Close Reading of Dr. Faustus

Topics: Greek mythology, Antiope, Trojan War Pages: 4 (1215 words) Published: May 11, 2013
Paper 1: Evaluation of Faustus’s internal conflict
Faust.  My heart’s so hard’ned I cannot repent.|         20| Scarce can I name salvation, faith, or heaven,| |
But fearful echoes thunder in mine ears| |
“Faustus, thou art damn’d!” Then swords and knives,| | Poison, gun, halters, and envenom’d steel| |
Are laid before me to despatch myself,|         25| And long ere this I should have slain myself,| |
Had not sweet pleasure conquer’d deep despair.| |
Have I not made blind Homer sing to me| |
Of Alexander’s love and Oenon’s death?| |
And hath not he that built the walls of Thebes|         30| With ravishing sound of his melodious harp,| |
Made music with my Mephistophilis?| |
Why should I die then, or basely despair?| |
I am resolv’d: Faustus shall ne’er repent.| |
Come, Mephistophilis, let us dispute again,|         35| And argue of divine astrology.| |
Tell me, are there many heavens above the moon?| |
Are all celestial bodies but one globe,| |
As is the substance of this centric earth?| |
Excerpt: Dr. Faustus scene VI

There are three main ideas we can extract to summarize this entire passage. We see Faustus’s fear as he is haunted by the fact that he is damned. He believes that his heart has hardened to a point where he can’t repent and briefly contemplates suicide via various weapons (poison, gun, envenomed steel). Faustus then reveals that it was being able to listen to Homer recite for him tales of Alexander ,Oenon and the story of the construction of Thebes’s wall that save him from his deep despair. It is then that Faustus relents and resolves himself to arguing about the divine and seeking truths of the natural world around him. The Parallels between Paris (commonly referred to as Alexander or Alexandros son of Priam) and Faustus that can be drawn from the poetic musings of Homer give a complete foreshadowing of the conclusion of the play barring any Major change in Faustus’s...
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