Trace Doctor Faustus' mental conflict from the start of the play to his last hour on earth.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

A brief encapsulation of Faustus's mental conflict begins with the description given by the Chorus in Act I, scene i of Dr. Faustus and ends with the Chorus's summary of his plight. The Chorus begins with a metaphor that compares Faustus to Icarus who fatefully flew too near the Sun on waxen wings. They say that Faustus is "glutted now with learning's golden gifts" and therefore turns to gorge himself on magic: "He surfeits upon cursed necromancy; / Nothing so sweet as magic is to him" (surfeit: an amount of something that is too large).

Faustus's initial mental conflict is to find something to inspire him that is worthy of professing, since he is at the end of his greatly prolonged studies: “begin / To sound the depth of that thou wilt profess.” He rejects the study of logic ("Analytics"), economics, medicine, law, and divinity: “What will be, shall be? Divinity,...

(The entire section contains 458 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team