Dr Faustus and Streetcar Named essay
- Length: 8 pages
- Sources: 10
- Subject: Family and Marriage
- Type: essay
- Paper: #81335705
Excerpt from essay :
Not very different from Blanche, Marlowe's Faustus is a very proud individual, believing that there is little on the face of the earth that could pose any interest to him. The reason for his excessive pride is that his intellectual capacities had brought him important knowledge in most subjects. Faustus's idealistic approach to life is the very reason for him tending to appeal to any possible means in order to gain more knowledge. In spite of his great potential, his thirst for supremacy has Faustus fall for the proposal that he is presented with by the two magicians.
Faustus's first monologue relates to his beliefs that all subjects are limited, and that he aspires for more than what the simple world provides him with. His superficiality prevents him from systematically studying subjects such as philosophy, medicine, and law. Theology, in his opinion, does nothing but intoxicating people with nonsense that is intended to keep their attention away from matters which are actually worthy of being studied. These respective matters include necromancy and magic, and, according to his testimonials, "these are those that Faustus most desires." (Marlowe Christopher, 2001) Apparently, Faustus is naive, as he is determined to learn certain matters, even with the fact that he has no clue of the consequences that his actions will have.
Most probably, with the intention of creating a contrast between Faustus and others that had had interests other than him, Marlowe presents Robin and Rafe. Humor is involved in the episode parallel to Faustus's distress. Faustus demonstrates that it requires more than knowledge for one to be able to properly use the unlimited power that he is presented with. Marlowe does not go at giving a complex description of Robin, but, instead, he relates to how this secondary character has better capacity of understanding the power of magic.
Hence, unlike Faustus, that uses the authority that he receives to perform insignificant tricks, Robin claims that he would perform more important duties if he would come across the respective power.
Even if he is aware of the outcome that selling his soul to the devil would have, Faustus decides to perform the act, partly believing that the power that he will receive would compensate his loss, and, partly believing that he is protected by Lucifer, hoping that a divine power would intervene and save his soul. The theme of man selling his soul in exchange for everything that he desires is much older than Marlowe's play, with Jesus Christ having been among the first reports of one being proposed by the devil to sell his soul.
Humankind has always been fascinated with an account relating to one receiving everything that he or she wishes for from a supernatural power, with the condition that that particular individual would sooner or later give up his or her soul. The scenes involving comedy come as a break from the overall tragic character that the play has.
While the audience might feel relaxed as a result of observing the humorous spirit of the play, the episode also increases its tragic spirit, making people more responsive at Faustus contract with the devil. Faustus attitude changes over the play, and, whereas he maintained a formal position at the beginning of the play, he gradually looses the eminence in his tone. This is primarily because of the fact that his goals in life had changed considerably along with him sealing the deal with Lucifer.
It is almost like Faustus had planned his future step-by-step, regardless whatsoever to the hazards which stood before him. Witnessing the power of Lucifer through Mephistopheles, Faustus is scared, but, unwilling to act in order to cancel the contract. Considering his background, Faustus would be likely to achieve greatness once getting hold of the power given to him by Lucifer. His behavior, however, proves that humans cannot handle prodigious powers, which had not been meant for them in the first place. Whether it is because of his arrogance or whether it is because people are unable to process powers that they do not understand, the abilities that Faustus comes across only succeed in destroying his life. Mephistopheles can be associated with the powers that Faustus receives, and, the fact that it does not answer directly to Faustus can be associated with Lucifer limiting his abilities.
It is not only at the end of his life that he feels the consequences of having sold his soul to the devil. From the very moment when the agreement has been made, Faustus begins to feel remorse and fear. The appearance of the good angel and of the bad one can be considered to be a sign that Faustus has beliefs relating to the fact that the advantages having came along with the contract might not compensate with the loss of his soul.
The Renaissance period's notion of hell largely differed from the one existing in the twenty-first century.
However, even with the fact that people have changed part of their principles, some have remained the same, such as individuals connecting the concept of hell with a state of mind rather than with a location.
Comedic scenes are present in several episodes of the play, and, in spite of its ghastly character, the scene in which Faustus is dismembered can be considered to be slapstick-like comedy. The play's protagonist receives his punishment in a rather amusing way, and, while some may consider the scene to be entertaining, others might think that it goes against the dramatic nature that the respective scene is supposed to have. It is only at the end of the play that the Faustus acknowledges his acts and appears to regret them. Predictably, his repentant behavior is worthless, with Mephistopheles collecting Faustus's soul and taking it into hell.
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2. Berson, Misha. "What Does It Take to Keep 'Streetcar' on Track? Sheila Daniels Faces Down the Play's Challenges in a Volatile Debut at Intiman." American Theatre, Vol. 25, October 2008.
3. Bloom, Harold. (1988)." Tennessee Williams's a Streetcar Named Desire." Chelsea House.
4. Hamlin, William M. "Casting Doubt in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Vol. 41, 2001.
5. Mermelstein, David. "A Streetcar Named Desire." New Criterion, Vol. 17, December 1998.
6. Von Szelisk, John. (1971). "Tragedy and Fear; Why Modern Tragic Drama Fails." University of North Carolina Press.
7. Wall-Randell, Sarah. "Doctor Faustus and the Printers Devil." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Vol. 48, 2008.
8. Whitmore, Charles Edward. (1971). "The Supernatural in Tragedy." Paul P. Appel.
9. Williams Tennessee. "A Streetcar Named Desire."
Bloom, Harold. (1988)." Tennessee Williams's a Streetcar Named Desire." Chelsea House.
Wall-Randell, Sarah. "Doctor Faustus and the Printers Devil." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Vol. 48, 2008.
Benton, Howard. "Can You Refuse the Bargain of a Lifetime? Dr. Faust and the Ultimate…