Christopher Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus"
Before the 15th century, a God-centered world existed. The creator was the focus of all activities and nothing good prevailed without that deity inspiring all aspects of life. Then, slowly but surely, a change started to creep into the culture and intellect of the people. This change or movement began because some members of the clergy and of the government journeyed to Italy and saw amazing things happening in the arts and academics. However, there was a lot more than culture or education getting a “facelift.” Instead, there was a new curiosity - a longing to see of what the human individual was composed. Where Italy’s citizens had seen the bountiful development of its arts, English patrons envisioned more in humankind itself. Suddenly, humanism was born, an intrinsic movement that would change the world forever. Now, man, as an individual, was very important. He became the center of the world and life took on a secular position. Also, the purpose of education is now public service instead of its utilization to learn more about God. Christopher Marlowe, in “Doctor Faustus” uses humanism as the basis for his work. The central focus of that humanism, which was pride combined with Faustus’ arrogance and never-ending ambition, causes him eternal damnation because he actually sells his soul to the devil. Because of Faustus’ desire to be more powerful than any other man, he pursues the forbidden attainment of the black arts and cares not if those consequences mean perishing in hell. With the concept of humanism alive and flourishing, worldly concerns impact men and the opportunity for conceit is hatched, as well, as is soon revealed in Faustus’ case. Certainly, the man was well endowed with arrogance, which is evidenced early in the text as he talks to himself in his study contemplating different fields of knowledge. First, he considers logic and attributes in Aristotle’s works: “Yet level at the end of every...
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