Once being a man committed to his intellectual books and learning, he decides to discard his studies for the books of magic. Dr. Faustus presents a soliloquy to his audience in scene one. He discusses his rejection of prime authorities like Aristotle, Galen, and Justinian. Religion and pure knowledge are completely dismissed from his mind and are replaced with the thoughts of black magic. After being corrupted by society, Dr. Faustus is no longer the well, respected man that he used to be.
As Faustus finishes the end of his opening soliloquy, he speaks of each field of study, starting with logic and ending with theology. In his passionate want for black magic he is looking for the highest level of possible knowled...


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..., Faustus is pleading with God and says, “Let Faustus life in hell a thousand years, a hundred thousand, and at last be saved” (Marlowe 2:103-104). However, he must realize that once he is in hell he isn’t coming back. The agony shown is this soliloquy leaves us wondering if he is being given the right punishment for what he has done (Pacheco 9). Some may be left with feelings of pity and fear and in wonder of what Faustus is going to experience when he is finally taken into the hands of Lucifer.
Dr. Faustus is a morality play designed to teach its audience about the spiritual dangers of excessive learning and ambition (Pacheco 9). The audience is learning that there are many consequences when you try to achieve a higher level than what is naturally offered to you. In the midst of committing sins the only way to return to God is by wanting to be fully forgiven.




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