Posted at 11.02.2018
In constructing this theme, Marlowe also attracts upon the thought of an internal religious turmoil/tension in Doctor Faustus. Contextually the play was written and performed for a Protestant Elizabethan audience, who still resented Catholics for his or her persecution during the reign of Mary the first as Cheney state governments, "the English Church promoted the view that Roman Catholicism experienced become the province of the Antichrist: Satan and the Pope were understood as virtually indistinguishable. " In Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlowe replicates this spiritual conflict by displaying Faustus to ridicule Catholics. As the Pope was an unpopular figure, Marlowe can evoke humour from audiences by presenting Faustus, whilst unseen, to use trickery against him; for example by "[snatching] the meats from [him]" (68). To help expand demonstrate the theme of religious conflict, this landscape in the B wording is reworked to create the Pope as a caricature through the addition of exaggerated reactions, such as "O, I am slain!"(105) These add to the conflict for the reason that they encourage Protestants to guide their laughter at the Catholic leader way more than in the A word. On top of that, Marlowe's repetition of the phrases, "Cursed be he that" (69) and "Maledicat Dominus. " (69) powerfully enforces the theme of turmoil and damnation. The monotonous repetition of these may seem accentuates the curse bestowed upon Faustus by the friars, who are arguably accountable for his condemnation. Another example of such religious issue in the play is when Faustus first conjures Mephistopheles expressing:
This systematic removal escalates to his rejection of the law because he'd have to provide under others. Just as, with faith he blasphemously judges that it's not beneficial to him as he would have to provide under god and also because he cynically questions that "The incentive of sin is fatality?" (29) Marlowe's choice to order the rejections in this sequence works well in emphasising Faustus' need for power in that each dismissal escalates an even from its forerunner. This builds up pressure until finally obtaining a dramatic climax when Faustus settles to study necromancy and declares that "A acoustics magician is a mighty god. " (30) In this manner Marlowe clearly demonstrates Faustus seeks ultimate vitality over everything, that "he does not pursue knowledge with regard to truth, but also for power, superhuman electric power, the energy over life and death. " As this draws upon the idea of "man's moral limits" and desire to raised himself as advised in the prologue, Marlowe allows his audience to think about Faustus' quest for power and also to decide for themselves "The proper execution of Faustus' fortunes good or bad. " (26) Also, Marlowe uses the prologue as a means of interacting knowledge and electric power as a theme in the play by sharing with us: where the play is not arranged, "Not marching in the areas of Thrasimene, " (26) and the particular play is not about "Nor sporting in the dalliance of love/. . . Nor in the pomp of happy audacious deeds, " (26) In a sense, this repetition of the word not/nor replicates Faustus' desire to have knowledge and electricity in the audience because we do want to really know what the play is approximately and in this admiration, gain the power of knowing what things to expect.
Linking this theme of knowledge with the prominent theme of tragedy in Doctor Faustus, in the prologue Marlowe constructs Faustus as an allusion to both Icarus, who was simply "a familiar Elizabethan image of self-destructive aspiration, " and Shakespeare's Hamlet. Faustus is associated with Hamlet in that they both went to Wittenberg School and their fates end in tragedy. In this particular sense Marlowe web links knowledge with tragedy for the reason that although university positively connotes knowledge, its connect to Hamlet makes this negative; this permits Marlowe to foreshadow knowledge as central to Faustus' tragedy. The added allusion to Icarus' downfall,
Till, swollen with cunning, of an home conceit,
His waxen wings do install above his reach,
And melting heavens conspired his overthrow. (27)
enhances this negative image in the audience's thoughts as it refers to the greed of knowledge and foreshadows Faustus' downfall as hellish. These allusions are effective in linking the theme of knowledge and power with tragedy in that they prefigure the idea that:
Doctor Faustus is a guy who of his own mindful willfulness [sic] brings tragedy and torment crashing down after his mind, the pitiful and fearful victim of his own ambitions and wants.
Marlowe appears to have strived towards intertwining the central topics of Doctor Faustus because they are all intimately connected; for example, he links knowledge and electric power with his employment of the theme of temptation. To be able to speak this to audiences, Marlowe, as previously mentioned, draws upon medieval traditions. He uses the morality play convention of the seven deadly sins (Pride, Covetousness, Wrath, Envy, Gluttony, Sloth and Lechery) as a way for Lucifer to tempt Faustus who, after witnessing them, exclaims: "O this feeds my soul" (62); as Cole areas, this "morality custom provided Marlowe with both a thematic precedent and devices of dramaturgy which to draw. " Marlowe also uses psychomachy as a way of conveying turmoil, as mentioned above, as well as temptation through the physical battle between good and evil. In landscape five the dialogue between the two angels:
Sweet Faustus, think of heaven, and heavenly things.
No Faustus, think of honour and of prosperity. (47)
communicates temptation through the distinction of eternal and earthly pleasures; thus Marlowe conveys the theme by using "the Angels in emphasising the issue between good and wicked [to] bring the issue to an elevated dramatic clarity. " This reinforces Faustus' tragic flaw for the reason that he is given the opportunity to choose between the two and this "the decision is his own and unconstrained".
Finally, redemption and damnation are presented powerfully throughout the play. How Marlowe constructs Mephistopheles contributes to this theme for the reason that he doesn't comply with our targets of what a devil should end up like. Rather than the traditional concept of devils denoting evil and trickery, Marlowe can claim that even devils like Mephistopheles can repent their errors. To illustrate, in picture three Mephistopheles says, "Oh Faustus, leave these frivolous needs, / which strike a terror to my fainting spirit" (41). This is used to firmly emphasise the idea of the soul being of quality value and well worth, relating back again to the play's religious roots. Despite being a hellish shape, Mephistopheles is stuck in a moral issue because in one respect he, probably, seems compelled to alert Faustus to repent, yet at the same time knows that it's his work to "obtain his spirit!"(50) In this manner, Mephistopheles acts as a parallel to Faustus as his actions are replicated in him. Added to the comedic views of the play, where Faustus' downfall is replicated in Robin and Rafe, Marlowe can convey that Doctor Faustus can be an exaggerated representation of mankind's struggle in the sense that four characters of differing backgrounds have the same "hellish fall, " (93).
Marlowe also manipulates terms to effectively present this theme. Inside the dialogue between the Good Angel, Evil Angel and Faustus, Marlowe runs on the repeated parallelism of the initial key phrase: "God will pity thee. " (54) By succeeding it with the insurance quotes, "God cannot pity thee. " (54) and "God may pity me. " (55) Marlowe foregrounds the thought of an internal fight in Faustus over if to repent.
Again conforming to morality play practices and the theme of redemption, Marlowe constructs the old man as the virtuous personality that makes an attempt to get Faustus back again on track:
The fact that the virtuous persona does not flourish in transforming Faustus is highly significant because it features that his greedy ambition is beyond the help of religious people. In this manner the old man is established as a foil to Faustus, who admits that he's cautious with harming his good heart and soul. In this sense, the theme of redemption also feeds into Doctor Faustus as a tragedy since it could be argued that whenever he shouts, "Ugly hell gape not! Come not, Lucifer!/ I'll melt away my books!" (93) this is his overdue realisation of his tragic flaw.
To conclude, throughout Doctor Faustus Christopher Marlowe can communicate the topics of conflict, religious beliefs, power and knowledge, enticement, redemption and damnation in a variety of ways. As the play was performed to a Protestant audience, contextual references and links enabled Marlowe to converse many of these themes in an entertaining style that would engage his audience with concerns of the time, such as renaissance rationale vs. religious teachings. He also pulls upon many medieval morality play traditions such as: psychomachy, virtuous heroes and the seven dangerous sins which would have made Doctor Faustus more dynamic as an onstage performance, as well as adding to the above topics over a symbolic level. Although we independently identify these topics within the play, all of them are associated by its overall theme of tragedy; this is effectively achieved through Marlowe's use of repetition, allegory, allusion and other literary techniques throughout the play.
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