Themes in Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus

Themes in Doctor Faustus

Themes are the universal and fundamental ideas presented in a literary work. There are lots of significant themes in Doctor Faustus.

Flesh and Spirit

The conflict between flash and spirit is strongly depicted in Doctor Faustus. Flash is related with human body lust and desires while spirit deals with religion and God. Flash consider worldly pleasures more important while spirit resistance against those desires. Faustus values flesh move them spirit.

 Good and Evil

Good and evil are the most important issue presented in Doctor Faustus. Conflict between Good and evil makes a man hesitant, he remains confused like Faustus that either he have to adopt good or evil what way is good for him and what way sis dangerous for him.

 Pride and Sin

Pride and sin is the most important factor in the downfall of Faustus. Pride belongs to the seven deadly sins, considering himself better from all, Faustus falls in pride and quickly adopt sin to fulfill his lusty desires which leads him towards hell.

 Salvation and Damnation

According to Christian religion salvation is necessary for a Christian to save from hell. It one’s fail to get salvation, he will be eternally damned. Salvation actually deals with the repentance, but the Faustus refuses to repent which causes his damnation and he is punished forever in the hell.

Knowledge and Wisdom

Faustus has a great lust for knowledge. He has studies all the branches of knowledge including divinity but he feels the himself still hungry about the knowledge that’s why he adopts the forbidden knowledge which is called black art. It was his failure of wisdom while adopting the forbidden knowledge. Faustus was not true towards life because he was valuing his knowledge on his wisdom.

 Man’s Lust and Limitations of Power

Man like Doctor Faustus has so many desires like lust for wealth, lust for beauty, lust for power etc. But when he adopts the wrong way to fulfill his desires he cannot be succeeded. Like Faustus sells him soul for fulfilling his desires but he comes to know about his limitations as a man when he used to just amuse and entertain dukes for showing his skill of black art. He cannot do something like God which shows the limitations of power.

Greed

Another theme in Doctor Faustus is that of greed like other heroes of Marlow’s heroes forget their responsibilities to God and other creatures instead they try to hid their weak character. Faustus was in a tragic cycle of   greed and despair.

Tragic Hero

A tragic is a character that the audience thinks with despite his / her action that would indicate the contrary. Faustus in the play not the mere shell of a man existing only represents the evil in the world. He is a human beings with full of emotions and thoughts. Although the Doctor Faustus himself does not care of humanity.

Doctor Faustus (film)
Doctor Faustus (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)