Power in Doctor 'Faustus'.How is power abused in 'Doctor Faustus'?

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vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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One way in which Dr. Faustus abuses power is outlined in the opening scene of the play. In that scene, he lists all the various kinds of study he has undertaken and all the various reasons he has that have made him come to consider those various disciplines unsatisfactory. Here Marlowe seems to be mocking Faustus's abuse of the intellectual powers he has been given by God. Rather than using those powers to come to a better knowledge of God or to benefit others (or even himself), Faustus engages in shallow, superficial reasoning that sometimes makes him seem a bit of a buffoon rather than a deeply tragic figure.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the major criticisms of this excellent play is the wya in which Dr. Faustus is given all this power, but the most imaginative thing he can think to do with it is to engage in childish pranks such as making the Pope look ridiculous. This could clearly be considered an abuse of the tremendous power he has been given to enjoy. In a sense, the most significant sections of this play are the beginning and the end, with the middle section only serving to reinforce the way in which man is not meant to have such power.

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