Faustus: Dealing in the Dark Essay

Faustus: Dealing in the Dark Essay

Length: 660 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Ambition, intelligence, and will are all attributes that can help one to succeed in life. What of these when they are used to strive for power? These attributes of the human mind turn into arrogance, ignorance and, at the extreme, (lead to) eternal damnation - (as) seen in Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, and similarly in society today. Faustus is enticed to reach for more power than is attainable through mortal means: "Whose deepness doth entice such forward wits/ To practice more than heavenly power permits"(Epil. ll.7-8). In his ignorance, he gives up his soul.

John Faustus - the main character - is educated in many fields: medicine, law, divinity, and philosophy, yet his appetite for knowledge is still insatiable. Despite his vast knowledge he is unfulfilled because he still lacks power. As the play unfolds, Faustus is overcome by a craving for power. He eliminates God from his life: "And Faustus vows never to look to heaven,/ Never to name God, or pray to him,/ To burn his Scriptures, slay his ministers,/ And make my spirits pull his churches down" (5.270-3). In western society today, people still lust for power - it is human nature to want. In Faustus' claim that he has nothing more to learn from this world his ambition turns to arrogance, and his intelligence turns into ignorance. Faustus believes that he can attain power beyond mortal ability. Why would God help Faustus, when he refuses to listen to God, and ignores the signs God gave him? Faustus makes several choices in ignorance of the final consequence. When he is having an argument (with the Good Angel and Evil Angel), and chooses to ignore the Good Angel (1.70-73).

When the Good Angel and Evil Angel appear again (5. 15-29), Faustus chooses wealt...


... middle of paper ...


...t pater nisi...[a father cannot disinherit his son unless...]"(1-31). Ironically Faustus foreshadows his own end in the beginning.

Faustus is a prime example of mankind's ignorance, which continues to thrive in society today. Faustus has ambition for power and control, and decides that the end justifies the means. Today mankind still lusts for power and control, how are we to know that our fate is not destined to be that of the late Dr. Faustus? Western society has pushed God out; fewer people go to worship; and there is no prayer or biblical readings in schools. Mankind's quest for power and immortality has destroyed nature - pollutants, gene manipulation, and medical research. Mankind is striving to become immortal, in the sense that genetic manipulation to prevent death is becoming more widely used. We could end up like Faustus, making deals in the dark.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus - The Folly of Dr. Faustus Essay example

- Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus - The Folly of Dr. Faustus Christopher Marlowe's tragedy of Dr. Faustus envelops a realm of theological issues around one man's quest for knowledge. Feeling a university education to be inadequate for his purposes, Faustus makes the ultimate sacrifice possible to quench his thirst for otherworldly wisdom. Yet even though he gains amazing powers and a broad reputation as a man in the know, his quest is incomplete. He actually learns very little. The nature of knowledge involves both the ability to recall facts, dates, events etc....   [tags: Dr Faustus]

Better Essays
607 words (1.7 pages)

Dr. Faustus Essay: Faustus' Changing Relationship with the Audience

- Doctor Faustus' Changing Relationship with the Audience Any good drama will have interesting and multi-faceted characters; some go a step further by developing some of those characters throughout the story, using the events of the plot to change them in various ways. The audience (in the case of a play) follows the characters throughout, watching as they move away from their originally crafted personalities and become something different. Naturally, during this period, the audience's opinion of the characters will change, as will their sympathies....   [tags: Doctor Faustus Essays]

Better Essays
1531 words (4.4 pages)

Mephistophilis in Marlowe’s Faustus Essay examples

- Mephistophilis in Marlowe’s Faustus Mephistophilis is a striking central character in the play ‘Doctor Faustus’, written by Christopher Marlowe in the late sixteenth century. His role in this flamboyant yet tragic play is ultimately to aid Faustus’ downfall from renowned scholar to foolhardy prey of Lucifer. However, Mephistophilis’ motives are perceptibly ambiguous throughout ‘Doctor Faustus’; he seemingly alternates between a typically gleeful medieval devil, and a romantically suffering fallen angel....   [tags: Marlowe Faustus Essays]

Better Essays
1450 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus - Is Dr. Faustus Crazy or Sane?

- Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus - Is Dr. Faustus Crazy or Sane?     Christopher Marlowe's play, Dr. Faustus, is the story of the struggle of one man who is battling with himself over what he values most in life, and to what extent he will go to obtain what he desires. The battles over the control of one's ego and what a person values in their life are the two underlying struggles in this work. Faustus is a very educated and high member of society, but he was born in a lower class and has struggled all his life to be a wealthy person....   [tags: Doctor Faustus Essays]

Better Essays
920 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Rafe and Robin in Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus

- Rafe and Robin in Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus Rafe and Robin waltz into Christopher Marlowe’s The Tragical History of D. Faustus in scene four and vanish three scenes later. Although they may appear trivial and even intrusive, Rafe and Robin bring much-needed comic relief to this tragic play. Imitating Doctor Faustus’ actions unwittingly, this pair of ostlers illuminates Faustus’ misuse of power. They also reflect Faustus’ character by acting as his parallel self. Behind their clownish antics, Rafe and Robin highlight Faustus’ downfall and evil’s power through comic relief, parody, and parallel....   [tags: Doctor Faustus]

Better Essays
1235 words (3.5 pages)

Faustus' Study and Opening Speech

- Faustus' Study and Opening Speech The scene now shifts to Faustus’s study, and Faustus’s opening speech about the various fields of scholarship reflects the academic setting of the scene. In proceeding through the various intellectual disciplines and citing authorities for each, he is following the dictates of medieval scholarship, which held that learning was based on the authority of the wise rather than on experimentation and new ideas. This soliloquy, then, marks Faustus’s rejection of this medieval model, as he sets aside each of the old authorities and resolves to strike out on his own in his quest to become powerful through magic....   [tags: Doctor Faustus Plays English Literature Essays]

Better Essays
3582 words (10.2 pages)

Essay on Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus

- Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus is a psychological study of inner struggle. One of the most prominent themes in Doctor Faustus is the conflict between good and evil within the human soul. Marlowe’s play set the precedent for religious works concerned with morals and suffering. The play is centered on the title character, Doctor Faustus who is painted by Marlowe as an ambivalent character who is easily led down a path of agnostic tendencies. Doctor Faustus is a divided figured. His capricious character causes heightened duality and inconsistent conduct....   [tags: Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus]

Better Essays
729 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on The Religious Motivations of Christopher Marlowe's Dr Faustus

- The Religious Motivations of Christopher Marlowe's Dr Faustus Dr Faustus is a short play written by Christopher Marlowe. The play is a masterful insight into the paradoxical soul of mankind and its ironically self inflicted corruption. The play could be classified as a theological allegory. It can be assumed that the play specifically speaks to the religious motivations of the time, but can be adapted to the present as well. Marlowe portrays Faustus’ ambition as dangerous; it was the cause of his demise....   [tags: Christopher Marlowe Dr Faustus]

Better Essays
1785 words (5.1 pages)

Dr. Faustus Essay: The Role of Helen of Troy

- The Role of Helen of Troy in Doctor Faustus    To adequately describe the role that Helen plays in Doctor Faustus, it is necessary not only to look at the scene in which she features, but also all the instances that Faustus takes some form of pleasure from physical and sensual things. We need to do this because this is what Helen is symbolic of; she represents the attractive nature of evil in addition to the depths of depravity that Faustus has fallen to. It is fair to say that Faustus represents the quintessential renaissance man - it is his thirst for knowledge that drives him into his pact with Mephastophilis, indeed it is the Evil Angel that best summarises this: Go forward, Faust...   [tags: Doctor Faustus Essays]

Better Essays
1166 words (3.3 pages)

Doctor Faustus as Apollonian Hero Essay

- Doctor Faustus as Apollonian Hero How long will a man lie i' th' earth ere he rot. - Hamlet, V, i, 168 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. In the development of the character of Doctor Faustus, we find one of the supreme artistic achievements of English dramatic literature, a milestone of artistic creativity and originality. The force of Marlowe's dramatic poetry resonates with lyrical intensity in its dialectic between world and will....   [tags: Doctor Faustus]

Free Essays
4836 words (13.8 pages)