Marlowe's Faustus: An Archetype Of Today

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Marlowe 's Faustus: A thirsty soul after 'knowledge infinite ', an archetype of today Marlowe has left behind him four powerful tragedies: Tamburlaine in two parts, Dr. Faustus, The Jew of Malta, and Edward II. Each one of these tragedies revolves around one central personality who is consumed by the lust for power, Beauty and knowledge. Marlowe’s tragedies are all one-man tragedies in which the tragic hero dominates over the rest of the characters and dwarfs them by his towering personality. For the middle Ages, tragedy was a thing of kings and princes; for Marlowe it was a matter of individual heroes. His heroes are not kings and princes, but humble individuals, who however, have heroic qualities and so, rise high and achieve wonders. Thus Tamburlaine is a shepherd and Dr. Faustus is a poor scholar. In a typical Marlowian tragedy a giant figure is portrayed, and his consuming passion reaches beyond the ordinary aspirations until he meets his fate. The interest lies not in the mere fall, but in the struggle between the overweening soul, typically of the Renaissance in its insatiable ambition, and the limitations, which it seeks to overcome. Thus Marlowe added to English tragedy the element of struggle, which was absent in the tragedy of the Middle Ages. In Dr. Faustus there is a constant struggle within the soul of Faustus himself, represented by the good and bad angels.

Dr. Faustus is both the consummation of the English Morality tradition and the last and
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