Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dr. Faustus as a Christian Play

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Dr. Faustus as a Christian Play

Dr. Faustus can be viewed as a Christian play for many reasons. Many thought of this play as a morality play. A morality play is the “conflict of the personified human soul with sin amid contending vices and virtues, and ends in one of two ways, triumph or damnation” (Sunayana, Dr. Faustus). This definition explains the story of Dr. Faustus. Throughout the entire play, one can pick out many Christian-like aspects.

One aspect is the conflict between good and evil. Throughout the play, the decision between good and evil arises again and again. For example, Dr. Faustus has a choice between remaining faithful to God or gaining power. He would have power for 4 years, but then he has to give his soul up to hell. Making choices in favor of the good side means that Dr. Faustus would have to remain normal like every other person. He already has many accomplishes, but he is not satisfied. Making choices in favor of the bad side means that Dr. Faustus would have more power for 4 years, but after that he would have nothing but torture. Dr. Faustus makes many choices between good or evil and heaven or hell.

One might relate Dr. Faustus to the story of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were told not to eat off of the tree. They did not listen and as a consequence their pleasures were taken away from them. Dr. Faustus had wealth and popularity. He wanted more than that and as a consequence he would have eternity for torture. Both would not accept what they already had. They both wanted more than they had and would not listen. Both Adam and Eve and Dr Faustus had a wonderful life, but they took more and were punished for their decision to do so.

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Another aspect that relates to Christianity is the setting of the play. The setting of the play is between the heaven, the hell, and the earth. Just as in the Christian religion, the heaven, the hell, and the earth are the three main places one life and morals are made up. In the Christian religion, how one acts on Earth determines where they will rest for eternity. In the same respect, Dr. Faustus did not believe in the heaven, the hell, or the after life. He also did not believe he could repent his sins. He was told to talk to God and repent his sins. He did not think it would work. His actions and thoughts led him to his damnation.

One of the main parts of the play is the seven deadly sins. The seven deadly sins played a big part in the play. The seven deadly sins consisted of pride, covetousness, wrath, envy, gluttony, sloth, and lust.__________ Pride is the first sin. Dr. Faustus’s flaw is his pride. Although he has had a lucky successful life, his pride makes him KNOW he can do more. He is very competitive, and he is not satisfied with anything. He is a very intelligent man and has a good life, but he is not satisfied. Covetousness is the second sin. He shows covetousness by wanting a wife. Wrath is third sin. Wrath is showed by Dr. Faustus’s impatience. Dr. Faustus shows his impatience through people he interacts with in the play. For example, he gives Benvolio horns and he silences them. Envy is the fourth sin. Envy is also showed throughout the play. Dr. Faustus envied people with power. Although he had power in his profession, it was not enough. He had to know more and learn more. He wanted to pass every other person in his or her knowledge and power. He had envy for people who could do more than he could. Gluttony is the fifth sin. Gluttony is also well known in this play. He shows this by wanting to use the dark arts. He was well known without moving to the dark arts, but this was the next step out of the knowledge he already attained. He was a well-educated man, but that was not good enough for him. He did not want what every other normal person on the earth had. He wanted more and better pleasures. In his eyes, he wanted power and pleasures equal to God. Sloth is the sixth sin. Especially at the end, sloth is shown in the play. He has a chance to repent his sins but he didn’t. He did not think he was able to. Lust is the seventh sin. Lust is the sin of self-control and greed. In my opinion, greed is Dr. Faustus’s middle name. Greed is shown throughout the entire play. Although someone would give up everything they owned to have the life Dr. Faustus had, he was not happy with all of the accomplishes he had. He wants more knowledge than any other normal person has. He wants to be equal with God’s power. If he realized the wealth and accomplishes he already had in the beginning of his quest for knowledge, then he would have never been in the situation he was in. He should have accepted what he already had, but he was greedy, and he was punished for his greed. (Pink Monkey, Dr. Faustus)

Another aspect one may find in the play is the good and the bad angels. One may recognize this as the angels that sit on a person’s shoulders. People are brought up to recognize these as their conscience. The good angel sits on one shoulder and tries to persuade the person to do good things. The bad angel sits on the other shoulder and tries to persuade the person to do the bad thing. Dr. Faustus has these angels with him in the play. The angels might be telling the audience was Dr. Faustus is thinking on the inside. The good angel represents heaven and God. The bad angel represents hell and eternity of torture. Dr. Faustus wants to have many more pleasures than a normal person, and he wants to have knowledge and power of a superior. The bad angel uses this to persuade him. He tells Dr. Faustus about all the wealth and power he will have. When he hears this, he ignores the good angel.

Some of the Christian aspects jump out at the reader, while others the reader must look for. There are many aspects in this play that resembles a Christian play. In my opinion, I would relate this story to a Christian play because it has mane components that a Christian play also would have.


Sunayana. “Dr. Faustus � as a Morality Play.” 001. Planet Papers. 06 Aug. 00 http//

Pink Monkey. 17-00. Pink Monkey Summaries.

05 Aug. 00 http//

Rushman, William E. 11 Feb 00. “The Seven Deadly

Sins.” 05 Aug 00.

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