Dr Faustus Essay

Submitted By LP004
Words: 553
Pages: 3

Dr Faustus by Christopher Marlow. Act 2 Scene One. Lines 1 – 29.
This section of the play conveys a metaphoric use of a crisis of conscience as portrayed by the good and evil angels who obviously have different agendas. This essay will discuss two things; 1. the question of Faustus’s state of mind as he contemplates leaving his Christian faith and, ultimately, God in his quest for necromancy as if it would quench his thirst for knowledge. 2. Marlowe’s use of language and how it helps us understand how Faustus felt.
When we examine the language used it could be said to denote a crisis of conscience on Faustus part as he contemplates what his next actions were going to be. Would his Christian upbringing dissuade him from what he was contemplating to take up, namely, necromancy? Even before the angels are introduced, it may be said that Faustus was having doubts as can be seen when he asks, ‘ And canst thou be saved. What boots it then to think of God or heaven?’ (Marlowe, 1604 in O’Connor, 2003 pages 32-33) In other words, he was asking, What good will it do? These words seem to convey a conflict of conscience in that he is trying to convince himself that he is making the correct decision. His next words, ‘Away with vain fancies and despair!, mean pointless thoughts. Does Faustus think here that thoughts of God and heaven are vain fancies and despair or was it his thoughts toward necromancy? The following words in his solliguory hint at the answer when he says, ‘Despair in God, and trust in Beelzebub. Why waverest thou? O, something soundeth in mine ears; Abjure this magic, turn to God again!’ Abjure means to swear to reject (Marlowe, 1604 in O’Connor, 2003 pages 32-33) which hints at the turmoil going on in his mind which could be why Marlowe used the metaphor of the two angels, one good and one evil.
At this point, we see the metaphor of his crisis of conscience as represented by the good and evil angels. The good angel is encouraging him to turn to God again, whilst the evil angel is saying the opposite, ‘Faustus, dream of fame, wealth and honour.’…