April 9th 2013
Allegorical Findings in Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, or in simpler terms Dr. Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe is said to be based on the German legend of Faust, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for hierarchy and knowledge. No Elizabethan play outside the Shakespeare canon has raised more controversy than Marlowe’s tale of Dr. Faustus. Although there is no agreement concerning the nature of the text and actual date of composition, one thing is certainly agreed upon by the multitude of people who have studied this play: its allegorical references create the entirety of the play by undermining all that was known in the age that this play was
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The good angel is representative of order, virtue and goodness while the bad angel stands for Faustus’s underlying wants and desires; one conscience, one curiosity. The angels are externalisations of Faustus’s characters two sides or two characteristic sides. They are allegorical because they relate to the theme of religion but are not directly put forth in the play and you have to look deeper to figure out what their placement is so critical to understanding the character of Dr. Faustus. Although some people reading this play may perceive these angels as merely abstract figures as they appear in most morality plays but, Marlowe places these angels in the texts in a creative and original way. Through the appearance of the angels and each attempt of each of them to try to get him to repent to Jesus or sink further in and give what is left to Lucifer we find Faustus siding with the bad angel. This is a major plot point because it is because he will not repent and sinks further into the devils hell that he finds himself gaining power and knowledge, which he thought he could never gain. It is through black magic and the selling of his soul to the devil that we find him in turmoil because of his swelling ego has brought him to the panicle of his downfall in the play, although the angels are not the only part to be put to blame.
Helen and The