Do you agree that the treatment of "Faust" theme in Doctor Faustus falls between medieval and Renaissance spirits? Discuss.

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Marlowe wrote Doctor Faustus at a time when the medieval period and its intellectual assumptions were being challenged by the Renaissance. And this seismic cultural change is reflected to a considerable extent in the play's protagonist, who wants to break free of what he considers the chains of medieval learning in order to achieve worldwide fame and renown.

Faustus is the Renaissance Man par excellence. He sees man as being endowed with the power to discern the secrets of the universe. He no longer has to rely upon divine revelation for his knowledge of the world around him; from now on, he can draw upon his own intellectual resources.

The problem for Faustus, however, is that he's never able to break free entirely from the shackles of the past. He eventually discovers to his cost that there's a limit as to how much knowledge he can possess, even with the assistance of Mephistopheles. As his twenty-four years of power start coming to an end, and with his mortal soul on its way to hell, Faustus turns back, albeit without complete conviction, to the old certainties of the medieval period that he left behind.

Faustus begs the Almighty to save him from the fiery pit of hell, but it's too late. He chose to embrace the Renaissance spirit in its entirety, showing great arrogance and hubris in doing so, and now he's going to be punished for it.

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