By the end of the drama how does Faustus seems to more resemble Lear? Essay

By the end of the drama how does Faustus seems to more resemble Lear?

In the beginning of the play Faustus is shown as man with godly knowledge. Being proud of his knowledge, he considers himself above every things as he mentions

ALL that philosophy can teach,

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The craft of lawyer and of leech,

I’ve mastered

(Act one, Scene one)

 Puffed with pride and vanity, he discards the works of Aristotle and other greater philosophers including Bible. His greed of knowing more and becoming all-powerful has no limit. He thinks of impossible which is learning magic, even though such thought was forbidden in Christianity; he discards such thinking as old wives tale. His hunger for total control grows because he believes; he is invincible and calls the devil for more power. Selling his soul for a limited time, he gets every thing he wanted, but at the end of time, he becomes a miserable man like Lear; who has became despised and rejected soul fallen from grace.

King Lear life ends in torment like Faustus. Lear discovers the absolute truth towards at the end of his life; when he lost every thing. Reality descends upon Faustus; when every thing is over which makes this drama so powerful yet tragic.

  Faustus ruled the world through his knowledge and power like Lear, who was the absolute King of a mighty kingdom. Both personalities are built on pride and it is the pride and vanity that brings tragic death to both of them. In a true Greek spirit of tragedy, both men once held godly power become lowliest making the readers sympathetic towards these characters. Thus we can say that it would not be wrong to assume that Faustus and Lear both have almost identical ending.

Reference:

Alan Armstrong, “The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus.” Shakespeare Bulletin (2006)

William M. Hamlin, “Casting Doubt in Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus .” Studies in English Literature (2001)

Roberto Speziale-Bagliacca, The King and the Adulteress: A Psychoanalytical and Literary Reinterpretation of Madame Bovary and King Lear. Duke University Press: 1998.

Jay L. Halio, King Lear: A Guide to the Play . Greenwood Press, 2001.

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