The Character of Doctor Faustus

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Character of Doctor Faustus

The character of Dr. Faustus conceptualises the Aristotelian parameters of a tragic hero that embodies a ‘tragic flaw’ within a frame that is dazzling to such proportion as to pale other characters into insignificance. Faustus is a man of great scholarship and vast knowledge but with an intrinsic quality—an unquenchable thirst for knowledge that is beyond human whatever he has mastered seems pitifully inadequate: “Yet art thou still but Faustus and a Man.”

His soul cries out for supreme sensuous pleasure and super human powers, and he walks into a doomed pact with the Devil. However, as a character Dr. Faustus deserves both our respect and sympathy. With Mephistopheles at his command, Faustus surfeits his sense with carnal pleasure and not coarse delights. He asks for things that qualify only as the superlative and for the superlative, thus setting himself on the path of sensuous discovery of Evil. Here lies the greatest truth of his character. He never ceases to be a scholar, he is always a student and a thinker, wanting all ambiguities, all mysteries resolved and explained to him even if it costs him the hope for eternal life in Christ; even if it condemns him into the nagging world of excruciating mental conflict known to man. Dr. Faustus is a true hero, who is has all those great qualities that mankind deems sublime: sense of dignity, tenacity of purpose, perseverance, profundity and element of unquestioned humanity and tenderness. He is an epitome of quest for truth, of a spirit of boundless adventure and of unbridled confidence of will and vision. Dr. Faustus sets the sky as limit, put himself on wings as Icarus and carves out his horrible downfall. He is the master of his destiny and albeit his eternal damnation into an appalling waste, he is a very strong and admirable character.
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