Search icone
Search and publish your papers

Doctor Faustus and Renaissance Humanism

Or download with : a doc exchange

About the author

General public

About the document

Published date
documents in English
school essay
4 pages
General public
2 times
Validated by
0 Comment
Rate this document
  1. Introduction
  2. The most extreme possible act of humanism
    1. Faustus' signing away his afterlife in exchange for access to superhuman powers
    2. His graduation to the necromantic arts
  3. Mocking the false sense of self importance
    1. The most effective vehicle for satire
    2. Faustus' failure to affect the world in any significant way
  4. Faustus' constant air of skepticism
  5. Faustus' relationship to limits
  6. Conclusion: Squandering the price of his soul
  7. Works cited

The introduction to Christopher Marlowe's The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus in The Norton Anthology of English Literature describes the play's protagonist as ?an overreacher, striving to get beyond the conventional boundaries established to contain the human will? (990). While not grossly inaccurate, this description gives unwarranted grandeur to the hero's downfall. It is partly this same false grandeur that characterizes Doctor Faustus' misguided notions of Renaissance Humanism ? a belief in the ability of humans to transcend traditional earthly limitations through the pursuit of a broad base of knowledge.

[...] Just before his death, he laments to the three scholars: O would I had never seen Wittenberg, Never read book and what wonders I have done, all Wittenberg Can witness yea, all the world; for which Faustus hath lost both Germany and the world yea, heaven itself heaven, the seat of God, the throne of the blessed, the kingdom of joy; and must remain In hell forever (19-24) Faustus knows that he has squandered the price of his soul, but he still makes it seem uncertain whether he fully comprehends the concept of eternity. [...]

[...] Todd Pettigrew argues more specifically, will suggest that whatever its nature, the mechanism of Faustus' fall is this persistent resistance to matters of infinity? (257). Of course, few would likely argue that Faustus' rejection of all matters metaphysical contributes in some way, however general or specific, to his damnation. Works Cited Abrams, M.H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. 7th ed. New York: Heinle Publishing della Mirandola, Pico. ?Oration of the Dignity of Man.? The Renaissance Philosophy of Man. Ed. Cassirer, Kristeller, [...]

Similar documents you may be interested in reading.

A God with Different Faces: Conditions for the Redemption of Everyman and for the Condemnation...

 Philosophy & literature   |  Literature   |  Research papers   |  04/11/2008   |   .doc   |   4 pages

'The Second Shepherd's Play' - A comment

 Arts & media   |  Arts and art history   |  Presentation   |  06/28/2011   |   .doc   |   4 pages

Top sold for arts and art history

Analysis of 'The miracle of Christ healing the blind' by El Greco

 Arts & media   |  Arts and art history   |  Presentation   |  07/12/2011   |   .doc   |   3 pages