Blame and Responsibility in ‘Paradise Lost’ and ‘Doctor Faustus’

Throughout both ‘Paradise Lost’ and ‘Doctor Faustus,’ the authors draw upon the ideas of responsibility, free will, and blame. Marlowe, in ‘Doctor Faustus’, melds the conventional religious ideology of the Middle Ages with the comparatively new Renaissance and Reformation thought, thus creating an effective contrast and an element of ambiguity in who exactly causes the … Read moreBlame and Responsibility in ‘Paradise Lost’ and ‘Doctor Faustus’

Faustus: Alone Among Men

Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus presents a protagonist who sells his soul to the devil for god-like knowledge and power. The tension in Faustus surfaces from the protagonist’s self-damnation, for he is constantly reminded and aware of his numerous avenues to salvation. His fundamental tragedy is that he refuses his humanity. He convinces himself that, by … Read moreFaustus: Alone Among Men

The Problem of Evil In Doctor Faustus

The traditional Christian message Christopher Marlowe was working with during the time he wrote Doctor Faustus stated that one should avoid leading a life of temptation and sin, the origins of which were rooted in an enterprising proprietor of evil generally referred to as the Devil. But if one does succumb to these debasements, atonement … Read moreThe Problem of Evil In Doctor Faustus

The Connection Between Religion and Corruption in Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta and Doctor Faustus

“Religion hides many mischiefs from suspicion” (I, ii, 279-280) Religion, as Barabas describes in this quotation from The Jew of Malta, acts as a measure in defending one’s actions as moral or just. Christopher Marlowe presents this use of religion in Doctor Faustus and The Jew of Malta. The protagonists in both plays believe in … Read moreThe Connection Between Religion and Corruption in Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta and Doctor Faustus

The Struggle between Good and Evil in Doctor Faustus

In Doctor Faustus, good and evil are presented as two polarized ideas: God and Heaven on one side, and Lucifer and Hell on the other. Contrasting representations of this division also appear, such as the old man and the Good Angel opposed to Mephistopheles and the Bad Angel. Initially, this struggle between good and evil … Read moreThe Struggle between Good and Evil in Doctor Faustus

The Function of Plot Divisions in Twelfth Night and in Doctor Faustus

In both plays, Twelfth Night and Doctor Faustus, there exists a high and a low (or comic) plot. This plot division serves as a parallel – the actions and characters in the low plot coincide with the actions and characters in the high plot. The presence of the mirroring primary and secondary plots in the … Read moreThe Function of Plot Divisions in Twelfth Night and in Doctor Faustus

Id, Ego and Superego: The Tempest and Doctor Faustus

The most compelling characters in modern literature and plays are the ones whose motivations tend to be complex, thus demand a deeper analysis of which part of their conscious their decisions arise from – the impulsive Id, the balancing Ego, or the idealized Superego. The central characters of Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and Shakespeare’s The Tempest … Read moreId, Ego and Superego: The Tempest and Doctor Faustus

Power and the Unknown in Dr. Faustus and The Tempest

Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and Shakespeare’s The Tempest present similar definitions of “power” through the differing circumstances of their protagonists. Power, in these plays, can be thought of as “control of the unknown.” If one character has control of something another character has no understanding of, the first character can gain power over the second. While … Read morePower and the Unknown in Dr. Faustus and The Tempest

Audience, Actors, and Directors: Meta-Theatricality in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus

A play can have power over its audience, whether it simply captivates them with its plot or makes them question their beliefs with its commentary. Though while the actors are the ones directly exercising this power over the audience, it is the writer or director that has power over everything. Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and … Read moreAudience, Actors, and Directors: Meta-Theatricality in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus