Usually when we speak of the "modern man," we're referring to a mindset: one in which the older values and kinds of fulfillment have passed away and been replaced by a void, or an existential dilemma. How, we ask, is man to find meaning in a universe where traditional belief systems are no longer valid?
It still comes as a surprise that this question is implied not only in Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, but in other works of the Elizabethan theatre as a whole, over 400 years ago. Only a deep sense of dissatisfaction would make a man "sell his soul" to the devil, as Faustus does. It's not enough for him merely to be a scholar and a servant of God: Faustus wants more than what man has been granted in earthly life–just as fictional characters closer in time to us do in the works of Dostoevsky, Joyce, Camus, and practically every major author of the past 100+ years.
Granting this similarity, Marlowe's play still takes place within a traditional framework of religious belief, in which Faustus ends up punished for the transgression of wanting more than what is permitted to man. The other pre-modern feature in Marlowe is that the things Faustus gains in his "pact" are superficial and, ultimately, meaningless. He wants power over others in the world of surface values, the physical realm—unlike Goethe's Faust 200 years later, who wishes for some ultimate spiritual epiphany in which he will find "the moment" so beautiful that he would make it endure. In Marlowe, the culmination of Faustus's desires occurs in his meeting with Helen of Troy, the symbol of ultimate physical beauty. But after this, there is nothing, and Faustus is left alone with his terror as he faces eternal punishment.