Annotated Bibliography Entry - "Why Devils Came..."

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Guenther, Genevieve. "Why Devils Came When Faustus Called Them." Modern Philology 109.1 (2011): 46-70. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. Web. 15 Nov. 2012. .

This article discusses the beliefs that Christopher Marlowe's famous play, Doctor Faustus, had the power to conjure actual devils upon the stage during its performances. It cites two separate theories about such unholy powers and explains their contextual logic, detailing why one might be lead to believe such an idea. The article explains that within the context of the society in which the play was performed, the current theological doctrine proclaimed the beliefs that otherworldly conjurations of devils and uses of magic, even if performed upon the stage in the context of a play, had the power to unleash evil into the world. Theologians of the day preached a belief that audience members were in danger of damning themselves and endangering their chances of salvation if they allowed themselves to enjoy the play or if they even were present during the performances. Salvation was the ultimate goal for Protestants, as their daily lives were spent working toward it and praying that they would achieve it in years to come. Life on earth was fr the purpose of serving God and doing His will, and participating in any activity that was against Church doctrine, such as magic and rendezvous with devils, were deadly damning sins. Arguably, due to Christopher Marlowe's Cambridge education and theological experience, he knew that such conjurations and displays of magic were controversial and would cause protestant anxiety; therefore, he was quite the rebel of his day, whether he was an atheist or a man of faith.

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This page contains a single entry by Lauren Tank published on November 15, 2012 10:38 AM.

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