Doctor Faustus

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Liturgical Drama in the beginning had three forms, Mystery, Miracle and Morality. The morality playis really a fusion of allegory and the religious drama of the miracle plays (Which presents themiracles of saints and the subjects depend upon Bible). It flourished in the middle ages, was at itsheight in the first half of the 15 century, disappeared after the second half, but reappeared inElizabethan drama. In this play the characters were personified abstractions of vice or virtues suchas Good deeds, Faith, Mercy, Anger, Truth, Pride etc. The general theme of the moralities wastheological and the main one was the struggle between the good and evil powers for capturing theman’s soul and good always won. The story of whole morality play centres round the singletowering figure. The seven deadly sins were found engaged in physical and verbal battle withcardinal virtues. The antics of vices and devils etc offered a considerable opportunity for lowcomedy or buffoonery. The morality play often ended with a solemn moral.

Faustus is in some ways an everyman figure. We are able to relate to him, as he has internal struggles and traits that we can see in ourselves. He was also ‘poor of stock’, making him even easier to relate to. Characters in morality plays were personifications of good and evil, usually involved in a struggle for a mans soul. This is true of Doctor Faustus, it uses angels and devils, and shows them as real, rather than fiction, and Marlowe uses these characters to show the struggles Faustus encounters with regards to his soul. Morality plays used allegory to dramatise the struggles between good and evil.

In the light of these points we may call Marlowe’s “Dr. Faustus” a belated morality play in spite of its tragic ending. It has been mentioned that in morality plays the characters were personifiedabstractions of vice or virtues. In “Dr.Faustus” also we find the Good and Evil angels, the former stand for the path of...
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