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The Role and Significance of Mephistopheles in Faustus Downfall - Assignment Example

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In the paper “The Role and Significance of Mephistopheles in Faustus’ Downfall” the author discusses the character of Dr. Faustus, the protagonist of the play. This is uniquely crafted in that, although Faustus embodies some of the values of the Renaissance, the plays adopt the traditional world-view…
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The Role and Significance of Mephistopheles in Faustus Downfall
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Download file to see previous pages He “exhibits the self-created human being, the arch-questioner. Faustus and Tamburlaine, Machiavelli and the subversive Ovid challenge the status quo and critique it.”(Kline)
The character of Dr. Faustus, the protagonist of the play under discussion, may be seen as an extension of Marlowe’s personality. However, this is uniquely crafted in that, although Faustus embodies some of the values of the Renaissance, the play adopts the traditional Western (Biblical) Medieval world-view of religion—God is the Creator and source of all goodness; Satan is God’s antithesis and the source of all evil. Mankind’s salvation lies in total acceptance and subjugation to the will of God. To some extent, Marlowe was ensuring political correctness—the scenes when the Pope is shown as a ridiculous victim of Faustus’ magic tricks went down well with the powers that be in an Elizabethan England, which had just broken away from Rome. So also where Cardinal Bruno is shown being freed from Papal bondage so that he can get back to Germany. However, Marlowe was also reminding us not to throw the baby out with the bathwater—Papal deficiencies had to be remedied, but true religion was not to be eschewed in the process.
Milton’s spirited Satan in Paradise Lost—a Satan, who also embodies some of the values of the Renaissance—independence, pride, and the belief in knowledge—came almost a century later, and was, to some extent influenced by Marlowe’s Faust. (Johnson)
The play is about a German scholar, Dr. Faustus. Faustus respects knowledge and chafes under the limits to existing. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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