Dr Faustus is a short play written by Christopher Marlowe. The play is a mastermind insight into the paradoxical soul of mankind and its ironically self inflicted corruption. The play could be classification as a theological allegory. it can assumed that the play specifically speaks to the time, but can be adapted to the present as well. Marlowe portrays Faustus ambition as dangerous; it was the cause of his demise. Perhaps Marlowe used the theme of over ambition as a warning to the audience , who would be likely to be wary of ambition- it was looked down as a negative personality trait in Christian England(Calvinism) An on going theme within the story is the corruption of a soul which is played out through the use of religious beliefs. Specifically, the use of the seven deadly sins is a precursor to mankind’s self inflicted death. Marlowe uses sin, redemption and damnation to get his point across to the audience. The sins that Marlowe specifically uses are those of: pride, covetousness, wrath, envy, gluttony, sloth and lechery. These sins are colourfully displayed through the character traits of Dr Faustus. In the process we view them and can adapt them to our own lives and how they are all parts to the corruption of our souls.

In the prologue, Marlowe introduces us to Dr Faustus via the chorus. Here we are told of life of an ordinary man, born to modest people. This piece tells us that in the new age of the Renaissance, a common-born scholar like Faustus, is as important as any king or warrior, and his story is worthy of being told and also states that Dr Faustus’s swelling pride will lead to his downfall. Here we are addressed with a precursor of what is about to happen and how it is to be facilitated, again by one man’s desire to destroy himself in respect to Godliness. In Act One, Marlowe portrays Faustus as being over-ambitious by his turning magic, which is a much more sinister and much less conventional pursuit than others that he had been discussing previously. Faustus hopes that magic will make him omnipotent and godlike.

Through out the next few acts we see Dr Faustus disregard the teachings against the seven deadly sins with his trickery and debauchery. The great doctor Faustus has the seven deadly sins entrenched in his life and they are displayed by his various actions during the play. The first deadly sin was that of pride. Dr Faustus saw himself as in comparison to others in a competitive nature. pride and vanity are competitive. this was done in Act One when he sits there and tells the audience of his accomplishments and wishes for more glory. The second is covetousness, it is manifested in the play through various actions. Faustus demonstrates this in various scenes, when he evokes the devils magic, the want of a wife, and the overall actions of his character portray his pursuit of knowledge and glory. Usually this sin is manifested through sex, power, or image which demises the self control and can suffocate the soul. It is the self-destructive drive for pleasure which is out of control. Faustus does this when he performs his silly tricks for self indulgence.

Wrath is the third sin. Often this is our first reaction to the faults of others. Faustus demonstrates his impatience with the way he treats the people around him, his servants (demonic and human), as well as other characters with in the play. Wrath is what Faustus feels when he conjures up horns to place on the head of a knight of Emperor Charles V, court (Marlowe, 41-42). Since the knight shows skepticism in Faustus must rebuke his insolence by placing horns on the knight’s head. The fourth is envy Dr Faustus wanted more in his life and envied the powers of others. Therefore, he wanted to command the demons to control the world to his accord. Envy is almost impossible to differentiate from pride at times. Dr Faustus was envious of the accomplishment of others and wanted to exceed their glory (Act I). In one of the comic scenes, scene 6, we learn that Robin and Rafe have stolen one of Faustus’ books and plan to use it to seduce a woman. They must have been jealous of Faustus’ power and his magical aptitude.

The fifth sin is gluttony; temperance in accepting the natural limits of pleasures, and preserves of the natural balance. This does not pertain only to food, but to entertainment and other legitimate goods, and even the company of others. Faustus demonstrates gluttony when he evokes the use of the dark arts. He is attempting to go beyond his earthly knowledge while disturbing the natural balance or medium in his life, the devil has become the greater power to Faustus. In some of the monologues, Faustus starts using the devils name in place of where one would use Gods name. Sloth, in conjunction with the other sins, works to muffle the spiritual senses so we first become slow to respond to God and then drift completely into the slumber of complacency to the demonic ways. This is the sixth sin in the death of Faustus he is given chances to content throughout the play, and never does. Faustus has become numb to his own sub consciousness; he no longer abides by what he does. Even in the scene where he sign the contract with the devil, his blood congeals and he does not understand why. His own body is fighting the deadly deed he was attempting to do.

Lechery, greed is the seventh sin. Faustus also displays greed in Act I when he states he has not accomplished greatness. Faustus wants to gain glory; he has exceptions of others to get him his glory. Faustus uses Mephastophilis to gain glory, it is the perfect display of lechery, and he does acknowledge that the demon is responsible for all the tasks he performs, but states it is his gift of the dark arts (Marlowe,12)

During the play there are various characters that Faustus meets, the most ironic of them is the seven deadly sins. The seven are present to humour reader and make them think, the humour of course in self reflection. Another humourous aspect is the reflection on Christian symbolism. The symbol of blood is displays in different points of the play. Christian virtues are being inspected with the use of temptation and sin. Prominent token head figures are also being scrutinized they are placed in the story for aid or to reveal their sins. With each of these symbols the author adds shock value to the play.

The main character Dr Faustus is a tragic hero; in the process of the play he destroys himself but in the same step he sarcastically displays the audience own idiosyncrasies. The on going theme within the story has been the use the use of religious icons and beliefs. Marlowe uses the renaissance ideals with the medieval myths to master his point. This work is a forewarning of damnation by those who attempt to alter the doctrines or moral standards, and a beacon of caution to those in search of the unknown. Dr Faustus, the work of good and evil.