Is Doctor Faustus a Morality Play?
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 on in each person.
Morality plays show a switch in emphasis from religious characters to common people. This is true of Doctor Faustus; the Elizabethan hierarchy stated that God was top, angels, religious figures (pope etc), then common people. But Faustus concentrates on the common people, making Doctor Faustus the centre character, and also showing him to mock the pope.
Morality plays have a religious subject but the protagonist is the average/common man (this is in keeping with the Renaissance philosophy of the importance of man’s free will). Faustus is the protagonist, encouraging all of the action in the play.
Morality plays don’t give their characters real names they use allegorical names such as ‘everyman’ or ‘mischief’. Doctor Faustus has more individuality as marlowe gives his characters real names. But allegorical names are included in the play: the seven deadly sins, old man. (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. 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 pla...