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Review of The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
R. Swetha,
171102066
The play The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus was written by Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593).He was the greatest of the pre-Shakespearean dramatist. He was also known as Kit Marlowe and was the best Elizabethan tragedy dramatist. His works were more tragic. In the play The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, the effect of Renaissance is seen. There were many discoveries and improvement of science, education, art, philosophy and many other aspects from 14th to 17th century in Europe. The advancements were great and there was a spirit for quest in that period. Likewise, Dr. Faustus also had the Renaissance spirit, because of which he went very greedy to learn new things and was attracted by honor and wealth.

Dr. Faustus was a German scholar who gained great knowledge in medicine, law, theology, philosophy, management, logic etc. But he was not satisfied with his knowledge. He thought that his knowledge had not given him any fame or pride and he was not able to do whatever he wished for. So he searched for some other evil powers to satisfy his wishes. His pride and ambition made him worse and he started learning black magic. He thought that the universal power would be within him if he becomes a magician. His Pride is one of the seven deadly sins. The others are covetousness, envy, wrath, gluttony, sloth and lechery.

Faustus used his black magic and called a devil Mephistophilis, the servant of Lucifer to have his own spiritual powers and to attain great happiness. He listened to the words of the devil and accepted to promise that his soul could be taken after twenty four years by Lucifer. He did not realise the sufferings of damnation and disrespected his creator. He was distracted by ambition and greed. The good angel advised him to think of only heavenly things. But the bad angel forced him to think of his pride and wealth. So he thought only of his honor and wealth. The good angel’s words flew away and only the devil’s words stayed in his heart. The good angel advised him many times to leave his sins and to beg to Christ. Christ was ready to accept him even when he was loyal to the devil, but he refused. As Faustus had powerful spirits, he travelled across the world to enjoy pleasures. His sins increased everyday. He didn’t notice the advice of redemption done by God. The opportunity of getting the redemptive power of God is priceless and Faustus didn’t realised the gracefulness of Christ. He didn’t know to use his magical powers in a proper way.

Faustus was interested in lechery through a beautiful woman, Helen of Troy. She was the most beautiful woman in the Greek Tales. He lusted towards her and therefore committed another sin. The redemptive power of Christ started decreasing as his sins increased. It was not only that the good angel advised him, but also an old man asked him to repent, but he listened only to the evil words of the devil to attain happiness. Finally when Faustus’ twenty four years was about to end within one hour, he started begging for mercy to Christ. He pleaded and cried to God to forgive him only when his damnation neared him. But Christ was not ready to forgive as Faustus had broken the redemptive power of Christ. There was no use in realising mistakes in the last moment of life. So Faustus was punished in the hell at the end. So this shows the role of sins, redemption and damnation in The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus.

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