How might one explain and analyze the encounter between the good and bad angels in Christopher Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus?

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The confrontation between the good and bad angels in Christopher Marlowe’s play Doctor Faustus is typical of this drama in many ways.  Marlowe’s play is very much concerned with the conflict between good and evil and with the contrast between heaven and hell. The encounter between the good and bad angels symbolizes both of these thematic concerns. The angels’ appearance is in the tradition of the so-called “psychomachia,” literally a mental war or war within the mind or soul. The angels symbolize Faustus’s own opposed inner impulses and inner conflicts.

The good angel urges Faustus to put down the book of black magic that he has been consulting.  The angel calls the book “damned,” or evil, but his phrasing should also remind Faustus that if Faustus continues to rely on the book, he himself may be damned eternally to hell. The good angel urges Faustus not to “gaze” on the book. The verb “gaze” implies intense concentration and focus; if the angel had warned Faustus...

(The entire section contains 574 words.)

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