Characters in morality plays were personifications of good and evil, usually involved in a struggle for a mans soul. This is true of Doctor Faustus, it uses angels and devils, and shows them as real, rather than fiction, and Marlowe uses these characters to show the struggles Faustus encounters with regards to his soul.
Morality plays used allegory to dramatise the struggles between good and evil. It has been mentioned that in morality plays the characters were personifiedabstractions of vice or virtues.
He symbolizes the forces of righteousness and morality. The sevendeadly sins are also there in a grand spectacle to cheer up the despairing soul of Faustus. Hesurrenders his soul to the Devil out of his inordinate ambition to gain. By selling his soul to the Devil he lives a blasphemous life full of vain and sensual pleasures justfor only twenty-four years.
There is struggle between his overwhelming ambition and consciencewhich are externalized by good angel and evil angel. But Faustus has already accepted the opinionof Evil Angel, who says: When the final hours approaches, Faustus find himself at the edge of eternal damnation and crieswith deep sorrow: The chief aim of morality play was didactic.
It was a dramatized guide to Christian living andChristian dying. And it hasfound the most touching expression in the closing lines of the play. The tradition of chorus is also maintained. We find the chorus introducing the story just before thebeginning of the first scene and subsequently filling in the gaps in the narrative and announcingthe end of the play with a very solemn moral.
The seven Deadly sins- pride, Covetousness, Wrath, Envy, Gluttony, Sloth and Lechery of good old Moralityplays are also very much here in this play in a grand spectacle to cheer up the dejected soul of Faustus. And the old favourite and familiar figure of the devil is also not missing. Mephistophilis, anassistant to Lucifer, appears as a servile slave of Faustus in many scenes.
The comic scenes were not integralpart of those plays but were introduced to entertain. They throw light on the nature of the tragedy of Dr. The comic episodes underline the fact that Faustus has sunk to the low level of a sordidfun-loving sorcerer. Then just like the earlier Morality plays, it also suffers from looseness of construction especially in the middle part of the play.
The difference is that in morality plays, all characters areabstractions, not concrete. Thenthe element of conflict is the fountain head of the entire action in the play and the movement of theaction defines the plot of the play. Faustus heart and soul is the greatest battle field for the internalor spiritual conflict.
Though Faustus has abjured God and has made his pact with the devil, yetthere is a conflict in his mind between good and evil, he feels the pricks of conscience. This inner conflict in Faustus is the element of tragedy not of morality, on the basis of which wesome times think that it is not a morality play.
In a morality play, the moral is always positive andgoodness always triumphs over evil, truth over lie and virtue over vice. Blank verse is largely reserved for the main scenes while prose is used in the comic scenes. Modern texts divide the play into five acts; act 5 being the shortest.
As in many Elizabethan plays, there is a chorus that does not interact with the other characters but rather provides an introduction and conclusion to the play and gives an introduction to the events that have unfolded at the beginning of some acts. Along with history and language style, scholars have critiqued and analyzed the structure of Doctor Faustus and its effects on the play as a whole. He stresses the importance of the soliloquies in the play, saying: The soliloquies have parallel concepts.
In the introductory soliloquy, Faustus begins by pondering the fate of his life and what he wants his career to be. He ends his soliloquy with the solution and decision to give his soul to the devil.
Similarly in the closing soliloquy, Faustus begins pondering, and finally comes to terms with the fate he created for himself. It is not about war and courtly love, but about Faustus, who was born of lower class parents. This can be seen as a departure from the medieval tradition; Faustus holds a lower status than kings and saints, but his story is still worth telling. It gives an introduction to his wisdom and abilities, most notably in academia, in which he excels so tremendously that he is awarded a doctorate.
Faustus comments that he has reached the end of every subject he has studied. He appreciates Logic as being a tool for arguing; Medicine as being unvalued unless it allowed raising the dead and immortality; Law as being upstanding and above him; Divinity as useless because he feels that all humans commit sin, and thus to have sins punishable by death complicates the logic of Divinity.
He calls upon his servant Wagner to bring forth Valdes and Cornelius, two famous magicians. The two scholars worry about Faustus falling deep into the art of Magic and leave to inform the King. Faustus summons a devil, in the presence of Lucifer and other devils although Faustus is unaware of it. After creating a magic circle and speaking an incantation in which he revokes his baptism, Faustus sees a devil named Mephistophilis appear before him.
Faustus is unable to tolerate the hideous looks of the devil and commands it to change its appearance. Faustus, in seeing the obedience of the devil for changing form , takes pride in his skill. He tries to bind the devil to his service but is unable to because Mephistophilis already serves Lucifer, the prince of devils. Mephistophilis introduces the history of Lucifer and the other devils while indirectly telling Faustus that hell has no circumference and is more of a state of mind than a physical location.
Faustus inquiries into the nature of hell lead to Mephistophilis saying: At the end he will give his soul over to Lucifer as payment and spend the rest of time as one damned to Hell. Despite the dramatic nature of this divine intervention, Faustus disregards the inscription with the assertion that he is already damned by his actions thus far and therefore left with no place to which he could flee. Mephistophilis brings coals to break the wound open again, and thus Faustus is able to take his oath that was written in his own blood.
This sentence has not the slightest scientific value, thus giving the impression that Mephistophilis is untrustworthy. Two angels, one good and one bad, appear to Faustus: This is the largest fault of Faustus throughout the play: Lucifer brings to Faustus the personification of the seven deadly sins.
Faustus fails to see them as warnings and ignores them. From this point until the end of the play, Faustus does nothing worthwhile, having begun his pact with the attitude that he would be able to do anything. Faustus appears to scholars and warns them that he is damned and will not be long on the earth. He gives a speech about how he is damned and eventually seems to repent for his deeds. Mephistophilis comes to collect his soul, and we are told that he exits back to hell with him.
However, his friends decide to give him a final party, a religious ceremony that hints at salvation. Among the most complicated points of contention is whether the play supports or challenges the Calvinist doctrine of absolute predestination, which dominated the lectures and writings of many English scholars in the latter half of the sixteenth century. According to Calvin, predestination meant that God, acting of his own free will, elects some people to be saved and others to be damned — thus, the individual has no control over his own ultimate fate.
At the time Doctor Faustus was performed, this doctrine was on the rise in England, and under the direction of Puritan theologians at Cambridge and Oxford had come to be considered the orthodox position of the Church of England.
His rejection of God and subsequent inability to repent are taken as evidence that he never really belonged to the elect, but rather had been predestined from the very beginning for reprobation.
In his Chiefe Points of Christian Religion, Theodore Beza, the successor to John Calvin, describes the category of sinner into which Faustus would most likely have been cast: To conclude, they which are most miserable of all, those climb a degree higher, that their fall might be more grievous: All these therefore because of necessity, and yet willingly, as they which are under the slavery of sin, return to their vomit, and fall away from faith are plucked up by the roots, to be cast into the fire.
His damnation is justified and deserved because he was never truly adopted among the elect. We see therefore that it is no absurdity, that one self act be ascribed to God, to Satan, and to man: He claimed, in fact, that Calvinism created a theodical dilemma: What shall we say then?
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Doctor Faustus Essays: Dr. Faustus and the Christian Moral - Dr. Faustus and the Christian Moral In the play Doctor Faustus the main character sells his soul to the devil and later dies and is sent to hell.
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Free Essay: The Tragic Downfall of Dr. Faustus Christopher Marlowe's play, its genre an English tragedy of the sixteenth century, presents the tragic. The Tragical History Of Doctor Faustus English Literature Essay. Print Reference this. Published: 23rd March, Disclaimer: This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers. Summary of "The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus.