How is power represented in Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus?

The theme of power is introduced at the beginning of the play, where Faustus is brimming with ideas on what he would do with all the power in the world. He imagines obtaining great wealth, drawing the continents on the map to form one land, and answering all the mysteries of the universe. Faustus’ ambitions characterise him as in pursuit of personal gratification, as his desires for power are to obtain more grandeur rather than for the greater good. Faustus will stop at nothing to gain limitless power, which is evidenced when he ultimately sells his soul. Interestingly, his purchase of power is at the expense of his grand ambitions. This is illustrated by the fact that, rather than land-moving and obtaining great wealth, Faustus uses his power to play practical jokes and tricks throughout Europe. There is therefore a fundamental juxtaposition between Faustus’ initial desires and his actions. It could be argued that he is ultimately unable to properly manage his God-like power precisely because of his rejection of God. Within the Christian frameworks of the play, true greatness can only be achieved with God’s blessings, resulting in Faustus being condemned to mediocrity. 

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