From this “Faust Book,” that is, from its English translation, which appeared in 1588, Marlowe took his tragedy of “Dr. Faustus”〖Harvard Classics, xix, 205.〗 (1589; published 1604). In Marlowe’s drama Faust appears as a typical man of the Renaissance, as an explorer and adventurer, as a superman craving for extraordinary power, wealth, enjoyment, and worldly eminence. The finer emotions are hardly touched upon. Mephistopheles is the mediæval devil, harsh and grim and fierce, bent on seduction, without any comprehension of human aspirations. Helen of Troy is a she-devil, and becomes the final means of Faust’s destruction. Faust’s career has hardly an element of true greatness. None of the many tricks, conjurings, and miracles, which Faust performs with Mephistopheles’s help, has any relation to the deeper meaning of life. They are mostly mere pastimes and vanity. From the compact on to the end hardly anything happens which brings Faust inwardly nearer either to heaven or hell. But there is a sturdiness of character and stirring intensity of action, with a happy admixture of buffoonery, through it all. And we feel something of the pathos and paradox of human passions in the fearful agony of Faust’s final doom.

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