Doctor Faustus

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Doctor Faustus Prologue Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The Chorus enters and delivers the Prologue. He begins by assuring the audience that the play will deal with neither epic, nor heroic, nor courtly matters, but merely with “the form of Faustus' fortunes, good or bad” (Prologue, 8).
The chorus's modest claims contrast with Faustus's soaring ambition. The tragedy will focus upon the fortune of a single individual.
Themes
The Renaissance Individual Theme Icon
The Chorus summarizes Faustus's biography, including his humble origins, precociousness as a student, interest in necromancy, and eventual fall from grace, comparing him to Icarus, whose “waxen wings” (Prologue, 20) melted when he flew too close to the sun.
Faustus's humble origins exemplify the Renaissance individual's ability to rise to power from nothing. But at the same time, the allusion to the myth of Icarus brings to light the folly of excessive ambition for an individual.
Themes
The Renaissance Individual Theme Icon