Explain "Every man" in dr.faustus?

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nusratfarah's profile pic

nusratfarah | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Everyman - the term points to such a character in which all humans can see a projection of their own characters. Everyman represents all humankind. Similarly, Marlowe's Faustus is represented as such a character who stands for universal multiplicity of human gray features.

Faustus is a combination of black and white. Like Sophocles's Oedipus or Shakespeare's Macbeth and Lear, he is blinded by greed, ambition and pride. Still, he is a profound scholar who rescues his country from the attack of plague. He is efficient in almost all the fields of worldly knowledge. He is the teacher at a German university. Yet, all his wonderful qualities are overshadowed by his evil deeds. Crossing the limit makes him a loser after all. Like Icarus, his wings melt and all his good features go in vain. He, in spite of that, has an "amiable soul" inside the wrong-doer. He chooses the wrong path, deals with the devils, but many a times, we have seen him willing to repent and return, though he could not at all.

Marlowe's Faustus is neither a demon, nor an angel; he is totally a human being, an 'everyman' in this sense. As humans possess both good and bad attributes, Faustus, also, takes a grayish position.

dixon349's profile pic

dixon349 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Honors

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One of the most apparent themes in Doctor Faustus is the battle between good and evil. At the beginning of the play, Faustus finds himself torn between good and evil, knowing the distinction and consequences of the two, but overwhelmed by his desire for worldly pleasures. This position is one that every one of us could potentially find himself in, hence the everyman concept.

In literature and drama, the term everyman has come to mean an ordinary individual, with whom the audience or reader is supposed to be able to identify easily, and who is often placed in extraordinary circumstances. The name derives from a 15th century English morality play called Everyman.

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