Dr. Faustus By Christopher Marlowe Essay

1348 Words Oct 6th, 2015 6 Pages
In the tale by Christopher Marlowe The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, Dr. Faustus enters into a contract with the Devil in order to obtain the vast knowledge of the universe in exchange for his eternal soul. The idea of making a pact with Satan for knowledge or power is noted to be “an old folklore motif” (Greenblatt 1023). The play relies heavily on medieval beliefs of Heaven, Hell, God and the Devil which, according to the Norton Anthology of English Literature “would have been taken seriously in a time when belief in the reality of devils was almost universal” (Greenblatt 1023). But, can modern America, which operates within the realm of secularism, find any appeal in Marlowe’s tragic tale. Essentially is Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus worth reading for a contemporary American? In short the answer is yes, Dr. Faustus is worth reading, but not as a biblical allegory or a warning against dark magic. Instead Dr. Faustus should be read due to its message on the corrupting power of forbidden knowledge as its attainment, which often leads to unethical and immoral behavior. In a world that thrives on technological, medical, and political breakthroughs, it’s even more relevant today that we heed the warning of acquiring knowledge or power without any forethought for the impending consequences. Through an exploration of the theme knowledge and power and its corruptive influence in Dr. Faustus and its relation to the modern topics the use of torture methods by the United…

Related Documents