Is Doctor Faustus a Morality Play?

Length: 2 Pages 463 Words

Is Doctor Faustus a Morality Play? YES Faustus is in some ways an everyman figure. We are able to relate to him, as he has internal struggles and traits that we can see in ourselves. He was also ‘poor of stock’, making him even easier to relate to. Characters in morality plays were personifications of good and evil, usually involved in a struggle for a mans soul. This is true of Doctor Faustus, it uses angels and devils, and shows them as real, rather than fiction, and Marlowe uses these characters to show the struggles Faustus encounters with regards to his soul. Morality plays used allegory to dramatise the struggles between good and evil that Christianity believed went o Continue...


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Morality plays show a switch in emphasis from religious characters to common people. In Faustus this is true as the vice figures cause Faustus to forget the one thing he felt he wanted more than anything else - knowledge, as he resorts to petty tricks, losing his ambition. Doctor Faustus has more individuality as marlowe gives his characters real names. Faustus is the protagonist, encouraging all of the action in the play. (Allegorical - represent concepts or ideas). Also the everyman figure in a morality play is meant to learn with age, but Faustus fails to do this. But Faustus concentrates on the common people, making Doctor Faustus the centre character, and also showing him to mock the pope. There are typically vice figures, which then tempt the central character, but in a morality play the tempters tend to also be ordinary characters, but in Doctor Faustus the tempters are the personified allegorical characters - the Devils (Lucifer and Metasophilis). Faustus in some parts sticks to this structure, Faustus is the central character and is an ordinary person. But allegorical names are included in the play: the seven deadly sins, old man. Morality plays have a religious subject but the protagonist is the averagecommon man (this is in keeping with the Renaissance philosophy of the importance of man's free will). This is true of Doctor Faustus; the Elizabethan hierarchy stated that God was top, angels, religious figures (pope etc), then common people. Faustus never realises the importance of prayer and repentance, instead he believes that books and knowledge are the most important things, and refers to them at the beginning and at the end of the play, showing that he still hasn't learnt.

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