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

In the context of all Marlow's plays, it has been suggested that the heroes are 'tragic, but only in a weak sort of way.' Explore the presentation of Faustus in the light of this suggestion.

Extracts from this document...


1. In the context of all Marlow's plays, it has been suggested that the heroes are 'tragic, but only in a weak sort of way.' Explore the presentation of Faustus in the light of this suggestion A tragic hero is similar to an idol (someone we look up to) because there is something about them that distinguishes them from ordinary people. They may have a flaw which inevitably leads to their downfall. Because of their elevated status their fall is great. They fall from greatness is an emotional experience for the audience - this is known as 'catharsis' - a release of tension. In a certain respect, Faustus can be seen as a tragic hero. In addition to being portrayed as a tragic Hero, Faustus can be perceived as an ordinary human being. Right from the beginning of the play, he has understood the concept of his mortality. ...read more.


The Good and Evil angels appear simultaneously several times throughout the play. They make their first appearance in Scene 1. Faustus is toying with the idea of taking up black magic, the Good Angel persuades Faustus to stop whilst he can. 'lay that damned book aside' The strong word 'damned' can be perceived simply as a curse, or more in depth - linking to Faustus inevitability. The Evil Angel then persuades Faustus to 'go forward in that famous art'. As in a morality play, Faustus only 'hears' that last speaker, and is then strongly influenced by the dark force. The Good and Evil angels appear regularly when Faustus considers repentance. For example in scene 5: the Evil angel contradicts the Good Angel's declaration that God can forgive. 'Thou art a spirit, God cannot pity thee...Ay, but Faustus never shall repent.' Faustus is again immediately persuaded towards the Evil Angel's command. ...read more.


Faustus can also be portrayed as a hedonistic villain. In other words, he is living for pleasure. This is made apparent in comic scenes such as scene 7 (the scene in which he is invisible and steals the popes food, then punches him) and scene 10 (the hours-courser scene). Faustus wastes 24 years on petit tricks, like these, and doesn't actually accomplish anything even near to the announcements he was making in scene 1. Faustus seems to have descended from being an intellectual, well-respected scholar to a disgraceful villain taking pleasure in the misfortune of others. In a certain respect, Faustus can be portrayed as a tragic hero, as the audience does look up to him. However, as Faustus slowly progressed from an elevated position in society to a desperate, self-centred villain throughout the play and the fact that his mortality was inevitable meant that his actual downfall did not seem as great, like a typical tragic hero. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Can Faustus truly be regarded as a tragic hero

    4 star(s)

    to support the idea that Faustus was not doomed from the beginning, but was given choices and opportunities to repent his wicked ways.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Absolute Power Simply Seems To Corrupt Faustus. Once He Can Do Everything, He No ...

    4 star(s)

    Faustus search for power has ironically made him subservient to the people he wanted to obtain great power over. His behaviour has become farcical and grows more and pettier with each action he takes. It seems evident from the way Faustus acts and the change in his behaviour throughout the play that absolute power does corrupt him.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explore the presentation of Faustus in the opening scenes.

    3 star(s)

    This quotation is from the first book of John and Faustus does no continue with the following line, which states our sins will be forgiven if we repent. This is a concept Faustus continually denies throughout the play leading to his fall.

  2. Peer reviewed

    It has been suggested that Marlowe's audience would have seen Dr Faustus as a ...

    3 star(s)

    Therefore, it is clear how some areas of the play are infused with double meanings and oxymorons, which would only be picked up by those of a higher calibre. The structure of the play is fitting for its nature. It is a bi-polar structure, with dichotomous characters such as the

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

    When Faustus wavers he does so by panicking about whether or not he is doing the right thing and making the right decisions. This panic and internal conflict is shown in a number of ways such as through Faustus' constant posing of questions, his sudden urges to repent, and his

  2. Dr. Faustus Essay. In Christopher Marlows seventeenth century play, Faustus, hubris leads to ...

    Faustus uses his powers to travel around the world and insists on invading the Pope's chamber to play a practical joke. He taunts the Pope and friars by intercepting plates of food and punishing them for crossing themselves. Faustus's hubris is blatantly illustrated while gleefully laughing with Mephistophilis.

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

    This scene is heavily reminiscent of the previous scene with the Pope because, like Faustus, Robin and Rafe steal a goblet and they also use invisibility spells. This scene demonstrates how ridiculous Faustus' tricks are becoming because they are now only as advanced as the magic that the Ostlers can perform.

  2. What does Marlowe's presentation of Mephastophilis tell an audience about Sixteenth Century ideas of ...

    Mephastophilis replies "Why this is hell, nor am I out of it". Marlowe creates a subtle version of hell here. The Elizabethan audience would have thought that hell was an actual physical place and people were damned if they committed any of the seven deadly sins that's why people used to model there life's around the seven deadly sins.

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