Dr. Faustus- Ambition
“Marlowe’s biographers often depict him as an alarmingly over? ambitious individual. Check out ways this element of Marlowe’s character is reflected in? Dr. Faustus.'” Christopher Marlowe lived during the Renaissance period in 16th century England. Although this was a time of change, the Elizabethans still had repaired moral values.? The Chain of Being,’ a principle acquired from the Middle Ages, can be described as a hierarchy of society, with the queen on top and the lowliest peasants at the bottom. Listed below individuals were animals, plants and rocks.
Throughout the Elizabethan age,? harmful aspiration’ would probably involve trying to break the? Chain of Being’ and aiming to increase one’s social status. It was thought to be essential to accept one’s location in the chain, regarding disrupt it and conquer the set order of society might mean chaos would follow. Faustus was an exceedingly enthusiastic man, even in relation to what is considered to be ambitious by people in today’s society. In the beginning, The Chorus summarize Faustus’ background and early life, highlighting his regular background and scholastic success.
It seems that Faustus’ intelligence made him end up being happy and this fired up his aspiration. When Marlowe provides Faustus in scene 1, Faustus systematically avoids fantastic authors and classically intellectual subjects, such as medicine and law due to the fact that they hold little tourist attraction to him, (line 11)? A higher subject fitteth Faustus’ wit.’ The above quote shows how Faustus raises himself above taking up an intellectual pursuit that would be extremely respected by the Elizabethans. Another indication that Faustus holds himself in high regard is that he refers to himself in the 3rd person, likewise shown in the above quote.
Faustus’ goes over beliefs that he will no longer hold and describes what he wishes to accomplish in his opening soliloquy. Faustus may be viewed as blasphemous in the opening speech, suggesting that he would only be a physician if he could be equal to God, (lines24-6)? Couldst thou make men live forever Or, being dead raise them to life again, Then this profession were to be esteemed.’ This is made more apparent when Faustus lastly says, (line 62)? A sound magician is a magnificent god. ‘
Marlowe depicts Faustus as being over-ambitious by his turning to magic, which is a far more sinister and much less traditional pursuit than others that he had actually been discussing formerly. Faustus hopes that magic will make him supreme and god-like. There is little proof to recommend that Marlowe himself wanted power over others, however his rise in society from a shoemaker’s kid to a scholar at Cambridge University and later, a spy, was extremely uncommon at the time. Marlowe did not lead a typical Elizabethan life; in reality, one might state that it resembled fiction.
The over-ambitious part of Marlowe’s personality is reflected in Faustus since it seems Marlowe should have wanted success in his life, and to over-reach his set path in life. It becomes clearer as the play continues that Faustus is a precariously enthusiastic person when in scene 3 he goes over the deal with a devil, Mephastophilis, concerning the selling of his soul to the Devil in return for earthly power. When Faustus makes the contract, it seems as if he is not planning ahead as his attitude is carefree. He possibly does not believe in Hell, or that he has a soul, or about the reality of the deal.
His mindset at this point can be summed up by the following phrase (Scene 4, lines 103-4),? If I had as numerous souls as there be stars, I ‘d provide all for Mephastophilis.’ Faustus’ aspiration for power and absence of foresight are what doom him later on in play. Perhaps, aspiration can be said to have actually caused the downfall of Marlowe himself. His violent murder in a London tavern in 1593 was mysterious and historians often question possible intentions for eliminating Marlowe; his drive to succeed might have made other individuals envious and resentful. In? Dr.
Faustus’, other characters are most likely envious of Faustus too. In one of the comic scenes, scene 6, we discover that Robin and Rafe have stolen one of Faustus’ books and plan to utilize it to seduce a female. They should have been envious of Faustus’ power and his wonderful ability; however it is not the case that he is murdered by these characters in the future in the play. Faustus is ambitious and enjoys his newly found power till completion of the play, in spite of being warned of the reality of his empty deal by the Old Man and by the Great Angel throughout the play. The Old Man says in scene 12 (lines 107-9), Enthusiastic fiends, see how the paradises smiles At your repulse, and laughs your state to reject. For this reason hell, for hence I fly unto God.’ This minute foreshadows Faustus’ lines at the end of the play, where, frightened, he needs to deal with the Devil and Hell. Faustus’ ambition makes him a more human character regardless of him his offering his soul to the Devil, which might make him more difficult for the audience to connect to since of the amazing circumstance. His intellect often produces doubts in his mind about the bargain that he has made, however his aspiration overrides his conscience till the very end.
This is revealed by the Great and Evil Angels, who appear in scenes 1 and 5. They are binary opposites and in my view are present to put another side to Faustus’ character? a conscience. The Good Angel attempts to motivate Faustus to repent by concentrating on God’s anger. Nevertheless the Evil Angel opposes the Excellent Angel, (Scene 5 lines 253-6)? EVIL ANGEL: Too late. GREAT ANGEL: Never ever far too late, if Faustus can repent. EVIL ANGEL: If thou repent, devils will tear thee in pieces. GOOD ANGEL: Repent, and they will never ever rase thy skin. ‘
The Excellent and Evil Angels’ stichomythic discussion is not too realistic and demonstrates how ripped Faustus is between the two sides. He is quickly swayed and believes the angel that speaks last, however it is fascinating to keep in mind that despite the cautions, his aspiration sticks with him to the end and causes his downfall. Marlowe portrays Faustus’ ambition as unsafe; it was the reason for his death. Perhaps Marlowe utilized the theme of over-ambition as a cautioning to the audience, who would be likely to be cautious of aspiration– it was looked down on as a negative personality type in Christian England.
Ideas around at the time such as? The Chain of Being’ enhanced religious opinion into people’s daily lives and morality plays (popular from the early 1400s to the 1580s) were used to strengthen individuals’s Christian principles, as? Dr. Faustus’ likewise does by preventing ambition. Marlowe shows ambition in the character of Faustus to prevent the audience from being ambitious, and over-reaching their place in the? Chain of Being’. Nevertheless, if Marlowe selected to be? precariously over-ambitious’ and concerned himself as this, it is likely that he may have composed? Dr.
Faustus’ differently, not seeing ambition in such a negative way. Whatever Marlowe’s view on aspiration was, it is not explained in the play, through Faustus or other characters. Specific elements of his personality are certainly shown in Faustus, which make checking out the play and checking out Faustus as a character even more intriguing. Bibliography: York Notes Advanced? Dr. Faustus? Writers and their Work, Christopher Marlowe’ by Thomas Healy (Northcote House Publishers)? Christopher Marlowe’ by Roger Sales (Macmillan)? A Death In Deptford’ by Mei Trow and Christopher Hague