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

There are many aspects in act one scene one of Doctor Faustus which illustrates identical or parallel themes that derive from the Prometheus myth. Throughout the scene Faustus appears to be discontented

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

There are many aspects in act one scene one of Doctor Faustus which illustrates identical or parallel themes that derive from the Prometheus myth. Throughout the scene Faustus appears to be discontented with the result of all his learning, he reveals that, 'a greater subject fitteth Faustus wit1'. His obsession to obtain the ability to develop his knowledge reveals his determination to gain power and enlightenment. Faustus rejects the thought of being an esteemed physician; he dismisses the study of law as work that 'fits a mercenary drudge2'. On the other hand, he argues that Divinity cannot offer him the glory he seeks as he concludes that as we are all sinners we must 'die an everlasting death3'. Therefore, he turns to necromancy, the study of black arts. His strive to gain power is further emphasized by his belief that 'a sound magician is a mighty god4', implying he regards a magician to be able to sustain power equal to that of which God possesses. This rivalry over power between the magician and God is explored in Prometheus Bound, where we establish the antagonism between Prometheus and Zeus as they compete for greater strength and power. ...read more.

Middle

Additionally, Faustus' later statement 'both law and physic are for petty wits8', illustrates his rejection and dissatisfaction of what he has obtained. Thus from the outset of the play we see a man who is educated, proud, egotistic, but also pitiable in his desire to possess a god-like power. Similarly, Prometheus shares some of these qualities, as it is his knowledge and ego, which lead to his ultimate punishment. Clearly, Doctor Faustus, act one scene one, demonstrates the essential themes maintained in Prometheus myth, he is obsessed with power and is determined to gain wisdom and enlightenment, as he overreaches, just like Prometheus. Consequently, our central characters both share comparable weaknesses, which we discover through their pride and ego. Moreover, fate is another crucial factor explored in Greek tragedies. The Prometheus myth offers one extended Scene of Suffering, which is apparent as Prometheus is literally chained by his fate. Similarly, this is explored in Doctor Faustus as Marlowe presents the struggle with religion throughout, which inevitably leads to his ultimate deterioration and damnation by his descending to hell. Faustus' speech offers a tone of helplessness and sourness as he quotes from Romans 6.23, 'the reward of sin is death. ...read more.

Conclusion

Though it is not until act five, scene two, where we establish the deep distress and anguish experienced by Faustus, act one, scene one, also offers a struggle within Faustus' identity as he battles with his individuality and beliefs. The illustration of the good and evil angels may be a personification of the conflict and choices that continue to face Faustus. Their opposing views represent Faustus' confusion, and in turn highlight his suffering within the opening of the play. Hence, it is evident that the text engages with the Prometheus myth as it demonstrates aspects of torture and damnation, which are apparent in Prometheus bound. In conclusion, although Doctor Faustus contains a different setting and a contrasting society from what we are familiar with in Prometheus myth, we can still discern similarities as well as conflicts between the Christian worldviews and the Greek or renaissance worldviews, which becomes explicit by the identical themes between them. The reference to Icarus foreshadows Faustus' fate as he endeavours to gain knowledge, his overreaching desire parallels the Prometheus myth, hence, it is no surprise to find that Prometheus' suffering is re-established in Faustus' struggle. Moreover, the texts continue to engage thematically as we identify power, pride, and rebellion, in which our protagonists face. ...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. "An impressive opening, a marvellous ending, an indifferent middle". Does this twentieth century comment ...

    By now, the tragedy is inevitable; Faustus has rejected all hope of salvation, and the audience wait for his impending doom with trepidation. The final scene, in which we witness Faustus' death is both memorable and moving. His solitude at the end of the play compliments his solitude at the

  2. Doctor Faustus -a morality play? we will discuss how the Renaissance tragedy Doctor Faustus ...

    The pageant of the Seven Deadly Sins shows that Marlowe has adopted some of the conventions of the old Morality play, however unlike in the medieval tradition where it meant to be primarily cautionary in character, in Doctor Faustus it is a source of farcical entertainment meant to distract Faustus when he calls upon Christ.

  1. Analysis of Faustus Soliloquy.

    It is from line 25 onwards that his interest in magic is revealed and now the audience may understand what he now wants to conquer. Having concluded that he is no longer interested in physics, but interested in magic, he appears to seek guidance from Justinian.

  2. Dr Faustus is more morality play than gothic. How far does your reading of ...

    The good angel encourages Faustus to "Repent yet, God will pity thee" whereas the evil angel ends with a reminder that "Thou art a sprit, God cannot pity thee". Marlowe's use of the good and evil angel could be interpreted a physical representative of Faustus, and the human race, own conscience and on-going battle between right and wrong.

  1. Remind yourself of Scene 12 (pages 59-63)

    There is much dramatic irony created during the introduction of Scene 12. Although an extremely moving speech by the Old Man-representing Christian faith-both Faustus and the audience know he will always return to the Devil. As Faustus continues to fluctuate between God and Lucifer, however tempting it may be for Faustus to return to God, we know he will not.

  2. Faustus: Renaissance Martyr or Tragic Hero

    In fact, some argue that this play epitomizes the ideals of the Renaissance: egocentrism and the over-indulgence of knowledge. "The lust for power that led to the excess of the Renaissance-the slaughter of Montezuma and countless American Indians, the launching of the Armada, the very creation of the English Church out of Henry's spleen-is epitomized in Dr.

  1. Would You Consider Doctor Faustus to be a Medieval Morality Play or a Renaissance ...

    are heavenly' and his rejection symbolises his break with the medieval world, which prized authority above all else, in favour of a more modern spirit of free inquiry, experimentation and innovation. Faustus reveals his desire for the powers that will bring him knowledge, and just as importantly, fortune and fame,

  2. "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").

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