Dr. Faustus as a morality play.
In the light of these points we may call Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus a belated morality play in spite of its tragic ending. It has been mentioned that in morality plays the characters were personified abstractions of vice and virtues. In the play also we find the Good and Evil angels, the former stand for the path of virtue and the latter for sin and damnation, one of conscience and the other for desire. Then we have the old man appearing, telling Faustus that he is there “To guide’ thy steps unto the way of life”. He symbolizes the forces of righteousness and morality. The seven deadly sins are also there in a grand spectacle to cheer up the despairing soul of Faustus. If the, general theme of morality plays was theological dealing with the struggle of forces of good and evil for man’s soul, the Dr. Faustus may be called a religious or morality play to a very great extent. We find Marlowe’s hero, Faustus, abjuring the scriptures, the Trinity and Christ. He surrenders his soul to the Devil out of his inordinate ambition to gain: “--- a world of profit and delight’ Of power, of honour, of omnipotence.”
Through knowledge by mastering the unholy art of magic. About the books of magic, he declares: “These metaphysics of magicians, And necromantic books are heavenly.”
By selling his soul to the Devil he lives a blasphemous life full of vain and sensual pleasures just for only twenty-four years. There is struggle between his overwhelming ambition and conscience which are externalized by good angel and evil angel. But Faustus has already accepted the opinion of Evil Angel, who says: “Be thou on earth as Jove in the sky.” Faustus also fascinated by the thought: “A sound magician is a mighty god, Here, Faustus, tire thy brains to gain a deity.”
When the final hours approach, Faustus finds him at the edge of eternal damnation