Christopher Marlowe wrote many plays about the use of divinity and Magic in order for man to exceed the restrictions set by their society. This is a prime example in Doctor Faustus. Christopher Marlowe uses Black and White magic to show the good and evil. He uses practically Black magic and Divinity in Tamburlaine the Great and The Jew of Malta. Doctor Faustus is a prime example of Black magic in use. The Good and Bad Angel, in a sense is the Doctors conscience trying to direct him. Then the immense consequence of using Black magic and giving up his divinity comes around.
Christopher Marlowe was born February 6, 1564. He was born to John Marlowe a shoe maker and Katherine Arthur Marlowe. He attended school at Kings school then he attended Archbishop of Canterbury. He received a scholarship to Archbishop of Canterbury. He received this scholarship because he was going to study Holy Orders. He received his Bachelor degree in 1584 and his Masters degree three years later. The religion he studied and practiced is uncertain. He worked in the Admirals Men Theater Company and he was a secrete Ambassador / messenger. He died May 30, 1593.
Christopher Marlowe wrote many plays some of these plays are Tamburlaine the Great part II, The Jew of Malta, The Massacre at Paris, Doctor Faustus, Edward II and Dido Queen of Carthage. His first successful play was Tamburlaine part I. Some of Marlowes works were misunderstood. The distinction between white and black magic was unstable during the renaissance period. Christians accepted both versions of magic and scholars argued between the difference. White magic was seen as a natural science when used for legitimate ends. White magic was called natural magic(Park, 1).
Meaning it had to do with nature but in a good sense such as God . The white magic flourished during the renaissance and it was a way to get access to the divine through nature. Another other example of white magic is in the New Testament. The Magi were magicians that used white magic. Black magic also is a factor of nature but it included the invocation of demons. Negromatic (Marlowe, 26). Negromatic is the use of black magic to raise the spirits of the dead. Black magic implied the use of super natural powers for a wicked purpose. In the early Christian history black magic was seen as idolatry paganism, but still acknowledged.
Exercise of evil was seen a demonic never the less both forms of magic flourished (Park, 1). In Tamburlaine the Great the character Tamburlaines personality may ultimately lack coherence, but it does not fail novelty. Defining the nature of man as restless, ambitious, and self-seeking rather than peaceful, charitable and altruist (Pinciss, 28). Emphasizing the notion that man is valued by his accomplishments rather than by his birth. (Divine right). While the play celebrates the power, victories and heroism of an historical ruler it also portrays its cruelty and tyranny.
The form of the miracle play, the episodic narrative structure used to dramatize the life of Christ (divinity), is here adapted to relate the story of secular figure whose life is anything but Christian. Tamburlaines successes is encouraged by. Disapproval of his goals. Bloodlines of the action(Pinciss, 28) having acknowledged the impurity of our emotion and the confusion of our ethics(Pinciss, 29). Although The Jew of Malta is the least popular of Marlowes mature works it was important to his development as a writer.
In the first scene of the play Barabas delivers three soliloquies, which emphasize primarily his wealth his greed and his egocentricity. In the world of The Jew of Malta, altruism, self-sacrifice, and forgiveness are meaningless terms to all men with no bearing on behavior. Self interest and greed dominate mens lives in a world without spiritual values, a world in which materialism rules: Ferneze:What wind drives you thus into Maltaroad? Bashaw:The wind that bloweth all the world besides, In this world Barabas is only one among the many who are wicked.
Doctor Faustus is superficially very much like Tamburlaine plays and the Jew of Malta. All three have for their protagonists men of power and daring, men whose very natures drive them to exceed the restrictions of their society, All three plays are episodic to a degree, and each ends with the death of the central character. The central conflict in this play is not between the character and society but within the mind of the character(Pinciss, 70). The Doctor concludes that he has attained knowledge in many fields in the university and he has many questions he wants answers for.
He reads two scriptures On the basis of two biblical quotations, one from Romans 6. 23(the reward of sin is death), and the other from John 1. 8(If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves), he constructs a syllogism proving that Christian doctrine is grimly fatalistic and there for to be rejected:(T. McAlindon, 37) why then be like we must sin and so consequently diean everlasting death(Marlowe, 25) After reviewing his achievements, he decides that necromancy is the only world of profit, delight, power, honor, and omnipotence. This is when he deiced to summon up demons.
Before he could summon the demons the Good and Bad Angel appears. The Good Angle tells him to read the bible and the Bad one tells his to go ahead with the incantations. Good Angel. O Faustus lay that damned book aside And gaze not it lest tempt thy soul And heap Gods heavy wrath upon thy head! Read, read the scriptures—that is blasphemy! Bad Angel. Go forward Faustus, in that famous art. (Marlowe, 26) Because of Doctor Faustus greed for knowledge beyond the universe, he listens to the Bad Angel. By listening to the Bad Angel he beings to use black magic to summon demons such as Mephistophilis and Lucifer.
Once he makes a pact with the devil for more knowledge he losses his divinity. Through out the story the Good and Bad Angles keep on appearing to direct him. It is up to Faustus which direction to go. There was a way out of all this trouble all the Doctor had to do was repent but the devil treated him with evil things. The devil also tempted him with fascinating things like beautiful whores instead of getting married. Marriage was something consecrated by God. So the doctor could not get married but he had a choice of may whore, this was all possible because of black magic.
Ill cull out the fairest courtesans And bring them every morning to thy bed: She whom thine eye shall like thy heart shall have, As was bright Lucifer before his fall(Marlowe, 48) Once again toward the end of the play the Good and Bad Angle appear. They are there again in order to lead the Doctor into a decision to save his soul. The Good Angle is telling him to repent because God will forgive him and its not too late but the Bad Angel convinces him that it is to late and to forget about it so he does. Bad Angle. Go forward, Faustus, in that famous art.
Good Angel. Sweet Faustus leave that execrable art Faustus. Contrition, prayer, repentance what these Good Angel. O, they are means to bring you into heaven. Bad Angel. Rater illusions fruits of lunacy, that make men foolish that do use them most. Good Angel think of heaven and heavenly things. Bad Angel think of honor and of wealth After a while Faustus time run out he does not want to go to hell. At the last minute he begins to repent for the magic he used and giving up his divinity but it was to late the demons came and dragged his soul to hell.
My God, my God! Look not so fierce on me! Adders and serpents, let me breathe awhile! Ugly Hell, gape not! Come not Lucifer! Ill burn my books! -O Mephostophilis! Exeunt[devils with Faustus](Marlowe, 100) Christopher Marlowes use of divinity and magic in order for man to exceed the restrictions of their society can lead to irreversible consequences. In the case of Doctor Faustus the consequence was going to hell because it took so him to long to recognize his mistake and then repent for that mistake. A man should only strive to the best of there ability.