Discuss the Notions of Good and Evil Within the Play, Dr Faustus.

Discuss the notions of good and evil within the play, Dr Faustus.
Doctor Faustus is a tragic, gothic play, set during the Jacobean era. This was a time when the country was highly influenced by religion which led to many people believing in witchcraft and other supernatural elements. It was also a strict patriarchal society where women were considered subordinate to men and were succumbed to completing household chores.
Through a religious aspect all sins are associated with evil. Despite Faustus displaying ultimate evil by worshipping the devil, it could be argued that his alliance with the devil initiated with good intentions, to acquire more knowledge, “come show me some demonstrations magical”. He is already a very knowledgeable man and he is praised and honoured a lot for his knowledge therefore it could be argued that his passion for further knowledge is driven by arrogance and greed. He yearns for more appreciation and honour. Arrogance is one of the seven deadly sins which Faustus has clearly committed in abundance. His arrogance is apparent when he visits the Emperor and boasts about his new found knowledge, “my gracious Lord, I am ready to accomplish your request”. Joan Lumley argues that Faustus is a clear example of knowledge is power. It could be argued that her interpretation holds some validity as Faustus does seem to assume he is the all-powerful and he doesn’t bare anyone demoting him such as the Knight attempted to in the presence of the Emperor, “are you remembered with how you crossed me in my conference with the Emperor?”. It could be suggested that here is metaphorically humiliating the Knight in order to send out a message to others about what he is capable of doing if anyone questions him indicating that Faustus clearly enjoys his new found power. On another note, it is apparent that his alliance with the devil is also for his personal greed, “to do whatever Faustus shall command”. Before asking for any knowledge he ordered Mephistopheles...