• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Doctor Faustus – A Close Examination - Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 1-40

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Jessica M Sullivan LT - 319 Shakespeare December 7, 2001 Doctor Faustus - A Close Examination Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 1-40 Doctor Faustus, the protagonist of the play Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlow, is a scholar who seeks knowledge and is willing to pay the ultimate price, his soul, to the Devil in exchange. In addition to knowledge, he craves wealth and power. However, Faustus never seems completely sure of his decision and constantly wavers about whether or not to repent. He manipulates religion and the idea of God in many different ways so that he can rationalize his actions. Although a learned scholar, Doctor Faustus chooses to ignore good, sound advice and cold, hard fact which ultimately leads to his downfall. This is a play concerned with contradiction, uncertainty, and conflict. In a closer examination of Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 1-40, these many themes important throughout the entire text are highlighted. Throughout the play, the two angels, Good and Evil, represent Faustus' constant state of indecision. ...read more.

Middle

/ Why, the signiory of Emden shall be mine" (1.5.22-23). Throughout the entire play, Faustus continually refers to himself in the third person. In the examined lines of Act 1, Scene 5, he does so four times. The first two times Faustus refers to himself in this manner are in lines one and nine. This suggests uncertainty as he mills over whether or not to turn back to God in his head. "Now, Faustus, must thou needs be damned? / And canst thou not be saved?" he questions in his soliloquy. By addressing himself in the third person, Faustus is trying to convince himself to choose a course of action. However, after the Evil Angel has easily convinced Faustus to pursue his dreams of wealth and power with Mephostophilis, his tome changes rapidly. Rather than questioning his actions, Faustus becomes very confident in his choices. He feels invisible with the devil by his side saying, "When Mephostophilis shall stand by me, / What God can hurt thee, Faustus? ...read more.

Conclusion

Faustus' logical shortcomings are emphasized by his inability to understand that if hell exists, as Mephostophilis tells him, then God's heaven must also be attainable. If heaven is an unattainable goal, how can one define hell, as evil can only be defined in the context of good? In conclusion, Doctor Faustus' quest for wealth, power, and knowledge ultimately lead to his demise. He chose to ignore the advice of so many and only listen to the words of those who say what he wants to hear. The Good and Evil Angel represent the two paths of life Faustus could follow, but it is as if the Good Angel says nothing to him because that is what he hears. Alike, Faustus chooses to manipulate the idea of religion and God to conform to his own wants and needs. He picks and chooses which facts to pay attention, therefore, discrediting himself and his ideas. A man who craved prosperity and high reputation, Doctor Faustus became too greedy and let his desires blind him to obvious irrationalities leading to his downfall. ?? ?? ?? ?? 2 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Christopher Marlowe section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Christopher Marlowe essays

  1. There are many aspects in act one scene one of Doctor Faustus which illustrates ...

    His overreaching desire echoes from the Prometheus myth. In Faustus' reaching of his pinnacle stage, we recognise pathos as he becomes oppressed by the reality of not possessing his 'own fantasy6'. He consequently rejects philosophy, which he describes as 'odious and obscure7'; thereby highlighting Faustus' refusal to accept that he cannot attain infinity.

  2. Discuss the presentation of Faustus' inner conflict in Act 1 scene 5 of Doctor ...

    Therefore, because of the fact that good and evil seem to surface together in Doctor Faustus, Marlowe would have been acquiescing to the views and religious beliefs of that time. The speeches of the good and evil angels also create a pause, during which the audience can reflect on the moral situation.

  1. In what ways and with what effects does 'Dr. Faustus' question the acquisition and ...

    The effect of this assertion of Faustus' human flaw seems to be not only an argument against blasphemy, greed, pride and insolence but a subtle attack on renaissance humanism. Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' seems to share a similar and extremely humanistic view What a piece of work is man.

  2. Comment on the relationship between the comic and serious material in Dr Faustus.

    The message of this scene is perhaps that Faustus' magical achievements are really noting more than glorified versions of the sordid tricks that even the most lowly characters play. Robin and Rafe try to contact the devil, which of cause is a comparison to Faustus because he too in previous scenes contacted the devil.

  1. Do Renaissance texts deal primarily with Renaissance concerns, or with universal human emotions and ...

    The doctor, believing he has reached the limits of human knowledge decides to sell his soul to the Devil. In exchange he will gain magical powers and unlimited knowledge of the universe for twenty-four years. As the play progresses the years pass, as Faustus is supplied with many experiences, including

  2. Analysis of Faustus Soliloquy.

    It is line 10 where he states that he can 'read no more' as he has achieved the 'end' target of 'logic's chiefest end'.

  1. "Look again at Faustus' opening soliloquy, from 'Settle thy studies, Faustus, and begin' to ...

    Although the audience may consider that fully understanding the works of the great philosophers should be an achievement that one should be proud of, I get the impression that Faustus remains rather discontent. It is line 10 where he explicitly states that he can "read no more" as he has achieved the 'end' target ("logic's chiefest end").

  2. The Importance of Scene 5 in context with the whole play - "Now Faustus, ...

    the second that he realises that all his questions can't be answered; he suddenly begins to doubt what he has done. "O thou art deceived!" Scene 5 There's an impressive climax towards the end when Mempho-tophilis shows Faustus a parade of the Seven Deadly Sins.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work