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

To an Elizabethan audience we can be sure that Faustus rebellion would be exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure. Explore this statement considering the cultural and religious values of Marlowes day.

Extracts from this document...


"To an Elizabethan audience we can be sure that Faustus' rebellion would be exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure." Explore this statement considering the cultural and religious values of Marlowe's day. Dr Faustus was written by Christopher Marlowe in the Elizabethan era, which was a time of great religious importance, and high in catholic beliefs. Catholics believed that God was the most powerful entity in the word and the creator of the universe. Faustus condemned his soul to the devil, in order to become as powerful as God himself. This act is ironic in itself, however to an Elizabethan audience, this act of rebellion would not only be frightening, but in many ways exhilarating. There is no-one in the world, old or young, who would not give everything they have to become as powerful as God, but would not dare rebel against the lord. ...read more.


Faustus' eyes are glistened by the idea of gold and power, but he doesn't realise until late on that he is losing his soul to a power he cannot control. However, it is not only the religious values of an Elizabethan audience that would have lead to an exhilarating yet terrifying response. Cultural factors, including the society at the time, would have had a major affect on the audience's reaction. In the Elizabethan era, there was the controlled and the controlling, the peasants and the ruling. This therefore meant that if given the chance to gain power, as Faustus had, many if not all of the people at that time would have snatched at the opportunity to gain immediate gratification, especially peasants. ...read more.


If it was a play of a peasant who sold his soul to the Devil, the audience were less likely to be excited and exhilarated, as they probably didn't particularly care about peasants as they were of a lower class and status. But the fact that it was a tale of a man of their class and status made it much more dramatic, tense, exciting, yet terrifying to watch. To conclude, it is clear that Faustus' act of rebellion was both exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure, due to cultural factors at the time such as the class differences in society, and also because of the religious values in a highly non-secular society. However, I believe that the audience would have had more of an exciting reaction to the play, as it was so dramatic and unheard of that no-one really knew the true consequence, but were excited to find out what would really happen. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous 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 GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. To what extent are Shakespeares plays a product of the Elizabethan theatrical context in ...

    In this quote, Iago is saying that he has made himself believe that Cassio loves Desdemona, but he also has believed it so it will work well in his plan. He also says that he suspects Othello already believes that Cassio loves Desdemona.

  2. how Much Ado about Nothing reinforces and/or challenges the patriarchal ideology of Elizabethan Society.

    society, the conflict would not exist, and if there was no challenge to these patriarchal ideologies, viewers would ultimately lose interest. One patriarchal idea enforced in Much Ado About Nothing is that men are active and women are passive. Men in Patriarchal societies were seen to act upon their wishes and stop at nothing to get what they want.

  1. The Thirteenth Day

    THEY ARE WALKING THROUGH THE HALL DURING PASSING PERIOD. DANNY Weird note. You should probably show it to a teacher or something, its sounds like a threat or something. CHASE You think it has anything to do with the fact that tomorrow's Friday the thirteenth of October? DANNY Are you saying you actually believe in that?

  2. Write a comparison of the music videos Lean back(TM) by Terror Squad and Jesus ...

    It also sends out that negative stereotypical interpretation of young black men, that they are thugs, carry offensive weapons and provoke trouble. I think 'Lean Back' portrays materialistic, sexual and criminal lifestyles.

  1. Our Day Out

    An example of her short memory is when Les (the lollipop man) asks where she is going on her school trip and despite been excited about going she cannot remember. On page thirteen when they are leaving the city Carol shows her lack of vocabulary by pausing constantly and using vague words.

  2. Discuss the theme of deception in Shakespeare's

    In addition, an example of self-deception is Benedick and Beatrice hiding their love for one another and making themselves believe they despise each other. An example of a mistake is when Leonato believes that Hero lost her virginity before their marriage.

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