Sample questions on Doctor Faustus

  1. In what ways might knowledge of the social and political context in which Doctor Faustus was written and first performed contribute to an understanding of the play?
  2. Write an essay on how Faustus' character changes and develops as the play goes on. To what extent is he in control of his own destiny?
  3. How might Wagner and Faustus' fellow scholars tell the story of his fate? How would this differ from Faustus' account of himself?
  4. To what extent is it useful to see Doctor Faustus as a morality play? How might this affect the reader or spectator's understanding of the play's possible meanings?
  5. Describe the structure of Doctor Faustus and discuss how it may affect the reader's or spectator's understanding of the action of the play.
  6. What do you think are the main religious and theological aspects of the play and how are they dramatised?
  7. Discuss the character of Mephastophilis. To what extent is he conceived as an individual rather than as a mere representative of evil?
  8. Write an essay on the role of the comic scenes in the play. Do they detract from the seriousness of the play or do they contribute to our understanding of the main action?
  9. Write an essay on Marlowe's use of language, showing how his use of blank verse, imagery and metre contribute to the meaning of the play.
  10. Discuss the role of the Chorus in Doctor Faustus.
  11. What are the main problems in staging the play? How would you attempt to solve them?
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