Dr Faustus

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DR FAUSTUS IS MARLOW’S CHRISTIAN PLAY WITH ANTI CHRISTIAN ELEMENT. COMMENT. ALSO DISCUSS IDEA OF KNOWLEDGE IN THE LIGHT OF RENAISSANCE CONTEXT.

Christopher Marlowe’s “Dr Faustus” is a renaissance tragedy written at a time of religious conflict and controversy between Protestants and Catholics in England. It is Christian play but ironically, it depicts anti Christian element. In play, Faustus seen as a renaissance man who has thirst for knowledge and power. He is cunning, self-conceited man and has no connection to spirituality and belief. In the quest of knowledge, he consciously chooses to defy Christianity and renounces God in hopes that he will gain something greater from his sacrifice. Faustus situation is a symbol for the people of the era of the Renaissance who lost their faith in Christianity and God, and devotes themselves to science and seeks knowledge in a purpose to achieve power (i.e. atheism). Marlow portrays Faustus as a respected member of the academic world who has studied the bible and fully well informed about the religion. In the opening speech, he praised various subjects like Logic, Metaphysics, Medicine, Law and Theology and impressed scholars with his knowledge. The "Prologue" in "Act 1" provides the background for Dr Faustus, revealing his intelligence. That shortly he was graced with Doctor's name

However, eventually he became frustrated with his unsatisfied desire because he has command on knowledge but no power. His renaissance eagerness wanted as much knowledge as he can because he believes in no limits, power, tradition and authority. Yet art thou still but Faustus, and a man.

Therefore, he decided to learn necromancy, which he regards as heavenly. The black art will satisfy his longing for knowledge. He consciously rejects Christianity and commits a sin by signing a pact with the devil. He has challenged Christianity and taken the support of the evil. Mephistopheles was evil and he wanted to take the soul of Doctor Faustus....
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