Evaluate Dr.Faustus as a Renaissance play?
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Christopher Marlowe’s ‘Dr.Faustus’, A Play of RenaissanceFaustus as a man of renaissance: Renaissance means the great revival of art. Faustus insatiable desire and thirst for knowledge and learning, his deep interest in necromancy, his fanaticism, his supra-mundane aspirations and strong will in the pursuit of ideas of beauty or power proved him to be a man of renaissance. Faustus rejection of the traditional subjects of study and turning to magic and practicing it for obtaining profit, delight, power, honour and omnipotence show that he was a man of renaissance. He dwells upon the advantages which he will gain as a magician. His ardent curiosity, his desire for power and pelf, and his nationalism are sound qualities of the renaissance. Renaissance was the great age of discovery of English history. Faustus desire for gold, pearls, pleasant fruits and princely delicacies for far off places speak of his enlarged outlook and extended horizon. In his last soliloquy, Faustus offers to burns his books of magic. It gives us the impression that he attributed his downfall considerably to his wrong learning. He certainly embodies the new enquiring and aspiring spirit, audacity of thought and temper to renaissance. He is exuberant and bold in his actions, thoughts, deliberations, disputing, conjuring, philosophizing, defying God and undertaking the hazards. This shows that he infused the old medieval or Christian moral equation with the novel and ambiguous dynamic of the Renaissance. Marlowe made Faustus the first modern man and gave him unique fascination and dignity. The story represents a soul torn between over-enthusiastic desires on the one hand and the claims of the old teaching which if defied could grow into a sense of alienation from society.
The legend of Faustus is an eye-opener to all Christians to beware of the pitfalls of science, pleasure and ambition which had brought about damnation of Faustus. The Good Angel warned Faustus that he would only incur God’s wrath upon his head if he reads the book of magic. He also makes him to think of Heaven. The Evil Angel exhorts him to proceed with the famous art of magic and to become the commander of the earth. The appeal to vague and healthy ambitions of an aspirant soul represents the natural ideal of the renaissance. We are all praise for his love of life, trust in nature and his enthusiasm for beauty. Power, curious knowledge, enterprise, wealth and beauty are the characteristic of Faustus and same are assessed most by renaissance.
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