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Faustus appears as a man of the Renaissance in the very opening scene when rejecting the traditional subject of study, he turns to magic. He contemplates the world of profit and delight, of power, of honor, of omnipotence which he will enjoy as a magician. In dwelling upon the advantages of his magic power, he shows his ardent curiosity, his desire for wealth and luxury, his nationalism, and his longing for power. These were precisely the qualities of the Renaissance. The Renaissance was also the age of discovery. A number of allusions are also made regarding that. For example, Faustus desires gold from the East Indies, pearls from the depth of the sea, pleasant fruit and princely delicacies from America.
Obviously Faustus represents the new and aspiring spirit of the age of the Renaissance. Marlowe expresses in this play both his fervent sympathy with that new sprit and ultimately his awed and pitiful recognition of the danger into which it could lead those who were dominated by it. The danger is clearly seen in Faustus’s last soliloquy in which Faustus offers to burn his books. No doubt these books are cheaply the books of magic, but we are surely reminded of his exclamation to the scholars earlier in this scene:
“O, would I had never seen Willenberg, never read book!”
Thus we get the impression that Faustus attributes his downfall, partly at least, to his learning_ the chief tenet of the Renaissance.
Doctor Faustus is the first play to explore the tragic possibilities of the direct clash between the Renaissance compulsions and the Hebrai – Christian tradition. Timberline symbolizes the outward thrust of the Renaissance but Doctor Faustus focuses the inward. >> Read the full answer at >>