A Foucauldian Analysis of Power Distribution in David Mamet’s Faustus

Document Type: Research article

Authors

Department of English Language and Literature, Alzahra University

Abstract

Faustus has a long history in European literature although its origin is obscure. David Mamet, in a modern version of the old legend, presents a new perspective on the issues of power and truth. Michel Foucault, the influential post-structuralist historian and philosopher of the 20th century, gives a novel insight into the nature of power relations and its manner of operation within human societies. In this sense, Foucault posits that power and knowledge are the same; moreover, power and resistance coexist in every social interaction. The current study aims to investigate the power relations in David Mamet’s Faustus in a Foucauldian framework. Faustus’s model of the periodic power offers a rigid paradigm to explain the mechanism of the world. Human will and resistance have no place in Faustus’s ideology. However, the study shows how Faustus gets disillusioned as he becomes aware of the hidden power relations functioning around him. It concludes that the significant role of truth and knowledge in power relations leads to the emergence of confession, reward, and punishment: discourses which entangle the individual in a complex web of power and resistance.

Keywords


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