Analysis of Faustus Soliloquy.

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Jamaal Channer

Analysis of Faustus Soliloquy

This essay will identify, explore and outline the purpose of Faustus soliloquy. It will illustrate the effect it has and what kind of impression the audience obtains from his speech

The Oxford English Dictionary defines soliloquy as a speech in which a person speaks his or her thoughts aloud without addressing anyone.        

From the opening soliloquy, the reader is given a detailed and great insight into how Faustus mind works, how he uses his experience and his intellect to draw up conclusions on ‘a divine’. This is an effective approach as we initially get the impression that he thinks himself as being superior. The opening two lines of his soliloquy indicate that he is often quick at making decisions ‘wilt profess’, again this re-emphasises the idea that he believes that he is highly advanced in knowledge. I believe that using the word ‘wilt’ indicates that he has finalised his decision, and he is certain that he is going to take this path. However this is ironic, as we know that his knowledge contradicts himself as we soon discover that the decision made about selling his sole to the devil had a serious negative affect costing his life. We get the sense that he is not really independent but bases his theories on other philosophers. This provides the audience with the sense that Dr Faustus is uncertain.

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In lines 3-7, I believe that Faustus is demonstrating that he has succeeded in understanding all that one needs to know in the field of knowledge and philosophy ‘level at the end of every art’. In this section he presents 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 will ‘live and die in Aristotle's works.’ In addition, for the first time he quotes using Latin ‘bene disserer’. He displays his will provide further evidence to the audience that he is highly intellectual, ...

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