Historical Context of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus

Subject: Literature
Pages: 2
Words: 355
Reading time:
2 min

The historical context plays a significant role in shaping the main idea of the work. The historical component gives meaning to the author’s choice in relation to specific details. However, it is important not to attach too much importance to it, as this can lead to the formation of unnecessary speculation. Such thoughts can distract the reader from the central message of the work.

The author of the play, Christopher Marlowe, is widely known as a pioneer of his time. He is also known for encouraging many other authors to create their great works. One of these followers of the writer is William Shakespeare. Marlowe had a reputation for being intemperate, with conflicting and violent views. As the author says in the chapter, the spy Richard Baines referred to him as a scoffer at religion. He said that Christopher Marlowe saw religion as a way for the authorities to control the society of that time. Many of his contemporaries spoke about him in a highly negative way, speaking about his unconventional orientation and denial of God.

However, despite all these condemnations, Marlowe was still considered a great and talented playwright. Such a biography strongly influenced the perception of the author’s works in various historical periods. So, in the eighteenth century, his plays were considered scandalous and unacceptable. Over time, after the emergence of the canon of great writers in the nineteenth century, everything that happened in the life of a writer began to be perceived as a manifestation of his talent. Marlowe’s opposition to the established views is regarded as a poetic genius, which was suppressed and overlooked by the perturbations of the previous decades.

Thus, the historical context does influence the patterns of perception of a historical figure. The rumors and speculation that circulated around the writer significantly damaged his reputation as a playwright. Consequently, this fact in the author’s biography of the play Doctor Faust is an example of how the historical time of writing work can play a significant role in the perception and popularity of any literary creator.