English LiteratureDramaShort Notes

Describe the beliefs of Christianity in Doctor Faustus


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Every line of Doctor Faustus is infused with fundamental Christian doctrines, and the doctrine of damnation pervades it. The devil and hell are omnipresent and horrific realities in this play. Faustus strikes a bargain with the devil and, in exchange for worldly knowledge, earthly wealth, and earthly happiness descends into terrible and eternal perdition.

The hero is portrayed as a pitiful being who sacrifices higher values for lower ones. Thus, the drama is a morality play in which heaven and hell fight for the soul of a Renaissance “everyman” who loses due to psychological and moral shortcomings. It would be a mistake to regard Faustus as a heroic survivor of a tyrannical Deity.

Read more Discuss Doctor Faustus as a man of Renaissance

On the contrary, God is exceedingly generous in his offerings to the hero until he succumbs to his own insatiable impulses. At this point, God is willing to forgive if the hero repents. However, Faustus deliberately rejects all assistance and therefore descends into damnation. There is no uncertainty in the play’s treatment of this central topic.

Marlowe develops the play’s moral principles in a variety of ways: through the chorus, through Faustus’ own recognition, through the good angel, through the Old Man, through the action itself, and even though Mephistopheles. As another manifestation of the pervasive Christian viewpoint, we see the degradation and coarsening of Faustus’s character and his adherence to cheap, sadistic entertainment.

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