Dr Faustus

LLE201 Dr Faustus is a play about desire: for the best in life, for knowledge, power, material comfort and influence.

Dr Faustus is a play that was written at a time of change and challenging, of not only ideas but lifestyles as well. One of the themes of the play was that of wanting to have, as well as be, the best. In this Essay I will examine the character of Faustus and his motives as well as unpacking the deeper desires that he wishes to be fulfilled at any cost including the desire for knowledge, power, material comfort and influence. It is interesting to note that the desire for these elements has survived through-out generations and are commonly found in society today. So therefore is Dr. Faustus a play about the embedded human nature of wanting the “good life” or possibly the sacrifices and consequences we will make in order to achieve our desires.

The chorus introduces the play and it's clear that Marlowe intended to give his audience a background to the character of Faustus. The audience gains knowledge about Faustus's family and humble upbringing when he refers to “his parents base of stock” (p 4:11).   But then Marlowe continues on to inform us that he was a scholar who “was graced with doctor's name” ( p 5.17). It's interesting to note that Faustus worked hard as a scholar and profited with a doctors' name. We can see that his status has already risen somewhat from a poorer origin to that of a respected doctor in his community. His humble upbringing as well as as this rise in title can both be considered as driving forces that pushed Faustus to desire even more. Once he achieved a taste for the better he began to crave it more ferociously and we later discuss his desperation to do whatever it takes to achieve this better life.

In scene one Faustus is alone in his study therefore he doesn't hold back and reveals his desires to the audience freely. Firstly, he speaks of being a physician. It is knowledge that Faustus has dedicated his whole...