Renaissance in England was marked with a growing sense of beauty and an increasing enrichment of life.
It was an age of pomp, show and glitter. This period was known for adventures, bravery and excess. It led to breaking of medieval knowledge and philosophy. It infused a new spirit of freedom. It introduced a note of patriotism, and national glorification. It was accompanied by a revolt against the authority of Pope. All these elements find ample expression in Dr. Faustus. Faustus here is the embodiment of Renaissance passions. It is in keeping with the bold adventures of men like Hawkins, Drake and Forbisher who had discovered new lands. It was the age when scientists like Copernicus had revealed man s true place and significance in the scheme of things. Dr. Faustus is a typical Renaissance hero. He reveals an important aspect of Renaissance temper. He represents the spirit of excess that is reflected in every aspect of life. He is moulded by the personal lust for power and indomitable passion. This is what makes him a true incarnation of the spirit of Renaissance. Faustus, like other Marlovian heroes is distinguished by his fiery passion, capacity for infinite struggle and the Renaissance lust for power, beauty, wealth and knowledge. As informed by the chorus, Faustus, swol n with cunning, of a self conceit, his waxen wings did mount above his reach. Faustus, in his opening soliloquy, shows his dissatisfaction with various branches of knowledge. He has studied Aristotle s logic but that has only sharpened his thirst for knowledge. He rejects the study of medicine as it has failed to put life into the dead. He disapproves of the study of law which provides only petty gains. The study of religion is considered futile as it only tells of essential sinful nature of man. He wished to acquire unlimited knowledge. He is obviously tired of orthodox learning. As soon as Mephistophilis appears, he starts questioning him about the nature of hell and heaven, of earth and the universe. He embodies the modern spirit of knowledge revealed in the adventures of Hawkins, Drake and Forbisher. True to a typical Marlovian hero, Faustus treats God and devil not merely as rival centers of power. It is with this end in view that he pursues the study of black art . This pursuit of magic will put at his command all things that move between the quiet poles . He believes that a sound magician is a demigod . Like the prince of Machiavelli, Faustus doesn t bother about the traditional morality. He aspires to be at least as great as Devil, if not as God. He seeks a vision of greatness which is denied by the laws that govern human beings. A king commands power only in his kingdom but Faustus through magic wishes control over the elements. The trade with the countries of Asia and Africa was bringing a lot of wealth into the country. This created an insatiable desire for wealth. This passion for wealth is truly represented in Marlowe s Barabas, the hero of The Jew of Malta. Faustus shares Barabas thirst for wealth. That is perhaps why Faustus is keen to call forth spirits and says: I ll have them fly to India for gold. Ransack the ocean for the orient pearl. He wishes to have a world of profit and delight
This is revealed in the play when Faustus makes fun of the holy Pope. reformation is expressed through the rejection of Pope. He is thus truly a microcosm of Renaissance humanism. He makes them all run and later throws fireworks among them. This may well be treated as an extension of the spirit of patriotism through the rejection of overlordship of the Pope. Faustus is the true representative of Renaissance spirit as represented in its insatiable passion for infinite knowledge. It was an age of glitter and pomp. true to this spirit. Thus we find that Marlowe s play Dr. England was indeed a nest of singing birds. He calls the spirit of Helen. the face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless towers of Ilium. the spirit of religious Renaissance i. The renaissance spirit stirred feelings and passions and dilated imagination. All genres of poetry were attempted and perfected. Faustus snatches food and drink from the hands of His Holiness and boxes his ears. and friars who are his guests. Faustus wishes to live in all voluptuousness. True to this spirit. This spirit was further fostered. Faustus. It is this passion that leads him astray and he drowns his inner conflict in these very physical pleasures. He yearns for a kiss of Helen that will make him immortal .e. of the Cardinals. Poetry was a passion with the people in Renaissance England. He would send the spirits to search all corners of the newfound world/For pleasant fruits and princely delicates He summons blind Homer to sing to Alexander s love and Oenon s death. This love for sensuous pleasure is reflected when one of the first desires mentioned by Faustus is to have a wife. Faustus s expression of his passion for omnipotence and poignant cry at the time of his death are surcharged with the finest of Marlowe s poetry. decides to use the spirits at his command in his service of his country. and nourished and strengthened by the spirit of patriotism. He listens to the music of Amphion who raised the walls of Thebes with music. infinite power and intense passion for beauty and wealth expressed in some of the finest poetry. People of all classes from the royalty down to those of the humble rank composed poems. This passionate interest in poetry is illustrated by the poetic utterances of Faustus Was this the face that launched a thousand ships? And burnt the topless towers of Ilium! Sweet Helen! Make me immortal with a kiss! Similarly.Beauty was a passion with the Elizabethans. Again. This craze for carnal delights is both the cause and effect of his suffering.