Dr. Faustus As Morality Play

1443 WordsNov 10, 20146 Pages
In order to determine whether Dr. Faustus is a morality play or tragedy, two aspects must be considered. Firstly, it must be decided whether Dr. Faustus is a morality play or not. In an attempt to categorize the play, the play 's form, content and subject matter will be discussed. There is alternative argument that states the play is in fact a tragedy. Secondly, does this supposed morality play have a moral? In order to answer this question, the tone of certain parts of the play will be analyzed. To determine if Dr. Faustus is a morality play or not, one must first know what a morality play is. Morality plays are essentially dramatized sermons usually based on the subject of repentance; typically beginning in innocence, being led into temptation by others, to finally being redeemed. In Dr. Faustus, Christopher Marlowe uses the structure of the morality play intensively. The structure can most noticeably be seen in the characters he uses. For example, the characters of Valdes and Cornelius are known as 'the tempters ', fitting the morality definition as the characters who tempt the main character into sin. The Good and Bad Angels can also be seen as morality play characters; However, this depends on whether or not they are seen as real characters sent from the Heavens, or as externalizations of Faustus ' own conscience. In Act II scene i, Faustus ' speech implies they are externalisations of his conscience: “Why waver 'st thou? O something soundeth in mine ear, 'Abjure
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