Tragical History Doctor Faustus Thesis

Directly after signing his soul away to the devil Faustus asks “Tell me, where is the place that men call hell? However, despite Mephistophilis’ warnings about the torture and torment of hell, Faustus shrugs off the notion of a hell where people suffer for all eternity.

When faced with the possibility of having great wealth; power; and knowledge, Faustus is unable to turn away from the dark side. Sometimes religion is used to show people what they can have if only they do a certain thing.

These two versions of the play differ substantially.

The A-text has speeches that are not in the B-text; the B-text has almost 700 lines that are not in the A-text.

Faustus, although having numerous times to repent, concedes to the devil mainly because he is sidetracked with all the shows and tricks the devil has for him.

He also believes he is damned and that his soul can not be saved. 114) Here Faustus seems to be starting to believe in heaven and hell and wants to find out where he will end up in the afterlife.Just like today, people can use religion and spiritual beliefs to motivate others into performing unspeakable acts with temptations of wealth and power.The play shows how people can change their way of life at any point and still find their way into heaven in the afterlife.Nevertheless, commentators do suggest that Marlowe's extensive education in theology, his participation in the bitter conflicts between Catholicism and Protestantism, and his exposure to atheistic doctrines made him uniquely prepared to dramatize the story of a man who rejects Christianity and makes a pact with the devil.Textual History The text of Doctor Faustus survives, as Harry Levin wrote, in a "mangled and encrusted form." Marlowe probably wrote the play between 15, following the success of both the first and second parts of his drama Tamburlaine.This play illustrates the influences that people can have when met with promises of wealth, power and ultimate knowledge.Faustus is torn throughout the play on whether to repent and turn towards God or to sell his soul and indulge in earthly pleasures.The reliability of both Kyd and Baines remains a prominent issue.Whether or not Marlowe actually espoused religious heresy may never be known for certain.Further complicating textual matters, the original publisher of the A-text paid two writers named Samuel Rowley and William Bride to make revisions to Doctor Faustus.Because the A-text is know to have been revised, many scholars maintain that the B-text is probably closest to Marlowe's original version.


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