Doctor Faustus

Assignment 01
Part 2 Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus

Read the following passage from Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. Discuss Marlowe's use of language and how it contributes to the characterisation of Faustus.

The stated passage begins with two contradictory statements from the Good and Evil Angels in this morality play. The Angels can be interpreted as Faustus's conscious and of his character as not being bad nor good but of a neutral personality that can be influenced. The Good Angel starts by warning Faustus to detract from 'that damned book' of black magic. The more he looks the more tempted he becomes. The warning of punishment from God is thrown upon Faustus. 'Heap God's heavy wrath upon thy head' (I. 74).

The Evil Angel wills on Faustus and tells him to 'go forward' and have more than what God can offer. God is referred to as 'Jove' in the play, an alternative name for God used by Ancient Romans. Also, Jove was used in similar times to Christopher Marlow instead of using the name God.

Faustus continues, 'How am I glutted to conceit this!' (I. 80). He has a greedy desire for these unearthly powers. Marlowe uses gluttony in the language, and this being one of God's seven deadly sins. 'Resolve me of all ambiguities,' (I. 82). This shows doubtfulness about what the right decision actually is and Faustus hopes these questions can be answered.

Geographic references are used to expand on the unlimited riches available to Faustus. 'Fly to India for Gold', 'Ransack the ocean for orient pearl' (I. 85). 'And search all corners of the new-found world (America). This shows Faustus also wanting undiscovered riches and pleasures that are not already available to him. Faustus then turns his attention to foods of the world, 'pleasant fruits and princely delicates'. Fruit not being as available and he wants delicacies fit for royalty.

Despite later judgements in this passage, Faustus wants to reward is past education by filling 'public schools' (University)...