October 9, 2005

Faustus to II

Marlowe’s Faustus (to Act II)

Faustus: I charge thee to return and change thy shape, Thou art too ugly to attend on me.
Go, and return an old Franciscan friar: that holy shape becomes a devil best. Exit Devil. I see there’s virtue in my heavenly words. Who would not be proficient in this art? How pliant is this Mephostophilis, full of obedience and humility, such is the force of magic and my spells.

First, Faustus slams the Catholic Church in these lines, instructing the devil to morph into a church friar, a shape that becomes a devil best. This begs to question, is the entire work a slam to the Church or a precautionary note warning what can happen if one gives in to the ever changing values of the times and sacrificing their spiritual salvation for humanly power? This play is sort of reminiscent of Everyman, except Faustus seems more power hungry than the character Everyman because he is the one who wants to gain power, and he chooses the means through which he will gain it.

Second, Faustus is full of Renaissance themes: short life, seize the day, secular – spiritual balance/conflict, poetry as immorality, and how to live life with an emphasis on the human, or humanism. The audience sees humanism in action, a concern to for the aesthetic through what is pleasing to the senses, and many paradoxes in action. Is Faustus an evil villain or just tragically human?

Posted by KatieAikins at October 9, 2005 3:05 PM

Unfortunatly, he is tragicllay human. Faustus saw a chance to have power beyond his wildess dreams. Even if he was a preist, who might not have caved in, but the temptation is very strong. Anyone who thinks of themselves as being inadequate will have a flaw to give in to that. There is a quote from a website that I have in my room:
Power corrupts. Absolute Power corrupts absolutely. But it rocks absolutely too.

So think about that when you think of Faustus, Katie.

Posted by: KevinHinton at October 9, 2005 5:45 PM

"Everyman" and "Doctor Faustus" are also alike in conflict. There’s a sort of struggle going on throughout the play, and the struggle is for their soul.

Posted by: Kayla Sawyer at October 9, 2005 9:53 PM

Kevin - Interesting poster. What website is it from?

Kayla - You are right in comparing the plays. Very similar.

Posted by: Katie Aikins at October 9, 2005 10:42 PM

I'll bring you one in the morning. But the website is www.demotivatrs.com

Posted by: KevinHinton at October 9, 2005 11:22 PM

Thanks, Kevin!

Posted by: Katie Aikins at October 10, 2005 12:06 AM