Doctor Faustus (Marlowe)

Is Dr.Faustus a tragic hero? What is his tragic flaw? Does his downfall evoke terror?

do you pity faustus

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yes he is really considered as a tragic hero as he have all of the features of the classical tragic her which are

1. he is from a high social class a doctor

2. he suffers from a flaw in his character

3. the flaw will make him commit a fatal mistake

4. he will be alienated and he will realize his mistake but when it is too late

5. he will fall at the end and his fall is a tragic fall as he will be damned in hell for ever

I don't believe he can be considered a tragic hero. Whilst he does contain many characteristics of Aristotle's classical definition, he does not have any good intentions or a sense of morality. Shakespeare's Othello, although he does kill his wife, believes he is doing it for the best. He proclaim's that it is to help fellow man so they do not feel the pain of betrayal and the humilation of being cuckolded. However, Dr Faustus is comlpetely selfish in his decision. Even before he makes the deal, he is dreaming of how he can become powerful and have whatever he wishes. Does he not wish to feed the hungry and help the poor? Also, whilst his profession is a scholar, he never puts his learning to good use. His study of medicine was left behind, without him thinking of the benefits for others. Othello works in the army and is a general. He has had to overcome much discrimination and hardships to fight for a country which outcast him. Faustus was only slightly challenged by his common birth, which is only mentioned in the beginning chorus of the play.

I believe that Faustus should be labeled as an anti-hero, the protaginist of the play who repents (or wishes too) and suffers a downfall. His hamrtia (fatal flaw) is echoed through all of the deadly sins and this makes him less than noble - which is Aristotles main feature of a tragic hero. Alos, the only nemesis that Faustus has is himslef. Meph. warns him before selling his soul to think about his actions. In fact, Faustus ignored all warnings given to him until it was too late. He is ignorant and arrogant and if anyone should be called the tragic hero in Marlowe's play, it should be Mephosophilis. He experiences a downfall through his fatal flaw (pride) yet still defies his very nature to try and help Faustus.