This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

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 spiritual level of existence and God remains the true intent of Dr. Faustus. Because of Faustus's blunder, he never reached God's mercy and love, and instead ignored it. Faustus plainly denied God's love and fell to eternal damnation.Faustus represents the typical Renaissance man, thirsty for knowledge. This thirst soon drove him into his ghastly pact with Mephistophilis. The Evil Angel best summarizes this in scene I stating, "Go forward, Faustus, in the famous art, wherein all nature's treasury is contained: Be thou on earth as Jove is in the sky, Lord and commander of these elements." The restless spirit of the Renaissance drives Faustus to seek knowledge. He has already attained what he can through more conventional means, as he even compares his knowledge to the most famous figures of the Classical period, Hippocrates and Aristotle. Faustus sees himself as having come to the end of what he can learn through his human tools; he needs something that will allow him to move outside the realm of nature, something supernatural, and therefore something evil. This is the reason why he came into contact with Mephistophilis, as he sought to use the new power that would come to him to further his own knowledge.Mephistophilis bestows Faustus with absolute power, and much like any human, Faustus becomes absolutely corrupted. He ceases to be the seeker of knowledge, but becomes a seeker of pleasure. One of the first things he desires is a wife, shown when he states, "let me have a wife, the fairest maid in Germany, for I am wanton and lascivious, and cannot live without a wife." This marks the descent of Faustus from the intellectual seeking pleasures of the mind, to the hedonist seeking more sensual pleasures. It is not for being intellectual that we start to dislike Faustus, but for the numerous foolish and irrelevant displays of his power that he undertakes, and eventually his pride.This is exemplified by the sharp contrast between Faustus' intentions at the beginning of the play, and the deeds he...

Find Another Essay On The deeper meaning behind Christoper Marlowe's play "Dr. Faustus"

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

Scene 5 Is One Of The Longest Scenes In The Play As Well As One Of The Most Important. Why Is This? What Is Its Significance? -- Christopher Marlowe's "Dr Faustus"

664 words - 3 pages , making sure that Faustus would continue with his deal by playing with his desires of power and greed.I think it is also quite important that Scene 5 follows up from the first comedy scene of the play, perhaps there is significance to the comedy set in Scene 4 and to the seriousness of Scene 5? I believe that Scene 4 is either something to entertain the audience a little before the story developed deeper into the serious plot or it is to show

Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus - An Insatiable Desire for Knowledge, Wealth And Power

1461 words - 6 pages Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus - Corrupted by an Insatiable Desire for Knowledge, Wealth And Power The Renaissance period is characterized by a grand desire for acquisition of knowledge and a passion for emerging individuality.  "Scholars and educators  . . . began to emphasize the capacities of the human mind and the achievements of human culture, in contrast to the medieval emphasis on God and contempt for the things in this world

In what way is Dr. Faustus an Anti-Catholic Play?

1310 words - 5 pages On the face of it, Dr. Faustus is not an anti-Catholic play. Yet, once you have read into it certain aspects of the play - there are many anti-Catholic notions and views that Marlowe has placed within the text. If the reader has no prior knowledge of how the world was in the Sixteenth century, then they would probably not uncover Marlowe's hidden messages. There are many issues dealt with in the play, yet, they all follow a route to anti

My opinion of Faustus so far -- Christopher Marlowe's "Dr Faustus"

671 words - 3 pages My opinion of Faustus so far Faustus is giving the appearance of an intelligent man; he comes from a background of developed schooling and has achieved much in his life, with his profession as a Doctor. At first he makes us believe that he wants to sell his soul to the devil in order to be able to help people world wide, to be able do something to make a difference in the world, something that would make him famous. He wants something to make

Shakespeare's The Tempest and Marlowe's Doctor Faustus

2446 words - 10 pages presenting themes from other works in the Elizabethan period. Such as Christopher Marlowe's “Doctor Faustus”, a play written twenty years prior to The Tempest, containing the same themes of magic and power. Also, Both Faustus and Prospero portray the idea that power, such as magic, originates from books: whether they are works on “secret studies” or “liberal arts” (Tempest 1.2.91-95). Magic and power are two forces, that can both be found in

"The Supernatural in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus"

2315 words - 9 pages his own. The individual was now facing a dilemma: how to live up to the new mindset without completely dismissing old divine concepts. This dichotomy is clearly seen in Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus, where the protagonist resorts to the supernatural in order to achieve power and knowledge but at the expense of continuous distress by his contradictory feelings of fascination and fear.This paper aims to prove that Marlowe'sDoctor Faustus reflects the

The Devil in Dr Faustus

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

The meaning behind marriage

1976 words - 8 pages The Meaning Behind Marriage Welcome to "Hell." Welcome to the "trap." Welcome to "the rest or your life." These words are commonly heard everyday by couples who are engaged to be married. Encouraging words are passed around also, but we all know that few marriages last forever. Marriages should be based on total trust and "togetherness," and without this, marriage cannot last. Marriage is about knowing the good as well as the bad, the

The Five Knowledges of Dr. Faustus

1136 words - 5 pages Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus is a play that questions both renaissance and medieval ideas. The character of Doctor Faustus is introduced as a renaissance man with degrees in various subjects and an abundance of knowledge from his high education. Unfortunately for him, this knowledge is not sufficient and his cravings for higher knowledge and power soon corrupt his mind and lead him to his ill-fated end. The opening soliloquy

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

Similar Essays

The Deeper Meaning Of Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus

1190 words - 5 pages The Deeper Meaning of Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus   I do not agree with the frequently repeated comment that Doctor Faustus is an anti-intellectualist play that preaches that curiosity is dangerous. It is all too easy to see Faustus as the scholar, seeking knowledge, and his desire for knowledge that leads to his downfall. To confine the play to something so narrow is to ignore the deeper meaning behind the play. I believe that

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 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

The Presentation Of Kurtz And Faustus In Marlowe's Play

1846 words - 7 pages would have little in common with an Elizabethan play yet "Heart of Darkness" and "Dr Faustus" are both the stories of men who achieve great things using "unsound methods", methods that ultimately condemn them. This essay will compare and contrast the presentation of Kurtz in an extract from Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" with that of Faustus in Marlowe's play. From the first scene of the play Faustus is a condemned man, signing away his