Dr Faustus

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Discuss how the passage contributes to the portrayal of Faustus as a tragic hero, paying particular attention to Marlowe’s use of language. In the passage we learn that his time has come, and in that instance you sympathize with him as he really doesn’t want to die. This passage itself links strongly to the central themes of the play. Marlowe’s use of language conveys that Faustus has accepted his fate, and you hear the relief in his voice that his life will finally be over once he has seen Helen and “may extinguish clean, those thoughts that do dissuade me from my vow”. Once Mephistopheles has brought Helen to him, his pleasure is clear and he is satisfied that he will always remember her kiss “here will I dwell, for heaven be in these lips”. He is drifting away picturing himself as Paris, successful and triumphant and Marlowe’s use of language builds an impressive image of the scene. But Faustus chooses not to remember that Paris was seen as a coward and a failure. He describes defeating Achilles and returning to Helen, “Instead of Troy shall Wittenberg be sacked, and I will combat with weak Menelaus, and wear thy colours on my plumèd crest. Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel” perhaps hoping that he will overcome his tortured soul with the memories of Helen kissing him. Such a hero suffers from a change of happiness to misery because of his mistaken choice which is led by his error of judgement. His speech is beautiful, but he seems unable or unwilling, to realize that his words are only a damned man's fantasy.

He asks Helen to make him immortal “Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss”. Does this show that he has learnt his lesson and is ready to die or does it mean that he wishes to become mortal in order to prevail over Lucifer. He seems to still be seeking power, to become as powerful as the devil himself, still making wrong choices when he should be repenting his sins. Faustus refuses to repent, making him a tragic hero unable to resist the...
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