Dr. Faustus Tragic Hero Essay

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According to the Renaissance view, Faustus rebels against the limitations of medieval knowledge and the restriction put upon humankind decreeing that he must accept his place in the universe without challenging it.

Because of his universal desire for enlightenment, Faustus makes a contract for knowledge and power.

Lucifer and Belzebub distract Faustus with a parade of the seven deadly sins in order not to repent, the sins come out as humans but they are acted out by Faustus throughout the play. Also perhaps to resemble Faustus parents being “normal” and Faustus helped himself reach his title.

Pride being introduced first in the parade is significant because it perhaps is the start of all sins, similarly for Lucifer for being a castaway from heaven because of his vanity, and also it is the main vice Faustus commits throughout the play, failing to repent believing that his sin is too big to be forgiven by god.

Faustus On the other hand also ignoring warnings from the good angel, wants to exceed the limitation of normal human knowledge and powers, which he does by obtaining dark powers from Lucifer in exchange for his soul.

Arguably Icarus does the same by flying too high, making him long for “unattainable” abilities.

Certain aspects of the drama can be used to support an interpretation of Faustus as a Renaissance hero and other aspects suggest he is a medieval hero.

According to the medieval view of the universe, Man was placed in his position by God and should remain content with his station in life.

Any attempt or ambition to go beyond his assigned place was considered a great sin of pride.

For the medieval person, pride was one of the greatest sins that one could commit.


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