Dr Faustus

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

What initially strikes me is how Faustus is resigned to his fate during the first opening lines; you can imagine how defeated, depressed and ashamed he is of his foolishness. (lines 66-68).  

The use of many exclamation marks draws your attention to the context and clearly helps you understand how Faustus is now pleading for time to slow down to allow him to beg for mercy and repent to Christ to save his soul.   Faustus then appears to become desperate when he realises what awaits him and the passages run very quickly onto one another whereas in fact, Faustus is trying to stop time by quoting “O lente, lente currite noctis equi!” (lines 69-75).   Faustus’ bravery begins to falter as he is thrown into sheer panic at what awaits and starts to plead for his soul to be saved from eternal damnation by asking for the blood of Christ (line 79).   These lines I believe clearly show that he regrets whole heartedly the deal he made with Mephistopheles as all the arrogance and feeling of absolute power have now subsided and replaced with ultimate fear.

The language used in this passage wants you to feel sorry for him and almost feel as though he should be saved but it does leave you with a positive feeling that he has brought this upon himself through his arrogant, flamboyant ways driven by greed and that he deserves the fate that awaits him.

From Lines 81, Faustus is almost defeated and is now turning to Lucifer for leniency as a faithful servant and asking for protection against “the heavy wrath of god”.   These lines particularly strike me that he is blaming himself for his alliance with Lucifer and why God will not save him and then pleads to be hidden by “mountains and hills” rather than to face his ultimate judgement.     The language used here shows his desperation at what now appears to be the...