What Makes Dr. Faustus A Tragic Hero Or Villain?

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What Makes Dr. Faustus A Tragic Hero or Villain ?

I. Introduction

Christopher Marlowe was inspired to write his tragic play “Dr. Faustus” from the Germanic tale of a magician who travelled from town to town, performing magic to the public. In 16th Century Europe, rumours spread that Dr. Faustus performed black magic through selling his soul to the devil. Due to these rumours, people began to draw interest in black magic which created a sensation among the society of that era. Owing to the church’s domination, people showed tendency to other cities in order to satisfy their curiosity about the legends of these cities. Christopher Marlowe took advantage of this situation by adapting these rumours into a tragic play in order to display the Renaissance spirit. Dr. Faustus doesn’t only carry the characteristics of a tragic hero in relation to his free will, but also Christopher Marlowe illustrates his questionable status as a villain through matters such as the sin of selling the soul, disobeying God and signing an agreement with Lucifer. Dr. Faustus’ ambition and hubris lead him to commit sins and bring his own doom with his own hands. This paper aims to observe the changing notions of the 16th Century England and how Dr.
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Thirdly, in Dr. Faustus, "hamartia" (error of judgement) can be clearly seen which is one of Aristotle 's elements of tragic hero. For the sake of knowing all things beyond the human beings ' knowledge, Dr. Faustus ' ambition, lust for more knowledge, excessive pride force him to sell his soul by agreement with Lucifer. Thus, this circumstance makes him make a wrong decision and blinds his ability of choosing right or wrong. So, Dr. Faustus experiences his own "hamartia". Furthermore, His desire for learning makes him consult wrong and evil way without any hesitation. For this reason, he couldn 't repent because of his desire and honour. In the face of this situation, he was so confused that he is not able to decide between God
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