Doctor Faustus Context

Joe Brown
Mind Map by Joe Brown, updated more than 1 year ago
Joe Brown
Created by Joe Brown about 6 years ago
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Description

A brief summary of the context behind Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus including the Great Chain of Being, Papal corruption, John Georg Faust and the Protestant Reformation.

Resource summary

Doctor Faustus Context
  1. "return an old Franciscan frian;/That holy shape becomes the devil best".
    1. During the 16th century the church was renowned for its corruption e.g Leo X was criticised for "unworthy pursuits". One biographer said Leo was "engrossed in idle and selfish amusements" such as masquerades and buffoonery.
      1. Sounds a lot like Marlowe's protagonist.
        1. The Protestant Reformation begun in 1517, with Martin Luther's 95 Theses. It was not until 1570 that it could be said that the reformation ended.
      2. Faustus is said to be inspired by Johann Georg Faust, an alchemist and magician during the German Renaissance.
        1. He allegedly died in a horrific alchemical experiment. His body was reportedly "grievously mutilated".
        2. The Great Chain of Being was an idea that everything in the universe had its 'place' in a divinely planned hierarchy. Some Renaissance writers explored the role of the Pope and were fascinated by the thought of going beyond the boundaries set by the chain of being.
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