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Doctor Faustus's Matter of Choice

  • Date Submitted: 05/12/2012 01:25 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 54.5 
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Doctor Faustus's matter of choice or destiny

The tragic history of Doctor Faustus is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe's death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play. Moreover the author's life, he was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. The foremost Elizabethan tragedian before William Shakespeare, he is known for his magnificent blank verse, his overreaching protagonist and his untimely death. Doctor Faustus was considered one of his best writings although it did raise some concerns about whether there was atheism in the play or not. Along with this concern there was another thought that was troubling, it was the controversy of whether Doctor Faustus was a victim of free will or fate. However the play was written after the time of the Middle Ages which was very sufficient because it is during that time that individualism began to arise. Humans were allowed to become individuals with a direct connection to god. Yet through this individualistic relationship between god and man, a sense of pride emerged. Urged along by science and philosophy, the idea of the individual altered from a being that relied on god to a being who relied on himself. Because of self-reliance, god’s influence decreased in the mind’s of scholars such as Doctor Faustus. Consequentially as the acts of god lessened to insignificance throughout Doctor Faustus, Lucifer’s actions and schemes appeared on nearly every page as he encouraged the belief of self power. Faustus represented this self-reliance as he searched his spell books for magic that would give him power to accomplish his own goals. He claims the power given to him from Lucifer as his own majesty, “I am ready to accomplish your request…as by my art and power of my spirit I am able to perform” (Marlowe, 484, 36-37)....


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