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

What do scenes 1 and 3 tell us about Elizabethan beliefs?

Extracts from this document...


What do scenes 1 and 3 tell us about Elizabethan beliefs? By Hayley Sheath 12MF Scene 1. The opening speech to Scene 1 demonstrates how Elizabethan people began to think differently, due to the Renaissance. Lines1-3 tell us abut Faustus' education, as does the use of Latin; this shows that Faustus is educated. Followed by line 4 -'Yet level at the end of every work', that shows how he now considering all options. As a Renaissance man, he no longer has to live the life he was intended to (for example to follow his father's career); instead, he has choices. Line 5 refers to Aristotle, whose work in Elizabethan times was disputed by another philosopher, Ramus. This proves how Elizabethan people were beginning to challenge their own opinions, and the opinions of others, as well as thinking of new ideas- all typical Renaissance attitudes. This first speech also reveals the greed the Elizabethans had for knowledge, a typical Renaissance trait. ...read more.


The good and evil angel in the scene are allegories for how Elizabethan people felt; how they tried to divide good from bad, right from wrong etc, in light of their new knowledge. The evil angel represents temptation, and the temptation of new knowledge and curiosity. The good angel represents conscience, and knowing your limits- something Faustus fails to acknowledge. Another theme of the scene is Humanism, which Faustus definitely demonstrates. He is curious, and feels powerful due to his knowledge yet he does not set himself boundaries. This shows how Elizabethans believed they could achieve above what was realistically possible. This is verified in the introduction to Scene 1, where the story of Icarus is told. The story shows the consequences of over-ambition, and tells you what will happen to Faustus. Scene 1 also shows the Elizabethan need for extravagance, money and fame, lines 14-15 show how Faustus wants gold, and to be immortalized. ...read more.


He tells Faustus ' O, by inspiring pride and insolence, From which God threw him from the face of heaven'. This is exactly what is going to happen to Faustus, but he is too arrogant to listen to Mephastophilis. This creates dramatic irony for the audience, as they know what is going to happen to Faustus. It also shows how Elizabethans were so haughty that they refused to listen to others views, or even consider that they may be right. You can also see pride in Faustus saying' I see there's virtue in my heavenly words'. Faustus is so conceited with himself, as he thinks he has succeeded in conjuring the devil. This offers humour for the audience, because in fact, the devil came himself- it was nothing to do with Faustus. In scene 3, you can also see the doubts of Faustus. He says 'then fear not Faustus but be resolute'. This shows that although the Renaissance had brought superiority to Elizabethans, it also brought them doubt. The Renaissance proved that not all they believed was true-, which accounts for their doubts. 1 ...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

    Explore the presentation of Faustus in the opening scenes.

    3 star(s)

    However some of Faustus' ambitions portray him as arrogant and self centred, 'I'll have them fly to India for gold,' or ' reign soul king of all our provinces'. Despite this though his goals are impressive that the audience somehow feel sympathetic towards him.

  2. Dr. Faustus: Show how Elizabethan beliefs in heaven and hell influence the play.

    This shows how domineering the Devil is to Faustus -controlling his thoughts, so Faustus can no longer think of God and gain forgiveness. This lack of restraint leads to fear on Faustus' behalf. This fear returns and is evident in Scene 13, where Faustus has lost all arrogance and is very regretful.

  1. How Successfully Does Marlowe portrayal of Faustus reflect the attitudes and beliefs of Elizabethan ...

    Even after signing away his soul to the devil, Faustus has the option of repentance that will save him from hell. But once he has committed himself to his own damnation, Faustus seems unable to change his course. This of course leads to his damnation in the last Act.

  2. What does Marlowe's presentation of Mephastophilis tell an audience about sixteen century ideas of ...

    At the time in which this play was performed many believed that it was possible to become entrapped by the devil and Mephastophilis behaviour in these scenes reiterates this point. We also learn through Mephastophilis the limitations of demonic gifts.

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

    Without much coercion needed, the Evil Angel convinces Faustus that the wealth he can gain through his deal with the devil is worth loosing his soul. "No Faustus, think of honour and of / wealth" the Angel persuades him (1.5.22-23).

  2. Faustus: Renaissance Martyr or Tragic Hero

    Faustus realizes the amount of power that he can gain from being a necromancer, so he tells Mephistophilis to return to hell and tell Satan that he will sell his soul to him for twenty-four years of absolute power. Satan agrees to this, telling Faustus to sign the bargain in blood.

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

    This was probably what the attitude of the people was, that there is a lot to gain from sin. The bargain seems very attractive when he meets with Valdes and Cornelius and the three of them talk about all that Faustus will be able to do.

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

    I think that this represents the continuing battle that Protestants must fight against the Catholics. In order for the knight's quest to be completed, he must face the dragon, Errour, a 'monster vile, whom God and man does hate' (1.115).

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