Published: 21.05.2003.
Language: English
Level: Secondary school
Literature: n/a
References: Not used
  • Essays 'To what Extent Is Faustus a Humanist?', 1.

Faustus' character is certainly not one-dimensional. Throughout the timeframe of twenty-four years in which the play takes place, we see Faustus in different lights, but none of them provide a cast-iron mold of what 'type' of character Faustus is. Thus we can assume he is three-dimensional; extremely complex. Marlowe likely developed Faustus in this way so as to provide the audience with questions rather than answers. However, many critics have perceived elements of humanism portrayed through Faustus. Although due to my prior explanation we cannot wholly label Faustus a humanist, we can analyse what ideas and notions he develops within the play that could imply this concept.
Religion is clearly a large theme in Doctor Faustus. Faustus is no atheist – his pact with the Devil, no matter how dubious of Hell he is, provides solid evidence of another world. Critic George Santayana stated in 1910 that "He (Faustus) is no radical unbeliever, no natural mate for the Devil…like the typical villain of Renaissance." …

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