You are on page 1of 4

Doctor Faust as the prototype of the Renaissance Man

The role of Science in the modern world and the aspiration of the modern
scientists
Structure:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Renaissance. What is this, importance of knowledge


Dr Faust, why he is a renaissance man
Importance of knowledge nowadays
Aspiration of the modern scientists
Conclusion

Renaissance. What is this, importance of knowledge


Knowledge plays an important role in all spheres of human life and activity. It is a powerful factor
which helps man to attain success, power and position in life.
The rebirth of interest for knowledge that was neglected for centuries reappeared in Renaissance.
With its attainment the new human became civilized. Now Religion is not as important and
knowledge has made him ruler over nature. Nothing remains unknown to him. He has become a
great scientist, skillful artist, a mighty creator of things and a noble path finder of life.

Dr Faust, why he is a renaissance man


According to the dictionaries, Renaissance man is a cultured man of the
Renaissance who was knowledgeable, educated, or proficient in a wide range of
fields. This modern term was first found in the written word in the early 1900s, and
the concept is based on the great thinkers of the 1300s and 1400s who were
masters of a vast number of fields of knowledge.
The protagonist of Marlowe's drama, Doctor Faustus, is similarly proficient in every
field of academic knowledge open at his time. He mastered in divinity, law,
economy, and mathematics. In the first scene, Faustus reviews the traditional
subjects of study, to which he has devoted himself so far. Philosophy, medicine, law,
and divinity have come to seem mean and constricting to him. And now he reflects
about what should he attend next:
Settle thy studies, Faustus, and begin
To sound the depth of that thou wilt profess:
Having commencd, be a divine in show,
Yet level at the end of every art,
And live and die in Aristotles works
He also tells in his monologue that thou hast attaind that end and
Philosophy is odious and obscure,
Both law and physic are for petty wits,
Divinity is basest of the three,
Unpleasant, harsh, contemptible, and vile
With impatient scorn he sweeps them aside; and with eagerness he contemplates
the
world of profit and delight, Of power, of honour, of omnipotence which he expects
to enjoy as a magician:
What will be, shall be? Divinity, adieu!
These metaphysics of magicians,
And necromantic books are heavenly;

Lines, circles, scenes, letters, and characters;


Ay, these are those that Faustus most desires.
These show his ardent curiosity, his desire for luxury and wealth, and his
nationalism, as well as to the longing for power which he has already voiced. Such
qualities mark him unmistakably as a man of the Renaissance. Faustus chooses
knowledge and self over God.
A sound magician is a mighty god:
Here, Faustus, tire
thy brains to gain a deity.
Faustus seems a Renaissance figure in his infinite appetites and the things he wants
and also in his willingness to rid his world of everything that stands in the way of his
own illusory enjoyment. Faustus very nearly "had it all" but wouldn't have deserved
it and threw it all away. He is a superior scholar, led by his own will, prefers to take
decisions self-willingly, paying heed to nobody.
Another proof that Faustus is a Renaissance man is manifested in his love toward
Helen's Classical beauty.
O, thou (Helen) art fairer than the evening air
Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;
Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter
Doctor Faustus represents the main characteristic of Renaissance spirit, the spirit of
enquiry. In the play, are presented both the good and the bad parts of enquiry. His
aspiration for Knowledge made him lose his sole after making a contract for
knowledge and power, and in the end he offers to burn his book. He says, "O, would
I had never seen Wittenberg, never read book!. But he rebels against the
limitations and understood that knowledge is the only solution to come out of it,
here the knowledge of magic helps him. Faustus wants to prove that he can become
greater than he presently is.
From the descriptions above, it is clear that Doctor Faustus does indeed fit both the
concept of a man of learning living during the 14th and 15th centuries as well as fit
the modern construct of the Renaissance man. He embodies the philosophies of
Renaissance humanists, who prized individualism and scientific achievements.
Faustus's inexhaustible thirst for knowledge, his worship of beauty, his passion for
classic, his interest in magic, his admiration for super-human ambition and all the
other interests prove Dr. Faustus to be a Renaissance man.
Importance of knowledge nowadays
Someone once remarked that while ignorance was the curse of God, knowledge was
the important power of wings which carried one to heaven. A famous Sanskrit verse

says that an educated person is honored everywhere. The importance of a


knowledgeable person in our modern society is immense. Where-ever he goes he is
offered a place of reverence, a scat of authority, and he commands the hearing of
everyone present. The power of knowledge lends him such distinction.
In modern society exists a problem connected with knowledge. People have cheaper
and better access to information about the whole world by way of TV, Internet and
so many other medium of communication including a flood of printed books, and it
seems that people are almost "experts" in everything. Thanks to the Internet,
access to information had increased dramatically over the last couple of decades,
so it makes sense for people to be more knowledgeable about more topics than
ever before. The fact is that internet provides an illusion of knowledge. The biggest
part the information is superficial.
Those who have knowledge are capable of commanding others and ruling the world.
But the power that comes from knowledge should be used for the progress of
mankind and not be misused. They truly realize that humanity comes with
knowledge even as power flows from it. Knowledge plays an important role in life.
Unfortunately in todays world of strife and unending warfare, the power that is
enforced at gun-point is a liability and not an asset.
Aspiration of the modern scientists
Through science we start to understand the role of everything in the world. But
more than that, science is how we can satisfy our curiosity
The scientist is an individual of great intellect, grappling heroically with natures
secrets and looking for the moment that will transform our understanding of the
universe.
But the practice of science over the last century has witnessed a significant shift
from the individual to the group, as scientific research has become more specialized
and the nature of research problems have become more complex, requiring
increasingly sophisticated approaches.
The scientists want their research to be used to help people lead healthier, more
productive lives.
Unfortunately, however, the power of knowledge is being used by many more and
more for destructive purposes. This is undesirable. Let us hope that all human being
will understand the power and importance of knowledge in life. Knowledge will
promote our zest for life only.