Dr. Faustus



'You stars that reign'd at my nativity' Act V Scene II

  • Faustus' fate was inevitable
  • Ironic that it is a religious reference when he is being sent to hell
  • Do we have free will or is everything pre-destined?
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'Terminat hora diem; Terminat auctor opus'. Act V Scene II

  • The hour ends the day, the author ends the work
  • Direct speech to audience
  • Funeral Elegy
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'I'll burn my books! - O Mephistophilis' Act V Scene II

  • Link with Prospero 'I'll drown my books'.
  • Ironic because he is going to burn in hell
  • Books are what got him intro trouble and brought his greed in the first place
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'Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships,... Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss'. Act V Scene I

  • Beginning of an Apostrophe
  • Helen is behaving like a succubus
  • Can no longer see the difference between heaven and hell
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'I have heard that great-bellied women do long for things are rare and dainty'. Act IV Scene VII

  • Portraying woman here as only a body
  • Lack of women in the play
  • Seen as sexual objects
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'"Born of Parents, base of Stock".

  • Indicator of class, emphasises Faustus' attempts to climb the social hierarchy
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" In riper years to Wittenberg he went".

  • University in which Luther began the German Reformation
  • Faustus bears similarities to him as a theologian, mocking the Pope
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"Swoln with cunning, of a self conceit".

  • Metaphor to illuminate Faustus' inflation of Pride.
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"His waxen wings did mount above his reach".

  • Allusion to to Icarus (Greek mythology) realates to foolish ambition and a fall from grace. Relate this to the chain f being. Faustus attempts to excel above his station
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"Glutted with learning's golden gifts ... He surfeits upon crused necromancy".

  • 'Glutted' meants overfull or stuffed and surfeits means to eat too much and gorge oneself.
  • Deadly sin on gluttony - theme in the play
  • A deadly appetite to lean and excel
  • Drawing metaphorical links between Faustus' intellectual curiosity and a kind of greedy self-indulgence
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Faustus: First Soliloquy

  • The way the speech is staged and written serves to emphasise Faustus' position as an iminent scholar
  • It is set in his study where he is surrounded by books and reads them in latin
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"Ay, we must die an everlasting death"

  • Fails to consider the afterlife at this point: disregards both heaven and hell. Message = too rational/ scientific in his studies to hold spiritual beliefs.
  • Abonding religion for rationalism
  • The downfall of Faustus - message to the audience not to turn to realism?
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"Chase the prince of Parma from our land".

  • Elizabethan hate figure, Spanish commander in the Netherlands while Protestant England fought gain semi autonomy for the protestant rebels.
  • Pro protestant statment warms the audience to Faustus?
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"Shall I make spirits fetch me what I please".

  • Slavery
  • Link to Prospero's use of Ariel and the other spirits within The Tempest
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Good Angel

"Read, read the scriptures".

  • Sola scripture; theological debate in Germany
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"'Tis magic, magic that hath ravish/d me".

  • Use of ravish = double entendre as it can be interpreted to mean to fill with strong emotion OR 'to seize and carry off by force".
  • Explains Faustus' genuine elation in being granted 'magical powers' and also foreshadows Faustus' downfall when he is seized by devils in the final scene
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"Necromantic books are heavenly".

  • Deliberate juxtaposition of heaven and hell
  • Marlowe is being controversial and ironic
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