Doctor Faustus Essays: Critical Analysis of Faustus

Doctor Faustus Essays: Critical Analysis of Faustus

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Critical Analysis of Doctor Faustus      

 

In this essay the critical approach on (Mythological and Archetypal Approach) played a big role in forming my opinion of the signet classic book, "Doctor Faustus"  It is to my knowledge that mythology does not meet our current standards of factual reality, but unlike the 16th century which this play was presented, men like Faustus saw myth as fundamental and a dramatic representation of the deepest instinctual life in the universe.

    This play is about how Faustus puts on a performance for the Emperor and the Duke of Vanholt.  The main thesis or climax of this play is when Faustus two friends Valdes and Cornelius who are magicians, teaches him the ways of magic.  Faustus uses this magic to summon up a devil named Mephistophilis.  Faustus signs over his soul to Lucifer (Satan), in return to keep Mephistophilis for 24 years.  We also see what happens when magic power gets in the wrong hands when Mephistophilis punishes Robin, who is a clown and his friend Ralph for trying to make magic with a book they have stolen from Faustus.  In the beginning angels visit Faustus, and each time he wonders whether or not to repent, but the devil appears and warns him not too by tempting him of magic to posses.  In the end of the play the two good and evil angels have been replaced by an old man, who urges Faustus to repent?  But it is to late for and the play ends with the devil carrying him off the hell.

     The main reason why I picked this critical approach is because this play has established a significant relationship to archetypes and its patterns.  Such things as archetype images played an important role in this play.  For example on (page 32, line 8) it speaks of a circle, referring to the protection of Jehovah.  As an archetype image it refers to wholeness and unity.  Also between (lines 16-24), Mephistophilis wants to put away with the trinity of Jehovah, by saying, "Hail spirits of fire, air, water" and the word welkin on (page 31 line 4).  This implies to the first and second images of archetype images.  Other major keys that exist in the critical analysis of this play are the number seven, which is said to be the most potent of all symbolic numbers.  In the play seven is related to the seven deadly sins: pride, covetness, envy, wrath, gluttony, sloth, and lechery.

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     The most important critical analysis images of archetypes is the Wise Old Man, which is said to carry intuitions on one hand and moral qualities such as goodwill and a readiness to help on the other.  In the play the old man showed these exact qualities.  This old man appears when the main character is in a hopeless and desperate situation from which only faith and luck can help him.  Unlike every other good ending, it was too late for the old man to help Faustus, and he was carried off to hell.  The last of the archetypes was the trickster who was portrayed as the Satan or Lucifer in this play.  He was the opposite of the wise old man and his primarily a divine being.

     In closing, mythology plays a universal appeal in so many cultures.  It is important to use in so many ways because it gives us morals and direction in life.  Different cultures use myths to put order to their society and to have something to dwell on in times of good and bad.  Unlike present day we look unto the Bible for the correct way of living.

 

 
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