He was one of the most important playwrights in the Elizabethan era.
He studied classical theatre in Cambridge University and he joined an important group of scholar men and playwrights, called “University Wits”.
He was an ambitious and rebel man, in fact he sometimes went to disreputable places, that's why after his death, his body was found in a tavern.
His characters' behaviour mirrored Marlowe's personality: like their author, they were ambitious and rebels; they weren't stereotyped characters, this is the reason why they were tragic heroes, who at the end usually died.
The masterpiece of Christopher Marlowe is “Doctor Faustus”. The protagonist is a scientist and a scholar man who was unsatisfied of his knowledge; therefore he made a pact with the devil to obtain a supernatural knowledge and to see the future, too. He asked the devil 24 years before bringing his soul down to hell.
In the last hour before the devil coming, the protagonist speaks to himself through a soliloquy in which Marlowe shows his psychological features: he repented and wanted to save his soul, but it's too late because the devil will arrive to take him at midnight.
The soliloquy can be divided into three parts: on the first part, from 11.00 to 11.30, Faustus asked time to slow down, and he asked God to grant him a total forgiveness; on the second part, from 11.30 to midnight, he would be satisfied even if God granted him a partial forgiveness, in fact he asked him to be damned only for 1000 years; finally, in the third part, at midnight, shortly before the devil’s arrive, he also would be disposed to burn his books and he would renounce his knowledge.
The hands of the watch, that chimed three times (once at 11.00, once at 11.30 and finally once at midnight), seemed to go faster with the passage of time.
Now, the soliloquy becomes almost a dialogue, between Faustus and his “alter ego”: in fact, from a point of view Faustus accused the stars, his parents and also God, because he said that God saves all the men, therefore he should save him, too; but from another point of view, the humanist one, Faustus knows that he's responsible for his choices, so he deserves the eternal damnation.
The themes can be divided into the medieval themes and the humanist ones: in fact, Faustus understood (that) he was responsible of his errors, but he relies on God, hopping in his mercy; another themes are the inexorable passage of the time, the desire for knowledge and the sin in front of God.
The moral significance of this work is that when somebody takes a decision, he can’t go back. The protagonist of the story made a pact with the devil to satisfice his desire of knowledge, but his decision became cause of grief for him: in fact, he’s responsible for his choices and at midnight, the devil will drag his soul to hell.
The soliloquy was utilized to describe the thought of the character.