Compare Faustus’ beginning and final speeches of his initial and final wishes in Doctor Faustus by Marlowe, and say what characteristics of Faustus are shown? All things that move between quiet poles Shall be at my command: emperors and kings Are but obeyed in their several provinces, Nor can they raise the wind, or rend the clouds; But his Dominion that exceeds in this, Stretched as far as doth the mind of man; A sound magician is a mighty god: …………………………. Now draw up Faustus, like a foggy mist, Into entrails of your labouring cloud, That, when thou wömit forth into the air, My limbs may issue from your smoky mouths, So that my soul may but ascend to heaven! [...] O soul, be chang'd into little water-drops, And fall into the ocean, ne'er be found!

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There is nothing simple about Doctor Faustus by Marlowe. Quotes must be understood in context or be misunderstood. The Chorus begins by saying Faustus excelled in scholarly pursuits to the extent that all others were surpassed:

Excelling all whose sweet delight disputes
In heavenly matters of theology;

Thus he succumbed to "self-conceit": false pride, thinking himself able to attain ultimate knowledge of God. This is what the allusion to Icarus means: like Icarus, Faustus was ecstatic about his ability to attain things not meant to be attained, all the knowledge of God, "Tell me who made the world?":

But Icarus forgot his father's warning and plunged to his death in the sea. (Icarus and Daedalus, MythWeb.com)

CHORUS: Till swoln with cunning, of a self-conceit,
His waxen wings did mount above his reach,
And, melting, heavens conspir'd his overthrow;

This shows the complicated nature of Faustus's motivation. While his aspiration is knowledge, as the Chorus states, he recognizes the power it brings. To...

(The entire section contains 582 words.)

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