Selling His Soul to Make a Point
In Dr. Faustus, Christopher Marlowe has vividly drawn up the character of an intelligent, learned man tragically seduced by the lure of power greater than he was mortally meant to have. The character of Dr. Faustus is, in conception, an ideal of humanism, but Marlowe has taken him and shown him to be damned nonetheless, thus satirizing the ideals of Renaissance Humanism.
M. H. Abram's A Glossary of
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Marlowe was not a Humanist, as evidenced by how clearly the tragedy that was Dr. Faustus exemplified the downfall of a humanist and reinforced themes which conflicted with the basic tenets presented by Renaissance Humanism. If this reading is to be believed, the man was in fact violently and intelligently opposed to it. It is difficult to imagine a more effective and thorough attack on the mentality and methodology of the humanist than Dr. Faustus.