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Dr. Faustus A Tragic Hero.

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Dr. Faustus a tragic hero.

In his tragedies, Marlow conceived his heroes, first of all, as men capable of great passions, consumed by their desires abandoned to the pursuits of their lusts, whether they lead to glory, butchery, and loss of kingdom or eternal damnation. The intensity of emotion gives them an elevation and a heroic interest that outlasts contemptibility or pathos. Nor are they without representational value. They linger in the mind as men absurd, exaggerated, monstrous at times, but appealingly human in moment when their passion rings true, and impressively typical of eternal struggle of passion and desire against the fixed limits of human attainment. It is in the realization of their emotions that the plays secure their great impressiveness. Tragedy has become not the presentation of history, myth or events of any sort, but the presentation of the passionate struggle and painful defeat of an extraordinary human being.

Marlowe presents a man of commanding personality who is swayed by an overpowering passion. In Dr.Faustus there is passion for knowledge; in Tamburlaine it is ambition; in the Jew of Malta there is a passion for greed of wealth. Marlovian heroes, the prototypes of Renaissance man, were mostly led by their consuming passions and had to struggle hard. They were far from being satisfied with ordinary success. They believed in all or nothing. Consuming passions and inordinate ambitions compelled them to strive for the delight and profit of the whole world.

Faustus is endowed with uncommon potentialities of mind and spirit. He has unquenchable thirst for power and knowledge. He I bent upon knowing the unknown and gaining the unimaginable. "Dr.Faustus is a man who of his own conscious willfulness brings tragedy and torment crushing down upon his head, the pitiful and fearful victim of his own ambitions and desires".

In the opening scene, he sits in debating with himself. It is a kayo the mind of Faustus. It contains the undertones of humanity looking for powerful means to make life worth living. All human wisdom has been a story of progress, made possible by dissatisfaction which led men to look for better means of satisfaction.

We must trust Marlowe's 'ex-cathedra' description of his protagonist - a man who, swollen with his pride in his attainment comes to a deserved end because he has preferred forbidden pursuits to 'his chiefest bliss'. Not only Faustus has intellectual pride to an odious degree, Faustus is wholly egocentric. To himself, he is either the greatest of men or the greatest of abject sinners. He underrates his opponents and relishes his inflated sense of his own abilities. Faustus wallows in a delusion of self-importance:

"How pliant is this Mephistophilis

Full of obedience and humility!

Such is the force of magic and my spells...".

Mephistophilis foreshadows Faustus' fall in Lucifer's, and insolence and pride are the instigators in both cases:

"Faust: Was not that Lucifer an angel once?

Meph: Yes, Faustus, and most dearly lov'd of God.

Faust: how comes it then that he is prince of devils?

Meph: O, by aspiring Pride and insolence;

For which God threw him from the face of heaven".

It is agreed by all philosophers that in tragedy there is some sort of collision or conflict. In other words, there is conflict of feelings, modes of thoughts, desires, will and purposes.

Faustus embodies the Renaissance



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