Doctor Faustus as a Tragic Hero
Doctor Faustus is the most famous play of Christopher Marlowe he was of high skilled as a playwright and he could write very good drama. It is a tragedy of Doctor Faustus that is the main point of this story. Before moving on further, we should discuss about the definition of a tragic hero. A tragic hero is obviously a hero of a tragedy drama. However, a hero of the tragedy should not be an ordinary man but should be some higher and extra ordinary. He is exceptional to other people. Furthermore, tragedy proves to overcome the higher and extra ordinary, even hero can be brought to ruin.
Usually based on valor and ethical choices made for better or worst. I will convey how Dr. Faustus is a good example of a tragic hero who loses focus and makes tragic choices that take him to alow beyond the worst of fates. Being that hero should have a socially elevated status and suffer a reversal of fortune in which he experience great suffering. This is all certainly true of Faustus, who is highly regarded as both a lecturer at the University of Wittenberg, and an accomplished scholar.
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During his life, he performs extraordinary feats, which were unlike anything experienced by lesser mortals he uses his powers for amazing adventures like learning the secrets of astronomy upon the summit of mount Olympus, which, again, are befitting of the tragic hero. Doctor Faustus, scholar and lover of beauty, unsettled with human limitation. In his finest moments, Faustus speaks of the desire for freedom in us, and to have an interest in greatness to the extent that his actions undercut the fine speeches.
He gives voice to the Greek desire to defy Necessity, and live as master of one’s own fate, even for a short time, even if it means disaster. Though he fancies himself to be a seeker of Greek greatness, he seeks to achieve to be like a God himself, and so he leaves behind the Christian conceptions of human limitation. His actions go on to show he has no common understanding of valor, blinded by his own pride. If we look at the opening scene then we will notice that he was unhappy because he grew tired of life. He was a scholar and he wanted new knowledge.
He got all the knowledge but except black magic. He realized that he did not have all that was knowledge and there was something missing. As Europe emerged from the Middle Ages, contact with previously lost Greek learning had a revelatory effect on man’s conception of himself. While the Christian worldview places man below God, and requires obedience to him, the Greek worldview places man at the center of the universe. For the Greeks, man defies the gods at his own peril, for man has nobility. Faustus is a “Renaissance man who had to pay the medieval price for being one. But the play itself would suggest that Faustus is not a true Renaissance man. He is someone incapable of living up to the standards of the medieval era, and he is equally incapable of living up the Greek-influenced standards of the Renaissance. He rejects the submissive morality of Christianity, cutting himself off from goodness, but he cannot live up to Renaissance greatness. Faustus fails to live up the standards of a tragic hero. He has amathia (an opposite of wisdom) a plenty, a necessary ingredient in the constitution of a tragic hero.
Amathia is a Greek word, meaning a man’s failure to recognize his own nature. But Faustus lacks nobleness, and from the start his interest in selling his soul seems to come from boredom and restlessness. In Act One, he makes long-winded boasts about the uses to which he’ll put his power. What we learn subsequently is that Faustus’ amathia is a bit of a letdown. He fails to recognize that he’s a lazy slob. He is all talk, and no action. So, he sought the new knowledge like Prometheus(who was the Titan god of forethought and crafty counsel who was entrusted with the task of molding mankind out of clay.
His attempts to better the lives of his creation brought him into direct conflict with Zeus. Firstly he tricked the gods out of the best portion of the sacrificial feast, acquiring the meat for the feasting of man. )he accepts eternal torture as the price for a prized goal. But Prometheus sacrifices himself for the benefit of the human race. Faustus is fearless as he closes the deal with lucifer for his eternal soul. Once Faustus has omnipotence, but a definite end to it, he has no incentive to grow as a human being, and he seems too lazy to look beyond his lifetime.
Leaving behind an empire, or an improved world, just don’t hold any interest for him, just as being a doctor, in his pre-Faustian bargain days held no interest for him. Magnified powers haven’t magnified Faustus’ capacity for care, or his love of humanity, and he spends his twenty-four years as a lascivious and pathetic loser a tragedy in which a human being makes a clear choice for good or bad, with some knowledge of the possible outcome. When you think Faustus can’t go any lower, lower he goes, Faustus’ opponents become more pathetic as the story goes. Even when wielded by an ass, presents some kind of target.
Knights at a court, when they threaten his life, seem like sport. But Faustus now has degenerated to swindling peasants out of money. These are the uses to which he puts his vast power. Faustus reversal of fortune is also typically tragic. During the final scene of the play, in which we witness Faustus’ finally before being taken off to hell, he is, like all heroes of classical tragedy, completely isolated. There is a contrast in Faustus’ degeneration from the successful, revered conjurer of the previous scenes, to the disillusioned scholar we see here. In despair, he tries to conjure and command the elements of universe.
Faustus only reflects on his own diminishing time: “What are thou, Faustus, but a man condemned to die? ” (4. 5. 41). Knowledge of a final end paralyzes him, and Faustus seems what modern people would call depressed. But his rhetorical question shows how poor his understanding is of the Christian God, and God’s plan for mankind. He is more than a man condemned to die. He is a child of God, ransomed by Christ’s blood, and invited to take part in eternal life. He has amathia aplenty, a necessary ingredient in the constitution of a tragic hero. Amathia is a Greek word, meaning a man’s failure to recognize his own nature.
But Faustus lacks nobleness, and from the start his interest in selling his soul seems to come from boredom and restlessness. In Act One, he makes long-winded boasts about the uses to which he’ll put his power. What we learn subsequently is that Faustus’ amathia is a bit of a letdown. He fails to recognize that he’s a lazy slob. He is all talk, and no action. A tragedy without a doubt, however it is plain to see that a hero he is not although Faustus had the makings to be a hero he chose to wonder at unlawful things. Who’s deepness doth entice such forward wits. To practice more than heavenly power permits.