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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Examine Dr. Faustus As a Morality Play

Name : Solanki Pratiksha M.                                              

Roll No : 26
Sem : 1 ( 2013 -2015 )
Paper Name : The Renaissance Literature
Subject : Examine Dr. Faustus as a Morality Play
Submitted to :  SMT. S.B. Gardi

                        Dept. of English

                        M.K.Bhavnagar University

Dr. Faustus as a Morality Play..
About Christopher Marlowe :
        Christopher Marlowe was an Actor, Poet, and playwright during the reign of
Britain’s queen Elizabeth. “ Dr. Faustus  “ is the most famous of Marlow’s plays, and
it’s hero, who sells his soul to the devil in return for twenty-four years of power and
pleasure, is by far the best known of his rebellious protagonist.

Marlowe based the plot of his play

“ The History if The Damnable life and Deserved Death of doctor John Faustus

     Play is based on Christopher Marlowe’s stories about Scholar and magician. The
play is a tragic comedy and only I learn that it’s widely believed that Marlowe only
constructed it is beginning and conclusion. It’s said that he wrote the tragic
elements, where as two other collaborates wrote the dialogue in the middle.. Really..
Christopher Marlowe is one of the greatest classical playwright.

About Morality Play :

     The Morality Play were most famous in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries.
The Morality Play developed during the Medieval period. Morality Plays typically
contain for a protagonist, who represents either huminity as a whole or smaller
social structure, and other supporting characters are personifications of “Good and
evil “.

     In Morality plays uses allegorical characters to teach the audience moral lessons,
typical Christian nature. In Dr. Faustus play central characters are falls into evil
ways. The presence of evil and virtuous adviser is also reminiscent of the Morality
Plays. According to M.H.Abrams..,

“  Morality plays were dramatized allegories of a representation .”

Dr. Faustus As A Morality Play :   

     Dr. Faustus has many features of Morality Play : just like Good Angles and Bad
Angles, good and evil, old woman, seven deadly sins and the appearance of Lucifer,
Belzebub and Mephistophilis  to ensare his “ Glorious Soul”.
    The Conflict between Good and Evil was a
recurring theme in the Medieval Morality plays, and with the help of it Marlowe gives
many moral messages to audience. The good Angel and The Bad Angel-  those
characters are derieved from the medieval morality plays. Dr. Faustus like allegorical
figures of a Morality Play. The series of dialogues spoken by Good Angel it’s another
example of Morality Play.

The good and evil Angels.. the forms stand for the path of virtue and the latter sin
and damnation..

“ One for Conscience and the other for desires..”

“ Symbolizes the force of righteousness and Morality Play.”

     In Dr.Faustus seven deadly sins are also there to gives us moral lessons. If the
general theme of morality plays was theological dealing  with the struggle of forces
of good and evil for man’s soul, than..

“ Dr.Faustus” nay be called a religious or Morality play to a very great extent ” We

find Marlowe’s hero , Faustus adjuring the “ Trinity and Christ”. He surrenders his
soul to the devil out of his inordinate ambition to get gain.

“ .. a world of profit and delight of power, of honour, of Omnipotence. “

     The appearance of seven deadly sins shows that Marlowe in

Dr. Faustus adopted some of the conveutions of the old Morality Plays. The seven
deadly sins – Pride, Covetousness, Wrath, Envy, Gluttony, Sloth and Lechery, all
those sins are shows that Old Morality Plays are also very much here in this plays.

“ The comic scenes of Dr. Faustus also belong to the tradition of Morality Play.”

     In Dr. Faustus many comic scenes are depicted especially his pranks on the pope,
the plating of a pair of horns on the head of knight and the cheating of a greedy
Though to a great extent “Dr. Faustus “ is a morality play, yet there are also some
other elements which make it different from Morality Plays. The difference is that in
Morality plays, all characters are abstractions not concrete., but in “Dr. Faustus” the
main character Faustus, is not an abstraction but as person with desires and high

In Morality Play, the moral is always positive and goodness always triumphs over
evil, truth over lie and virtue over voice. “ Dr. Faustus” can never be treated wholly as
a Morality play. It’s greatest heroic tragedy before Shakespeare.

“ Men are distinguished by the power of their wanting.”

Conclusion :
Thus.. “ Dr. Faustus” – is the mysterious play by Christopher Marlow and with the
help of this play we getting many moral lessons through characters, Good and evil ,
seven deadly sins.. All those things are teaches us Morality.

 Thank You..!

Unknown at 02:19


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