eople’s Perspective Doctor Faustus EssaysDoctor Faustus Examined from the People’s Perspective Doctor Faustus is a doctor of theology that wants no limits on what he can know, see or do, so he sells his soul to the devil to gain these desires. While reading or observing Marlowe’s fascinating play the reader or observer should apply the “New Historicism Approach,” and take in to consideration Marlowe’s and the 1590s society’s beliefs, habits of thought, and biases about various concepts of obtaining “forbidden knowledge”. Like the some of the people of the 1590s, Doctor Faustus searches for the “forbidden knowledge” which leads him to deny God during his quest for greater knowledge and gains nothing from his vain activities throughout his lifetime. After these listed characteristics have been established one can begin to visualize the relationship between Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and the beliefs and thoughts of the people of the 1590s. Christopher Marlowe uses his eager character, Doctor Faustus, to display the people of the 1590s deep desire to grasp the “forbidden knowledge.” A theologist, one that unseemingly knows everything about his study of religion, begins to inquire about the enhancement of his knowledge: “Negromantic books are heavenly;/ lines, circles, letters, characters-/Ay, these are those that Faustus most desires” (Act I: Scene I: Line 48-50).
Just as Doctor Faustus contains a deep desire to know everything about the negromantic arts as well as everything else one could think of, so do some of the people of the 1590s resemble this same desire. Charles Darwin and Galileo, are two known scientist that much like Faustus went forth seeking not the negromantic arts, but the “forbidden knowledge” of their times. The knowledge that is said to be “forbidden” because it is not widely known by others.
These persons begin to wonder abroad and investigate things unknown. For example, various other scientists were beginning to explore the worlds of science, technology, and biology. These topics too like the negromantic arts were said to be “forbidden” simply because there seemed to be little knowledge about them. Hence, Faustus and the people’s desires to obtain the unthinkable, were the greatly similar. Through time Faustus begins to deny his beliefs about God due to his advances in the search for the truth. He feels that: “If we say that we have no sin,/we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us.
/Why, then belike, we must sin, and so consequently die” (Act I: Scene I: Line 40-43). In other words, because we are human we must sin, and God says if we sin, we die. Therefore, why not die doing what one desires to do, and leave God beside. Sabine Cox also agrees that Faustus loses his desires to serve God as he advances in his search. As Charles Darwin begin to become more involved in his studies of evolution, he began to pull himself away from the defines belief in God because he assumed that he was to close to his own truth.
Other people also began to advance their knowledge of the way the world revolves, they came to the conclusion that there could possibly not be a God. The reason for this is they began to gain faith in what they have seen or what has been proven and not is told. Doctor Faustus and the people of the 1590s hardly obtain any riches or grand treasures for their endless searches for “forbidden knowledge”. Before Doctor Faustus dies, he attempts to repent: “My God, my God! Look not so fierce on me!/Adders and serpents, let me breathe awhile!/Ugly Hell, gape not!” (Act V: Scene II: Lines 194-196). The people of the 1590s did not so much as ask for forgiveness to what they had done, but they begin to wonder whether or not what they had found, through their search for the “forbidden knowledge”, was really necessary. Just as Faustus received guilt and death for his great “treasure hunt” for knowledge, Charles Darwin basically receives torture from the citizens of his country and various other places because he went against the usual thoughts of others.
Therefore, just as Faustus regrets his actions so do some of the people of the 1590s regret their discoveries’ impression on others of their time. Christopher Marlowe’s conceptions about most of the people of the 1590s through Doctor Faustus are clearly established when using the historicism approach. Persons of the centuries’ societies, such as Charles Darwin and Galileo, can be related to Doctor Faustus and looked upon as a Faust figure because in many ways their characteristics are alike. One can very well observe that the people of the 1590s just as Doctor Faustus lead several searches for the “forbidden knowledge” that lead to the unimaginable.
These very attempts to obtain the unobtainable caused their loss of faith in God and gain of fewer benefits. Honor Code:I have neither given nor received any unauthorized aid on this exam nor have I witnessed anyone else do so. Chasity R. Jackson