Dr Faustus as a Tragedy
Q. 1. Discuss Dr Faustus as a catastrophe. Disaster– Meaning Aristotle specifies a tragedy as a ‘representation of an action which is important, complete and minimal in length. It is enacted not recited and by arousing pity and fear, it offers an outlet to emotions of this type.’ Nevertheless, for the Elizabethans, more particularly for Marlowe and Shakespeare, catastrophe is not a restrictive view of human quality or weak point as the Greeks are typically inclined to present but an affirmative view of human goals whose pursuit brings a glory to the definition of a man.
Battle, dispute, suffering and failure may be the unavoidable attendants however the human spirit is not suppressed in its pursuits by what attends to them. The capability to endure them is the awful splendor of man. Marlowe’s catastrophe, therefore, remains in reality the tragedy of one guy– the rise, fall and death of the terrible hero. His heroes are titanic characters afire with some indomitable enthusiasm or excessive ambition disposing of all moral codes and ethical principles and plunging headlong to attain their end.
Such intense enthusiasm and merciless struggle with super-human energy to attain earthly gain and magnificence make Marlowe’s heroes terrific indeed and adds to the shining glory and grandeur to their personalities. Doctor Faustus’ Tragic Defect Medical professional Faustus has elements of both Christian morality and classical disaster. On the one hand, it takes place in an explicitly Christian universes: God sits on high, as the judge of the world, and every soul goes either to hell or to heaven.
There are devils and angels, with the devils tempting individuals into sin and the angels prompting them to remain real to God. Faustus’s story is a tragedy in Christian terms, because he gives in to temptation and is damned to hell. Faustus’s principal sin, awful flaw according to Aristotle, is his excellent pride and aspiration, which can be contrasted with the Christian virtue of humbleness; by letting these characteristics rule his life, Faustus enables his soul to be claimed by Lucifer, Christian cosmology’s prince of devils.
And thus– ‘A higher subject fitteth Faustus’s wit.’ Faustus’ soul is afire with intemperate ambition and with a craze for very human powers and supreme sensual pleasure of life. Divinity so long: These metaphysics of magicians, And necromantic books are incredible: The Strength of theTragedy The play is a human catastrophe for not only is Faustus tragically made up in his limitless ambitions however, at the same time, the play questions the efficiency of the cultural aspirations that form his aspirations.
Consequently, the play supplies a complex interaction in between the human dimensions of the dramatic character and the obscurities and ambivalences of the cultural circumstance the character is positioned in. Yet while the play seems to use a very basic Christian message– that one should avoid temptation and sin, and repent if one can not avoid temptation and sin– its conclusion can be interpreted as wandering off from orthodox Christianity in order to conform to the structure of tragedy.
In a traditional terrible play, as pioneered by the Greeks and imitated by William Shakespeare, a hero is brought low by an error or series of mistakes and realizes his/her error just when it is too late. In Christianity, though, as long as an individual lives, there is always the possibility of repentance– so if a tragic hero recognizes his or her mistake, she or he may still be saved even at the last moment. However though Faustus, in the last, wrenching scene, pertains to his senses and asks for an opportunity to repent, it is far too late, and he is brought off to hell.
Marlowe rejects the Christian idea that it is never far too late to repent in order to increase the remarkable power of his ending, in which Faustus is conscious of his damnation and yet, unfortunately, can do nothing about it. Faustus’ Disaster Act I develops Faustus’ disaster. The egocentric self-temptation of Act I paves the way to an agonising dispute in between the religiously made up self and the aberrations of its human impulses of Act II: Now, Faustus, need to Thou requires be damn ‘d and canst thou not be sav ‘d.
Faustus’ state of mind transcends his psychological frame and is, perhaps, rooted in his specific religious persuasion. As misery leads to the self-indulgent belief that divine providence as well as the divine rage can not reach him, Faustus signs the pact with the devil handing out his soul in return for his services. As Faustus reaches his defiant or terrible death in Act V, the nature of his death and the attendant torment bespeaks a splendid catastrophe However Faustus’ offence can ne’er be pardoned:
The snake that tempted Eve might be conserved, But not Faustus The terrible dispute does not ease off till the end. Faustus looks for an alternate heaven through the devilish Helen: Come, Helen, come, provide me my soul again. Thus the main reason for the tragedy of Doctor Faustus is ‘ambitious pride and effrontery’ for which the Lucifer of Milton likewise fell. His excessive aspiration and proud presumption leads him to dedicate the sin of practising more than heaven authorizations. And that is why Faustus abjures God and the Devil causing his eternal damnation.