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An Analysis Of Marlow's Dr. Faustus

840 words - 4 pages

In 1564 Christopher Marlow was born in Canterbury. His father was a shoemaker, and it was only through scholarships that Marlow was able to attain his education. He attended Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he wrote Tamburlaine. According to The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Marlow wrote Dr. Faustus in the last stages of his life. Christopher Marlow only lived to be twenty-nine years old; he was killed in London during an argument over the bill at a bar (1: 970-971). This essay will discuss the aspects of plot and theme as well as explaining the purpose of the chorus in Christopher Marlow's Dr. Faustus.

The prologue of Dr. Faustus introduces the audience to Faustus' ...view middle of the document...

Instead of repenting Faustus is persuaded otherwise by a conjured figure of Helen of Troy. In the final scene Faustus pleads with God for help, as the devils drag his body out of the room. The chorus arrives on stage again and warns the audience of falling into the evils that Faustus did. (1: 991-1023)

The major theme in Dr. Faustus is his struggle with limitations. Having acquired all the knowledge a man can, Faustus becomes restless in his studies. He wishes to gain the knowledge and power of a god. Faustus proves this theme when he says, "Here Faustus, try thy brains to gain a deity." (1.3). The irony in Faustus' need to exceed limitations is that with his power come the most ultimate limitations. He is limited to one fate, and that is to be forever held in damnation. His limitation comes in the form of not understanding repentance. He is aware of the facts, but his pride limits him to a full understanding. In Scene 13 a scholar says to Faustus, ."..look up to heaven; remember God's mercies are infinite" (13.13-14). Yet still Faustus cannot accept the theory of redemption. He responds, "But Faustus' offense can ne'er be pardoned" (13.15).

The chorus in Dr. Faustus is similar to the chorus in several Greek tragedies. The difference in the chorus here and the Greek chorus' is Dr. Faustus chorus appears only...

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