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. and also the power to assimilate this new information and assign it the appropriate value. When Faustus signs away his soul to Lucifer to gain the service of Mephastophilis, he really gains no knowledge of himself. It could be argued that Mephastophilis provides books and takes Faustus to far off lands which in a way enriches the doctor's facilities. Yet through their companionship, Faustus comes to rely entirely on Mephastophilis to impress or poke fun at the esteemed men he meets.
To be sure, Faustus gains wide...
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- Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe Elizabeth I came to the throne of England during a time of intense religious turmoil and political uncertainty. By the end of her reign, England stood as the first officially Protestant nation in Europe; however, tensions between Protestants and the repressed Catholic minority continued to plague the nation. Much of the literature produced during the time of her reign reflected sensitivities to religion and resulting political intrigues. In his play Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlowe places the title character in a power struggle similar in form to those conflicts dominating Elizabethan life.... [tags: Doctor Faustus Christopher Marlowe Essays]
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