'Dr. Faustus Is a Morality Play Without a Moral.' Discuss.

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In forming an answer to this question there are two aspects which must be considered. Firstly we must decide whether Dr Faustus is a morality play; I will do this by discussing the play 's form, content and subject matter in an attempt to categorise the play. I will also offer an alternative argument by saying that the play is in fact a tragedy. Secondly we must decide whether or not it has a moral; to do this I will consider the tone of certain parts of the play, in particular the Chorus ' speeches as well as the speech of other characters. Let us first deal with the categorisation of the play. To determine if Dr Faustus is a morality play or not we must first know what a morality play is. Morality plays are essentially dramatised…show more content…
For example, there is farcical humour when Faustus cons the Horse-Courser into riding the horse into the water, 'O what a cozening doctor was this! I riding my horse into the water, thinking some hidden mystery had been in the horse, I had nothing under me but a little straw and had much ado to escape drowning. ' (IV.v.28-31) The characters in these comic scenes are also an aspect of the morality play as, like the 'tempters ', they are representations of a type. For example, we see the Hostess, a Servant and the Horse-Courser; these are obviously not individuals. The Seven Deadly Sins also provide some light entertainment for the audience, Faustus himself finds great pleasure in the display, 'O how this sight doth delight my soul! ' (II.ii.164). The Seven Deadly Sins are typical of the Vice characters in morality plays. However, although it is clear that there are several aspects of the morality play in Dr Faustus there is also much evidence to support the argument that it should be seen as a tragedy rather than a morality play. It is worth noting that the full title of the play actually contains a reference to tragedy, implying that Marlowe himself saw the play as such. Faustus himself is not a character typical of a morality play and as he is the protagonist this should hold much weight. He is not a typical

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