dr faustus as a tragedy of renaissance and reformation
Renaissance, as we know, was an extensive cultural and academic movement in history throughout which the old conventions of middle ages age were dissolved followed by freedom in all arenas of life and culture. It was marked by the increased mission for power, learning, understanding; Worldliness, materialism; and love and hankering for sensuous satisfaction, beauty etc. We see in the play that Doctor Faustus is not pleased with the classical knowledge, he yearns for more. His happy declarations, supreme thirst for more understanding and power, disposition towards worldly pleasures lead towards his terrible end.
In his last soliloquy, Faustus blames his divine understanding for his failure and even wishes to burn his books. He falls for desire and sensual desires also. Even in his last days, he hangs around delighting in debauchery. For This Reason Physician Faustus is the disaster of Renaissance. Reanaissance was instantly followed by extensive Reformation and Protestantanism. The Reformers and Protestants challenged the Church teaching. Marlowe’s Physician Faustus welcomes the spirit of Reformation. In the play, the Pope is revealed to be an unholy, greedy man.
When Faustus plays techniques, the Pope and others believe it is a ghost from purgatory and try to utilize a bell and candle light. This is a direct satire on Christian beliefs. Moreover, Mephistopheles appears as a Friar, another attack on Catholicism. This was actually a popular view of them during Reformation. We can thus state that Christopher Marlowe’s play Doctor Faustus is a catastrophe of Renaissance and Reformation. Medical professional Faustus, a scholar famed the world over, thinks that he has actually reached the limitations of understanding in viewpoint, medicine, law, and faith, and he hungers for power.
Magic lures him with the offer of knowledge without work or research study, and Faustus sells his soul to the devil in return for 24 years during which he will have whatever he desires. Faustus starts with grand plans: to free his nation, to assist the poor, and to make himself master of the world. In the scenes that follow, the reader never sees him even try to reach these goals. Instead, he performs parlor tricks for the Emperor and plays practical jokes on the Pope. When he asks his servant devil Mephostopilis, the secrets of the universe, he gets what he calls “freshman” responses.
Just at the end of the play does Faustus realize that he has actually attempted to get something for nothing: understanding without work and power without duty. Marlowe’s stunning language tends to hide the meanness of his character’s desires. Time and again, Faustus begins to repent, just to be sidetracked by phenomenon or scared by hazards. Marlowe’s play, very first staged in 1592 or 1593, presents a figure who is a mirror: Each age sees Faustus in its own terms. Readers during the Romantic duration, frequently more thinking about the battle than the goal, saw Faustus as an “overreacher,” somebody who presses the limit of what people can attain.