Anti Essays offers essay examples to help students with their essay writing.

Sign Up

How Does Act 3 of Doctor Faustus Contribute to the Gothic Themes of the Play? Essay

  • Submitted by: LubnaFahoum
  • on April 1, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 833 words

Open Document

Below is an essay on "How Does Act 3 of Doctor Faustus Contribute to the Gothic Themes of the Play?" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus encompasses elements of the morality play so popular in the Elizabethan Era; however, its underlying Gothic themes are undoubtedly present in throughout the plot. This is especially true to Act 3, where audiences can note the presence of several key gothic elements such as the sublime and Faustus’ corruption or religious practices and sanctuaries.

Firstly, Marlowe’s use of the sublime throughout Act 3 strengthens the Gothic genre of the play as a whole. In Act 1, the chorus uses the sublime to its advantage to allude to the power Faustus craves when he entails what he wants to perform: “Had I as many souls as there be stars/ I’d give them all for Mephistopheles… make a bridge through the moving air/ to pass the ocean with a band of men.” At this point, Faustus’ speech captures the triviality of his desires and his focus on the material goods, which suggests that Faustus still fails to recognise the importance of the human soul and the comparative lack of importance of power in the human world. Building upon this in Act 3, the Chorus notes that Faustus has gained the power he so craved in Act 1 by again applying the sublime to emphasise this: “Did mount himself to scale Olympus’ top/ Being seated in a chariot burning bright...” Faustus’ almost supernatural power here is reiterated by the sublime imagery of him elevated in the sky at the top of Mount Olympus, a place that accommodated the Gods of Greek mythology. The use of the supernatural, godly image here is doubly effective: on one hand, it creates a cyclical structure for the play in that Faustus has reached the height of his power – literally and figuratively – and revels in what necromancy has given him. On the other hand, however, this very imagery emphasises Faustus’ inevitable downfall and that the power he has experience will ultimately be diminished due to the danger and the damage it has reaped on his immortal soul. By employing the gothic element of hubris so predominantly in...

Show More


MLA Citation

"How Does Act 3 of Doctor Faustus Contribute to the Gothic Themes of the Play?". Anti Essays. 24 Jun. 2018


APA Citation

How Does Act 3 of Doctor Faustus Contribute to the Gothic Themes of the Play?. Anti Essays. Retrieved June 24, 2018, from the World Wide Web: https://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/How-Does-Act-3-Of-Doctor-602514.html