Faustus and Hamlet

1753 Words8 Pages
Both Hamlet and Faustus contain a clash of themes and traditions, all catalysed by religion. This is used to establish a theme of deception, which greatly impacts the protagonist’s procrastination. Procrastination is considered to be Hamlet’s tragic flaw, however Faustus’s flaw is considered to be his hubris. Hamlet was a play influenced by previously written plays, which have been identified to share similar plot lines. One is called Saga of Hrolf Kraki. Believed to be Scandinavian. The second is the Roman legend of Brutus. In Shakespeare’s version Hamlet is the prince of Denmark heir to the throne, whose life takes a turn for the worst after his father’s death. This version of Hamlet is the most complex version ever written, because the idea of revenge and bloody deaths was a traditional convention of tragedy plays of the era. Faustus is a well-educated man who learnt about Logic, Medicine, Law and religion, however Faustus turns to magic in order to gain knowledge about the world (ironically using the supernatural to gain knowledge on the natural), using it to substitute his faith in Christianity. Hamlet and Faustus can both be considered as a “typical” renaissance man, a man who could know everything about anything because knowledge was limited, however Hamlet is more of a renaissance play while Faustus is focused as a morality play, where actors came on stage dressed as sins. Hamlet is not a play based on religion but it utilises religious belies of the 16th century. Hamlet’s procrastination and the internal conflicts he faces, portrayed through his soliloquies, are catalysed by his religious beliefs. The play is set in Denmark a protestant nation, but this might not affect the plot because it is set at a time period befo... ... middle of paper ... ... is also visited by angels but he never actually sees God therefore he is made unaware of His powers. Not realising that Gods power is so immense that it is unnoticeable; He gave him Life, knowledge, and the senses that allow him to take pleasure from the gifts received by the devil, all those gifts are part of a mundane lifestyle and for that reason they have lost their validity. Faustus looses his faith because the devil provides him with materialistic things that he cannot achieve or have access to without external supernatural help, whereas the reasons he is alive is a gift from God. When the devil threatens to rip Faustus into pieces when he was tempted to repent, Faustus backs out perhaps because he has physically seen what the devil is capable off but the physical absence of God leaves him with a sense of doubt which inevitably leads to his impending doom.
Open Document