Microsoft word - 02 dr.vitthal gore

Dr. Vitthal Gore, Department of English, Matrusri Engineering College, Saidabad, Hyderabad, A. P. Abstract: The Elizabethan Age began in the fourth quarter of the sixteenth century and continued for about fifty
years. The age saw the movements of the transition which carried out the essence of the age. Christopher Marlowe’s
Doctor Faustus reflects the Renaissance spirit and revolves round the protagonist who is consumed by lust for power,
wealth and knowledge. Marlowe’s tragedies are one man type of tragedy in which the hero dominates over the rest of
the characters and drafts them by his towering personality. Doctor Faustus is a play dealing with moral issues in the
contemporary society. Faustus strives hard to gain knowledge, his pursuit for knowledge is consistent and he is
determined to do so for ever even by giving away his own soul to the devil in turn he gets twenty four years of
persistent pursuit of knowledge, wealth, power and so on. The present article deals with the moral disintegration of
Dr. Faustus and his dilemma with a special focus on the paradoxes of the contemporary society.
Keywords: Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, Paradox of the Renaissance Society, 16th Century Literature.

The renaissance is an extremely important The Elizabethan Age began in the fourth quarter movement in the history of Europe and Great Britain in of the sixteenth century and continued for about fifty particular. It refers to the rebirth or revival of arts, years. The age saw the movements of the transition culture and literature in the regime of Queen Elizabeth I period which carried out the essence of the age. (1558-1603). In the sixteenth century, the contemporary Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus reflects the medieval society had a distinctive structure and was Renaissance spirit and revolves round the protagonist dominated by the aristocratic people. The people who is consumed by lust for power, wealth and considered government as a necessary evil but wanted to knowledge. Marlowe’s tragedies are one man type of have and maintain political influence so as to control the tragedy in which the hero dominates over the rest of the society and the people. Since Queen Elizabeth I came characters and drafts them by his towering personality. into the throne, the social scenario in Great Britain went Individual identity of Dr. Faustus and the Paradoxes
through a phase of change. Imperialism and colonialism in the Play:
started its spiral grip over a number of countries and the Doctor Faustus is a play dealing with moral discovery of America by Columbus expanded the issues in the contemporary society. Faustus strives hard to gain knowledge, his pursuit for knowledge is The new movement gave a wide scope to every consistent and he is determined to do so for ever even by individual for zest, wealth, knowledge, and the giving away his own soul to the devil in turn he gets celebration of ‘self’. According to Mundra and Mundra twenty four years of persistent pursuit of knowledge, (2001), “the fifteenth century is the seed time in the field of art, culture and literature. Its achievements may not be These facets of the protagonist are basically commendable, but they were certainly credible and the paradoxical when it comes to the practical implantation age should be taken as the link between the past of old of his ideals. Idealism, all the times, cannot be practical hopes and the future that was yet to come with a glorious but which is proved practically will definitely have an idea behind. In this context the structure of the play plays Albert (1998) makes a suggestive and apt a vital role. It has three structural divisions: comment about the Renaissance; towards end of the i. It introduces to the situations and aspirations of the fifteenth century a great change, long in ripening, at length approached fruition. Wider knowledge brings ii. The practical experiences gained by the protagonist wider hopes and desires; this concept was being diffused and his own assessment of his principles, values, throughout Europe. Nearly all the branches of human morals and its’ disintegrations when he tried to put knowledge and effort – religion, politics, travel, trade Online version of the issue is available on ISSN: 2319-4960 (Online) iii. In the last phase of the play, Dr. Faustus estimates thinks negative or follows a wrong path, the Good Angel his own follies and repents and at the end pays price prompts and reminds him of the possible threats. On the contrary, the Bad Angel always corrupts his mind and After a meticulous interpretation of these encourages him to involve in the lustrous act. As a result, divisions, one can say that the present play is a tragedy Faustus follows the Bad Angel and destroys his own life of human aspirations and obstacles in life. A man, who after the moral disintegrations. The Good Angel attempts has certain values and principles, gets tempted by to instill the old morals of contrition, prayer and something lucrative and declines in life from where he repentance; whereas the Bad Angel speaks of the does not find any way to go back and retain the glory of renaissance spirit of the age. In Act I Scene i, Faustus chooses magic over wealth without a second thought, he The first impression of the character, Dr. Faustus, is that of a protagonist who possesses all the pearl…Pleasant fruits and Princely delicates”. The same features of the Renaissance society and always temperament is repeated in Act II Scene i, when the Bad represents himself as a vigilant individual having Angel tempts him, “No, Faustus, think of honours and of optimism in life and ready to do anything for the sake of gratifying personal desires and aspiration. In this context Once Faustus is totally under the control of the McCloskey (1942) says, “Faustus is a man of boundless Bad Angel and the Devil, he is encouraged for petty and pride and passionate ambition, a rebellious individualist capricious magic that he practices. In Act I Scene i, so swollen with knowledge and self-confidence that his Faustus says, “A sound magician is a demi-god. / Here grasp exceeds his reach and the heaven conspire his try thy brains to get a deity!” Here we find the paradox of his ideals in the beginning and after the temptations of While dramatizing this character, Marlowe, probably, has some concerns working in his The Bad Angel and Mephistopheles try to divert subconscious mind. He sketched the character having Faustus from thoughts of repentance and redemption. these facets. The strong reference to moral issues in the Faustus cries out to the God, and becomes more real than contemporary society and the working of the human ever before. Once again we find a paradoxical situation faculties with the manifestation of supernatural elements in the life of Faustus. He falls from glory to the Hell for has brought the paradoxical issues on the forefront. In his own choices and he wants to retain the past glory, but fact these manifestations were external but they lead the Bad Angel and Mephistopheles do not allow him to Faustus to objective realization of psychological do so. According to modern critics, Faustus’ damnation conflicts. Here it is found that Faustus is the victim of was predestined; he remains subject to the central circumstances and it is the tragedy of an individual who paradox of Puritanism, which declares him morally and ruins his own life for something which is beyond the intellectually responsible for his own fall. Faustus reach of a common man. In Act II, Faustus’ opening acknowledges in his final monologue, he says, “No, monologue reveals how torn he is between the despair in Faustus, curse thyself”…. Curse Lucifer / That hath God and a lingering desire to repent. He says, “Now deprived thee of the joys of Heaven”. In his final Faustus, must thou needs be dammed… And offer repentance in Act V Scene ii, he says, “The serpent that lukewarm blood of newborn babies.” This monologue tempted Eve may be saved, but not Faustus”. represents the inner moral conflict in his mind. Faustus goes beyond the reach of a common When it comes to the paradoxes in the play, Dr. Faustus is confronted with two opposing forces, one Mephistopheles; he calls for Helen in Act V Scene i. It representing the exciting, experimental and optimistic shows his unquenchable lust for beauty and pursuit for world; and the other embodying the fear and melancholy femininity. When he calls for Helen, he is found full of of the medieval past. Marlowe has characterized Good repentance, he realized his mistakes but he did not find and Bad Angels. They symbolize the medieval morals any way that can take him to redemption. In repentance and the temptations of the renaissance respectively. The Good Angel, who always reminds Faustus whenever he “Whose sweet embracing may extinguish clear Online version of the issue is available on ISSN: 2319-4960 (Online) Those thoughts that do dissuade me from my vow Smith (1967), “Marlowe’s hero, Doctor Faustus, is the And keep mine oath I made to Lucifer”. quintessential Renaissance man, a lover of knowledge, Here we find the paradox in the ethical values of beauty and power, operating in a society that had not the medieval society and the aspirations of an individual released its grip on the medieval contempt for the world. like Faustus in the Renaissance society. Throughout the The fifteenth century’s obsession with death, fear of play, Faustus is found in a dilemma, he listens to both – devils and dominations are played out in this tragedy, the Good and Bad Angels – and follows the Bad Angel revealing the underlying misgivings of an excessive and in the view to fulfill his desire and to achieve what he was determined for. In one of the expressions, Faustus The play can be interpreted with various says, “resolve me of all ambiguities”. Heaven and Hell, thematic concerns. The theme of human choices, God and Lucifer, Good and Bad Angels are polar corruption of mind, limitation of human potential, quest opposites which constitute the moral dilemma in his for knowledge, wealth and power, and the painful plight of a man who recognizes the difference between good In the following scene, there is a realization by and evil. Above all, it can be concluded that the play has Faustus. According to Candido (2009), “it hardly needs certain moral teaching at the end. The play teaches us, to be noted that Act V Scene ii of Marlowe’s Doctor “to know yourself and your potential better but no one Faustus is the scene in which the title character confronts should ever go beyond one’s reach”. Faustus’ hedonistic the terror of God’s judgment against the auditory philosophy basically leads him to his catastrophic end. background of the striking clock, directs our attention to He thinks that everyone has appetites and the pleasure is the matter of time. The central and obvious irony here, of to satisfy them. His ideology is the factor responsible for course, is that the twenty-four years of pseudo-divinity that seem like such a long period of time to Faustus at Doctor Faustus is a study of human aspirations the beginning of the play evaporates in what now seems and obstacles in life. The protagonist, a victim of to him a mere instant when measured against the open- circumstances, finds himself in appalling situation, due to his own choices, from human contact to Hell for Faustus is fined for his love for worldly power, eternity and visualization of Heaven. Similarly, it is a knowledge, wealth and lust. Marlowe gives a rapturous journey of Faustus longing for knowledge, beauty, power and wealth which declines him from noble-mindedness “O what a world of profits and delight, to depravity. In the nineteenth century, the great German writer Jonathan Wolfgang Van Goethe gave the story its greatest incarnation in Faust. In terms of Marlowe’s All things that more between the quiet poles Doctor Faustus, “Faustian bargain” has come to mean a deal made for earthly gain at a high ethical and spiritual Here it is evident that Marlowe’s Doctor cost, or alternately any choice with short-lived benefits Faustus shows his great promise in its passionate intensity and a certain gloomy grandeur of style. For

Albert, Edward (1998) A Short History of English Literature, New Delhi: Rishabh Publishers.
Candido, Joseph (2009) “Making Time in Doctor Faustus 5.2”. Early Theatre: A Journal Associated with the
Records of Early English Drama,
Vol.12, Issue 1, Article 8, January 2009.
McCloskey, John C. (1942) “The Theme of Despair in Marlowe’s Faustus” College English Vol. 4, No.2, 1942, pp.
110-113. Retrieved on 1 August 2012.
Mundra, J.N. and Mundra, S.C. (2001) A History of English Literature, Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot.
Smith, Lacey Baldwin (1967) The Elizabethan World, New York: American Heritage. Retrieved on 1 August 2012.
Online version of the issue is available on ISSN: 2319-4960 (Online)


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