Doctor Faustus, written by Christopher Marlowe in the late 16th century, is a play that can be interpreted as a morality play. Morality plays were a popular form of drama in medieval times that aimed to teach the audience moral lessons. They typically featured allegorical characters representing virtues and vices, and the plot often focused on a struggle between good and evil.
Doctor Faustus can be seen as a morality play because it deals with the struggle between good and evil, and its main character, Faustus, represents the human condition. Faustus is a scholar who becomes dissatisfied with his life and decides to sell his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge and power. The play explores the consequences of his decision and the ultimate fate of his soul.
The character of Faustus can be seen as an allegory for humanity. Like Faustus, humans have a thirst for knowledge and power that can lead them down a dangerous path. Faustus’s decision to sell his soul to the devil represents the temptation that humans face when they are offered quick and easy solutions to their problems. The play suggests that such solutions often come with a high cost and can lead to eternal damnation.
The play also features allegorical characters that represent virtues and vices. Mephistopheles, the devil’s servant, represents evil, while the good angel and the bad angel represent the struggle between good and evil in Faustus’s mind. The character of the old man represents the possibility of redemption and serves as a moral guide for Faustus.
Throughout the play, Faustus is presented with opportunities for redemption, but he consistently chooses to pursue his own desires instead. This can be seen as a warning to the audience about the dangers of selfishness and the consequences of giving in to temptation. The play suggests that the pursuit of knowledge and power should not come at the expense of one’s soul.
The play’s ending can also be seen as a moral lesson. Despite having ample opportunities for redemption, Faustus ultimately chooses to reject the possibility of salvation and is dragged off to hell by the devil. This ending serves as a warning to the audience about the consequences of sin and the importance of making the right choices in life.
In conclusion, Doctor Faustus can be interpreted as a morality play because it deals with the struggle between good and evil and presents a cautionary tale about the consequences of sin. The character of Faustus represents the human condition, and the play’s allegorical characters represent virtues and vices. The play’s ending serves as a warning to the audience about the importance of making the right choices in life and avoiding the temptations of sin.