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Dr. Faustus Essay. In Christopher Marlows seventeenth century play, Faustus, hubris leads to his own downfall.

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Introduction

In Christopher Marlow's seventeenth century play, Faustus, hubris leads to his own downfall. The protagonist is a scholar whose arrogance and pride compel him to make a deal with the devil and maintain the hubris until his death and damnation, despite repenting and receiving salvation. A change in Faustus's character, gaining excessive pride, causes him to misuse his abilities in magic. At first, Faustus wants to learn the art of magic to gain knowledge, travel the world, and answer his questions. However, hubris changes Faustus into using the magic for trickery, wealth, and for his own entertainment. Hubris causes Faustus to ignore redemption and remain in the evil pact with Lucifer, the devil. By the end of the play, Faustus realizes it is too late for salvation with God and his soul will be forever captured by the devil. Faustus has many opportunities to ask for forgiveness and repent. Though in every situation, he is tempted by the magic and its treachery because of hubris. ...read more.

Middle

The friars enter to sing the Dirge: FAUSTUS. What, are you crossing of yourself? Well, use that trick no more I would advise you. [The POPE crosses himself again.] Well, there's the second time. Aware the third, I give you fair warning. [The POPE crosses himself again, and FAUSTUS hits him a box of the ear; and they all run away.] Come on, Mephistophilis, what shall we do? MEPHIST. Nay, I know not. We shall be cursed with bell, book, and candle. FAUSTUS. How! bell, book, and candle,-candle, book, and bell, Forward and backward to curse Faustus to hell! Anon you shall hear a hog grunt, a calf bleat, an ass bray, Because it is Saint Peter's holiday. Re-enter the Friars to sing the Dirge. FIRST FRIAR. Come, brethren, let's about our business with good devotion. They sing... [MEPHISTOPHILIS and FAUSTUS beat the Friars, and fling fireworks among them: and so exeunt.] (Marlow 3.3 ln. 80-105). This scene shows that Faustus has complete disregard for Catholicism and the religious establishment. Faustus's pride causes him to use magic for his own entertainment. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mephistophilis, transform him straight. [MEPHISTOPHILIS removes the horns.] Now, my good lord, having done my duty, I humbly take my leave (Marlow 4.3 ln. 83-100). Faustus's confrontation with the knight shows the pettiness of his arrogance. Faustus's pride forced him to act devilish. The knight did not believe in Faustus's abilities and therefore did not believe in the devil. Faustus punishes and torments the knight by putting horns on his head. Faustus even reprimands the knight's behavior and warns him to respect himself and consequently the devil. Portrayed by the character of Faustus, hubris causes his damnation. His pride in his abilities to perform magic leads Faustus on a slow decent toward hell. When Faustus changes and uses magic for trickery and evil, he is responsible for his own destruction. He is too fascinated with the power, wealth, and entertainment magic gives him. He dismisses the idea of salvation because it is pales in comparison to the fortune he has with the devil. Only when it is too late, does he realize that he has caused his own demise and now must live with the consequences. ...read more.

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