“Doctor Faustus” as an Embodiment of the Spirit of the Renaissance
Dr. Faust portrays the spirit of the Renaissance in various ways. First, the author of Dr. Faustus Christopher Marlowe was himself a hallmark of the Renaissance period. He was inundated with the essence of the Renaissance through his immense thirst for vast knowledge, his desire for sensual enjoyment of natural life, his extreme determination and his ultimate desire for supremacy or power and wealth, and finally with his soul . rebel. against the elders: old-fashioned living, your conventional faith, and conservative moral principles and values. We can wholeheartedly call Marlowe the main advocate of the Renaissance, as he leaned far more towards the Italian Renaissance than anyone else.
Therefore, it was only fitting that his extraordinary works exhibit the central characteristics of the Renaissance. And then, unlike Shakespeare, Marlowe couldn’t help but predict his temper in the large and massive figures in his plays, especially in his four masterpieces: Tamerlan, Doctor Faust, The Maltese Jew and Edward II. . Thus, we find out that not only Doctor Faust, but all the giant heroes of Marlowe’s masterpieces reveal the most important characteristics of the Renaissance and the Machiavellian code of wide autonomy to come to an end by all average, fair or dirty. With their essence of individualism, each is governed by an overwhelming desire to achieve an ideal or to achieve the realization of an uncontrolled motivation.
They all seem motivated by the Machiavellian principles of human behavior and human desires, and now mutual ethical agreements and recognized spiritual agreements can in no way prevent them from striving to achieve their goal. Seu Tamerlan, the cruelest tyrant, with his obsession for unlimited authority, rebels against all established orders both on earth and in heaven. In his Maltese Jew, the cruel Barabbas ruled by an irrational desire for gold throws out all collective ethical regulations and does not shy away from forcing the coldest misconduct to reach its monstrous end. And his Edward II and Mortimer pay the most terrible price, the first for their thirst for his vile sycophants and the second for their extreme desire to rule.
Doctor Faustus: Soul of Revolt Of all the heroes of Marlowe, Doctor Faustus seems to be the absolute embodiment of the brilliance and essence of the Renaissance, as his charisma reveals a great desire for unlimited consciousness, for domination and wealth, a passion for the physical pleasure of life, a rebellious soul of skepticism and also the essence of insurrection contrary to the so-called holy doctrines of conservatives and Christian mysticism.
The text I have selected is one that raises numerous themes and issues which are reiterated and developed throughout the play. Many of these themes are typical of the Renaissance period. In particular we see the notion of personal despair due to Faustus being denied salvation. This idea of personal despair, and the emphasis that Marlowe places on it, is what contributes to this play’s pronounced reformation feel, hence why I chose this text, as it is the beginnings of...
The Faustian Bargain has not changed since the Early Modern period. The Faust character has not either. As time goes on and humans progress in society. We have adapted and accommodated ourselves, for an “easier life”. We have gained a deeper understanding of information that Doctor Faustus in the text would be intrigued in, but even so, with the knowledge and technology, we have gained since the Early Modern Period humans are curious, greedy, and hungry for power. With the...
In Christopher Marlowe’s Christian play Doctor Faustus, sin is a very notable feature in regards to the theme of the play. This play revolves around the topic of temptation and repenting following one’s decision to sin. The main character Faustus, is tempted by Lucifer to give him his soul in return for ultimate power and knowledge. Throughout the play, Faustus is constantly struggling with asking for forgiveness or continuing to move forward with his sins. There are multiple times in...
The Elizabethan and Victorian eras marked a plethora of changes throughout England, both stabilizing the previously turbulent political field, and initiating periods of prosperity. That shift allowed for new artistic endeavors and cultural refinement and posed questions regarding the established values and conventions in society. Particularly, the Elizabethan era, or, as it has been dubbed, “England’s Golden Age”, and the apogee of England’s Renaissance, provided a catalyst for English Theater, and the royal patronage of the arts allowed for the...
In both Doctor Faustus, first performed in 1562, and The Picture of Dorian Gray, published in 1890, there is an exploration of demonic powers, and the influence they have over the respective protagonists. Both texts utilise the religious chaos regarding Christianity in the time period of its conception and the sensuality of temptation to depict the extent of the influence the demonic figures have over both Dorian and Faustus. The 1500s-1600s saw the emergence of the Renaissance in England, a...
Reflecting the Renaissance spirit of inquiry, Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe (1604) is the tale of an ambitious man who’s desire and thirst for knowledge goes beyond limitations. Faustus sells his soul to Lucifer to acquire all the power and knowledge that he desires to realise too late of the hellish price he must pay. The sixteenth century was a period of questioning and searching for truth. Individuals during this time strove to act in their own best interest and...
Faustian tropes are intertwined within the bosom of Christopher Marlowe and Oscar Wilde’s contemporary societies, encapsulating the literary intellects to portray the parallels that lay within. Marlowe’s Renaissance play Doctor Faustus (1604), and Wilde’s Victorian novel The Picture of Dorian Gray are two pieces of literature that integrate very protuberant features of their societies- creating two texts that share various similarities, particularly in accordance with the plot; relationships amongst the main characters and the two title characters themselves. There is...
Abhorrent judgments abound these days. Violence. Hate. War. Political insanity over authority. It all seems so negative. Events and such individuals become more disturbing than the last, and this initiates the loss of hope. Nevertheless, what if things are not as bad as they seem? What if the view about what is occurring in the world is warped by the very means by which one learns about it? Therefore, in the novel ‘Paradise Lost,’ written by John Milton and in...
In Christopher Marlowe’s play, Doctor Faustus, the protagonist, Dr. John Faustus, struggles between following God or Lucifer. Faustus is a divided soul, pulled between competing interests and needs. There are many examples of dichotomy that are established in Marlowe’s play that back up the notion of why Faustus was being torn between two different worlds. Some of these binaries include the author and Dr. Faustus, good and evil, religion versus magic, and between Medieval and Renaissance thinking. Faustus started out...
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