Dr. Faustus Essay

1862 words - 7 pages

Dr. Faustus

Dramatic Quality of the Central Scenes in ‘Dr Faustus’ by Christopher Marlowe 'Dr Faustus' is considered by many to be a tragic play, in fact, Marlowe himself called it, ‘The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Dr. Faustus’. However, there are several scenes in the middle of the play (scenes 6 to 11) which can be considered to be comical scenes, which do not fit into the stereotype of tragedies of the time. They can be considered to be interesting scenes in their own right, but their overall purpose and their closely linked end dramatic quality, is examinable.

The central scenes are in place chiefly to interject humour into what would otherwise be a grave and serious play. They also work to parody the main plot and at the same time aid foreshadow Faustus’ downfall later on in the play. Both of these effects add to and improve the dramatic quality of 'Dr Faustus'. They add another dimension to the play and prevent it from being purely a grim and flat tragedy; without these central scenes, the play may not be as interesting and may be lacking in dramatic quality. The central scenes add another level to Faustus’ character, showing the audience how his behaviour and attitude to life have changed giving us a break from the overall tragedy of the play.

They also contribute to plot development in that they help further the play’s themes.
For example, the scenes with Robin and Rafe (scenes 6 and 8) parallel the main plot.
Although the pace here is faster, one must remember that the central scenes are relatively short, so the meaning and purpose of including these scenes must be more obvious. The comedy in these scenes adds to the tragedy of Faustus, showing comedy against Faustus as he is given great powers but uses them to perform petty tricks, therefore ridiculing his character and making the themes more complex.

Several new characters are introduced in the central scenes. Their purpose is primarily to develop the plot and to shape the audience’s opinion of Faustus by showing how he interacts with those characters and by drawing parallels to him. The two most normal characters in the comic scenes could be said to be Robin and Rafe, featured in scenes 6 and 8. They can be seen to be used by Marlowe in scene 6 to show how easily the common man can become distracted by magic and could be a subtle warning to the audience of Faustus’ demise. Their actions in scene 8 can be seen to parody the main plot, especially when Robin assumes that magic can be used easily to his advantage by tricking the Vintner. He also wants to impress Rafe, which reflects Faustus’ character because he was looking for power and recognition in the beginning of the play. Although Robin is not doing this at all to the same extent, he can be seen to serve as a parallel to Faustus in this way. Robin’s magic backfires comically, when he tries to get rid of the Vintner. This is another parody to the main plot to show how in reality, Faustus’ deal is...

Find Another Essay On Dr. Faustus

Knowledge and Power: Dr. Faustus Essay

1050 words - 4 pages A brilliant scholar, Dr. Faustus’ thirst for more knowledge and power ultimately drive him to an eternity of damnation. No longer satisfied with worldly knowledge, Faustus turns to Necromancy, or black magic, which offers him new otherworldly knowledge, and thus, power. His goes on to live a life that many only dream of, but his tragic end was one of nightmares. Although some may argue that for all his faults, he was not a truly evil man

Dr. Faustus Consumed by Pride in Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus

1419 words - 6 pages Dr. Faustus Consumed by Pride in Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus In this theoretic play, Christopher Marlowe presents a man that is well educated, but is in search of more than what education can give to him. Dr. Faustus is a man possessed by himself, blown up in pride, and blinded by his own intellect. This blind, self- centered man challenges the ideals of death and the Devil. The first scene opens with Dr. Faustus in his study, he

"Mr. Big Stuff: Hubris In Dr. Faustus"

2355 words - 9 pages Mr. Big Stuff: Hubris in Marlowe's Dr. Faustus Christopher Marlowe, born in 1564, was one of the Renaissance's most celebrated writers writing the epic poem "Hero and Leander" and the poem "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love". However, his didactic play The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus is among one of the most influential plays because of its religious undertone and moral institutes. The main character's. Faustus', tragic flaw is his

The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus

1398 words - 6 pages “No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from.” A rather straight forward quote from George Eliot, yet, one in which with its simplicity describes Christopher Marlowe’s The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus well. It’s not the evil which dooms us but our own lack of desire, and will to stop. That which is evil is our doom us. Written in a time when anything not of the church was

Dr. Faustus Essay: Satirizing Renaissance Humanism

782 words - 3 pages Satirizing Renaissance Humanism In Dr. Faustus     In Dr. Faustus, Christopher Marlowe has vividly drawn up the character of an intelligent, learned man tragically seduced by the lure of power greater than he was mortally meant to have. The character of Dr. Faustus is, in conception, an ideal of humanism, but Marlowe has taken him and shown him to be damned nonetheless, thus satirizing the ideals of Renaissance Humanism.   M. H

Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus and Modern Psychology

953 words - 4 pages Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus and Modern Psychology Due to the fact that I recently finished reading Spirit and Will by Gerald May, I find my perception of Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus filtered through that book. May, a psychiatrist from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington, D.C., makes a rather courageous attack on a sacred cow, modern psychology. He asserts that "Psychology is fundamentally objective

Desire and Downfall The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus

1001 words - 4 pages Desire and Downfall (Topic # 7)The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe is a strange yet fascinating work. Originally I found the work difficult to understand mainly because I did not think I could relate to Dr. Faustus. However, as the play progressed I found that Dr. Faustus and his problems are quite similar to anyone else’s life conflicts. Most everyone can relate to Faustus’ desire for the unattainable, in this

The Religious Motivations of Christopher Marlowe's Dr Faustus

1785 words - 7 pages 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

"Dr. Faustus:" An Analysis of Mephastophilis

2023 words - 8 pages Mephastophilis is the devil that Faustus summons through his initial magical experiments. He is the same devil that was cast from paradise with his master Lucifer. In `Dr Faustus,' Marlowe creates Mephastophilis' personality from his own imagination, which causes Mephastophilis to be almost human at times. Mephastophilis is bound to Faustus because Faustus sold his soul to Lucifer for twenty-four years of Mephastophilis' service. During this

The deeper meaning behind Christoper Marlowe's play "Dr. Faustus"

847 words - 3 pages The true meaning of Dr. Faustus is not an anti-intellectual play that preaches, "curiosity killed the cat". It remains almost too easy to see Faustus as the scholar, seeking knowledge, and his desire for knowledge that led to his downfall. To confine the message to something so narrow is to ignore the deeper meaning behind the play that is more important than the exterior idea of curiosity being wrong. The notion that Faustus lost sight of the

Marlowe’s Presentation of the Gothic Protagonist Dr. Faustus

525 words - 2 pages In Christopher Marlowe’s ‘Dr. Faustus’, Faustus is presented as the Gothic protagonist. Typical features of a Gothic protagonist include things such as: being ambitious, have an inability to make decision and they are typically easily persuaded amongst others. Marlow does present Faustus as someone with these features; however Faustus does not have all of the features of the ideal gothic protagonist. Faustus is an ambitious character. In the

Similar Essays

Dr. Faustus Essay

844 words - 3 pages Dr. Faustus In Christopher Marlowe’s play, Doctor Faustus, the idea of repentance is a reoccurring theme with the title character. Faustus is often urged by others to repent his decision to sell his soul to the devil, but in the end he suffers eternal damnation. Faustus was resigned to this fate because he lacked the belief in his soul of God. He was once a moral and devout man, but greed led him to sin. Although Faustus has signed a

Dr Faustus Ambition Essay

1262 words - 5 pages Dr Faustus - Ambition “Marlowe’s biographers often portray him as a dangerously over–ambitious individual. Explore ways this aspect of Marlowe’s personality is reflected in ‘Dr. Faustus.’ ” Christopher Marlowe lived during the Renaissance period in 16th century England. Although this was a time of change, the Elizabethans still had fixed moral values. ‘The Chain of Being,’ a concept inherited from the Middle Ages, can be described as a

Christopher Marlowe's Play, "Dr. Faustus". Essay

625 words - 3 pages Christopher Marlowe's play, Dr. Faustus, was a play full of battles between two strong, prevalent forces in life. The first of these battles this paper will discuss is the battle between the belief systems of two major time periods in history, the medieval time period, and the Renaissance. The second battle is a more common fight that most people go through in their lives, the battle between good and evil. The latter of these conflicts is of

The Devil In Dr Faustus Essay

723 words - 3 pages The Devil in Dr Faustus   In Scene 3 Mephastophilis appears to Faustus in his real form. Faustus reacts with disgust and asks the devil to come back in a shape more pleasant to the eye - as a Fransiscan friar. Faustus’s reaction is typically renaissance - he objects to ugliness and craves aestheticism. It also shows his sense of humour (or rather sense of irony) - as he says “That holy shape becomes a devil best” (l 26). What is striking is