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

Reread the opening soliloquy of Dr Faustus. In what way does this establish Faustus' character and at the same time take you back into the Renaissance world?

Extracts from this document...


Reread the opening soliloquy of Dr Faustus. In what way does this establish Faustus' character and at the same time take you back into the Renaissance world? The opening soliloquy of Marlow's , Dr Faustus' reveals many different characteristics and values of the epilogist. At the same time as establishing Faustus' character, the soliloquy takes one back to the Renaissance world by presenting Faustus as a 'man of his times' since his character is greatly influenced by changes in attitudes and society which were encountered in the Renaissance era. One of Faustus' key characteristics, which is very apparent throughout the opening soliloquy, is that he is engaged in a personal power struggle and is not content with his current status. One acknowledges this problem when Faustus asserts demands such as, ' Be a physician, Faustus, heap up gold, And be eternised for some wondrous cure'. In instructing himself to find a wondrous cure in the medical world, Faustus is implying that he wants to be famous and improve his financial situation. This desire to become rich and famous compliments the newly-adopted attitude towards individuals after the Restoration. ...read more.


Then read no more, thou hast attained the end;' Faustus clearly finds that his present intellectual status is not challenged by his learned subjects and he craves something more demanding that would satisfy his humanist characteristic. However, from Faustus' opening speech, it is also clear that his immense confidence in thinking he knows all aspects and areas of his studied subjects can undermine him. For instance, when Faustus tries to defy religious studies by implying that it is a pointless study he says, ' Si peccasse negamus, fallimur, et nulla est in nobis veritas'. which, he believes will back up his dispute about religion. Not only does Faustus expose his lack in faith towards god, but in trying to show how clever he is by noticing the flaws in religion he actually draws attention to the gaps in his own knowledge. The quote he gives to confront religious studies, is incomplete, and had he known the entire phrase, he would have realised that his point would have been contradicted rather than supported his argument. Therefore the opening soliloquy reveals that Faustus has no true religious faith, bares humanism traits and this great desire for knowledge can sometimes lead Faustus', who is overly-confident in his own knowledge, to draw attention to his incomplete education. ...read more.


His assertion of the limitations of law also emphasises his wish to, in the words of Tamburlaine a Renaissance intellect and hero of Marlowe, climb 'after knowledge infinite'. Therefore as the soliloquy progresses, one learns that Faustus is an individual against authority and is so serious about this cause that he will get involved with dangerous forces as well as, understanding that this anti-authority attitude is in context of Marlowe's time as it may be a result of the declining power of the church in the Renaissance era. The opening soliloquy of Dr Faustus reveals many of Faustus' characteristics such as him being a humanist, an individual against authority, a man with little religious faith who has an expansive, yet incomplete and flawed education. Faustus' first appearance also manages to transport one back to the Renaissance world by exposing some traits of the time which have shaped Faustus' personality, such as the impact which, the Reformation had on Faustus as well as his opinions formed on the traditional Renaissance curriculum. Therefore Faustus' characteristics show a reflection of the context of the play and whilst discovering Faustus' personality one also is taken back to the Renaissance world. ...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. Analysis of Faustus Soliloquy.

    He displays his will provide further evidence to the audience that he is highly intellectual, his ability later in this soliloquy to fluently switch between English and Latin and the ability to instantly think up quotes without difficulty will be seen as very impressive.

  2. 'Compare the ways that Marlowe and Chaucer present the theme of sin in 'Dr ...

    responsibility for Faustus' sins onto Lucifer allows us to empathise with Faustus, an emotion that would be otherwise impossible to justify. Similarly, we are able to empathise with Mephistopheles as he tells us that he is 'tormented with ten thousand hells' and asks Faustus to 'leave his demands'.

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

    power Mephastophilis will give him but towards the end of the play his magic becomes simple, cheap conjuring tricks and the sub-plot of the lower characters is no longer needed because he has almost fallen to their level. It could also be to illustrate the point that Faustus had such

  2. Faustus: Renaissance Martyr or Tragic Hero

    During the next five years he lived in London where he wrote and produced some of his plays and traveled a great deal on government commissions, something that he had done while trying to earn his M.A. degree. In 1589, however, he was imprisoned for taking part in a street

  1. What does the play show us about attitudes to sin and damnation?

    This also foreshadows Faustus' own fate at the end of the play. This recurs throughout the play. Like Lucifer, Faustus rebels against God. However, he realizes that the freedom he hoped for is only another form of slavery. It is true that at the end of the play, Faustus is

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

    In this section he demonstrates his great knowledge to the audience by referring to respected philosophers and showing how he fully understands and appreciates them, for example stating that he (may/will) "live and die in Aristotle's works". In addition, for the first time he quotes using Latin.

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