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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…
1. Benton, Howard. "Can You Refuse the Bargain of a Lifetime? Dr. Faust and the Ultimate Hire-Purchase Deal." New Statesman, Vol. 125, September 13, 1996.
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.
First, Faustus covers his rejection of God by claiming that God has rejected him: "He [God] loves thee [Faustus himself] not." This in itself is similar to many childish rebuffs of God, especially during moments (or lifetimes) of suffering, real or perceived. Faustus does not have this perception, however, so this excuse must be seen for what it is -- merely and solely an imagined justification for his actions. The last line of the passage makes Faustus' character entirely clear: "The god thou serv'st is thine own appetite." He acknowledges his self-serving nature, and in fact embraces and celebrates it -- that is what the play is really about. This moment of wavering conscience is not really provided to show Faustus in more depth than he might otherwise be perceived to possess, but rather to make his fall from grace that much more poignant -- he had a chance to…
In the end, he is unable to break the bondage of his immorality, and dies permanently as a result. Death is therefore viewed in terms of the Christian duality of redemption and eternal damnation. The symbol of blood is prominently connected to this duality. Faustus uses his blood as a seal for his deal with the devil, and the blood of Jesus exemplifies the redemption that is available to him throughout the play.
The possibility of life after death is a theme that Hamlet only touches upon in his considerations. He addresses this theme as the possibility of dreaming: "To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; / for in that sleep of death what dreams may come" (Act III: sc.i). These are however only speculations and differ widely from the certainty of Marlowe's world. For hakespeare, morality is grounded in the physical reality, whereas Marlowe's morality lies in…
Marlowe, Christopher. Dr. Faustus. Available online:
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark. Available online:
He tests the ghost's word by staging a play that will replicate the method by which Claudius killed his father, and swears he'll "take the ghost's word at a thousand pound," but rather than engage in bloody violence like a savage, he cannot bear to stab Claudius in the back (III.2). Instead, he constructs a feeble excuse as to why he cannot, showing that for Hamlet, the ethics of revenge, if not Claudius' evil are always in doubt. For Faustus, the power of not being seen, of play-acting and pageantry and the ability to have power over another man of life and death are never with a higher purpose, and also never to be ignored and not taken advantage of: "But now, that Faustus may delight his minde,/and by their folly make some merriment,/Sweet Mephasto: so charme me here,/That I may walke inuisible to all, and doe what ere I…
Marlowe, Christopher. The Tragedie of Doctor Faustus (B text) Edited by Hilary Binda.
Tufts University Retrieved 7 Feb 2008 at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.03.0011& ;query=act%3D%231
Shakespeare, William. "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark." The Shakespeare
Homepage: MIT University. Retrieved 7 Feb 2008 at http://shakespeare.mit.edu/hamlet
An Examination of Christopher's Doctor Faustus
The Play in its Period
The Play in its Period
Christopher Marlowe's play The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus is a frightening adaptation of the German narrative of Johann Faust who traded his soul for knowledge and power. ith its emphasis on intellectual pursuits, this play illustrates Marlowe's contribution to the Elizabethan drama. hile much of Marlowe's life is a mystery, we do know that unlike Shakespeare, Marlowe attended a Corpus Christi College on a scholarship. During this time, he began writing plays. Roma Gill points out that Marlowe's writing began with translating Ovid and Lucan. (Gill) She states:
Marlowe's translations of these elegies are not uniformly successful; but they nevertheless form an impressive achievement. For the Latin elegiac couplet, Marlowe substituted the rhymed pentameter couplet -- which John Donne later followed, imitating…
Abrams, M.H. "Christopher Marlowe." The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York W.W. Norton and Company. 1986. 792-3
Egendorf, Laura. "A Historical Overview of Elizabethan Drama." Elizabethan Drama. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc. 2000.
Gill, Roma. Dictionary of Literary Biography. Elizabethan Dramatists. Vol. 62.1987. GALE Research Database. Site Accessed May 29, 2004. http://www.infotrac.galegroup.com
Mack, Maynard. "Christopher Marlowe." The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. New York W.W. Norton and Company.1985. 1828-30.
Faustus, who sees his time also coming to a close, becomes a kind of Hamlet-figure and doubts that he can be forgiven. Faustus' problem is more than a life of misdeeds -- it is a problem of lack of faith. The faith of Everyman may have been lukewarm, but it was not corrupt. The faith in the time of Everyman has been polluted by Lutheran and Calvinist doctrines.
Considering the form of the narrative, this is not surprising: Faustus is obsessed with fame and renown. Everyman has no name proper -- and neither does his author. That the author of the medieval morality play should be anonymous is nothing out of the ordinary, and indeed seems all the more fitting when one considers that the second most printed book after the ible was The Imitation of Christ, a work whose author never put his name on the original (and which…
Craig, H. Morality Plays and Elizabethan Drama. Shakespeare Quarterly 1(2), 1950, 64-
72. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/pss/2866678
Everyman. NY: Fox, Duffield and Company, 1903.
Gardiner, H. Introduction. The Imitation of Christ (Thomas Kempis). NY:
Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlow, Faustus faces a terrible dilemma. Twenty-four years earlier, he has made a pact with the devil that Lucifer could take his soul at the end of 24 years in exchange for being put on the fast track to knowledge. Now the time is up, and Faustus awaits his eternal damnation.
There are two uses of time in this scene -- one more obvious, and one more hidden. Faustus seeks redemption in this scene, but God might well view it as a case of too little sorrow expressed much too late, for Faustus has had 24 years to change his time. Each time he has contemplated it, the immediate pleasures of being a true conjurer are so attractive that he rationalizes his worries away. In Scene 14, he can no longer pretend: he knows Lucifer is going to claim him.
However, even though he believes that…
Faustus' Acceptance to Eternal Damnation
Many traditions and legends have been created all the way through the long history of western culture. Among which one of the most outstanding and well-known as well long lasting traditions of western culture is of the Faustus legend, where in this legend, a man called Faust or Faustus, sells his soul to the devil for almost twenty-four years for the purpose of worldly power. This makes it a very prominent story that has been narrated many times over by writers such as Goethe, Lessing, and Mann. However, most probably the famous telling is Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe.
The social upheaval during the time period is the most prominent influence on Marlowe's version of Doctor Faustus. This novel has been suspected of being first performed in 1594, which was a time of great change in Europe. During this period the Medieval Times were over…
Conflict in the Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. November 6, 1998.
Christopher Marlowe. Books and Writers.
Faustus, as Christopher Marlowe's character, is a German scholar who wants to exceed the limits of traditional logic, medicine, law and religion by practicing black magic. Through this, he calls upon Mephistopheles, a demon, who arranges a deal between Faustus and Lucifer for 24 years of power and glory in exchange for his soul. Despite Mephistopheles' warnings about the horrors of hell and his own doubts about what the deal really means, Faustus persists in the decision to enter into the bargain, which he signs in his own blood. ich gifts and displays of pleasure from Mephistopheles and Lucifer, though, distract his doubts and lull his senses and reason, in addition to Mephistopheles' impressive information about the nature of the universe. The parade of the seven deadly sins particularly wins Faustus' mind and will. In the fulfillment of their end of the bargain, Mephistopheles takes Faustus to ome, the court…
Dyce, Alexander, editor. The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. The Quarto of 1616: Blackmask Online, 2001. http://www.blackmask.com/books15c/drfstadex.htm
Finnan, Dennis L. Seven Deadly Sins. The World, the Word and You! Broadcast, 1998. http://www.wwy.org/wwy3398.html
Goldfarb, Russell and Clarke, The Seven Deadly Sins in Doctor Faustus. http://www.industrialdisturbance.com/marlowe/explorer/seven.html
Marlowe, Christopher. The Tragedy of Doctor Faustus. Etext # 811, February 1997. http://sailor.gutenbeg.org/etext97/drfsta10.txt
Supernatural in Renaissance Drama
There are things in heaven and earth, not dreamt of in the philosophy of Horatio, not simply in "Hamlet" but also in the "Midsummer's Night Dream" of Shakespeare, and the "Dr. Faustus" of Christopher Marlowe. But while all of these plays deal with the theme of human aspirations in a world with a permeable, rather than an impermeable wall between humanity and the supernatural, "Dr. Faustus" suggests that breaking down this wall is initially fun and playful, although it has dire consequences at the end for the play's protagonist. Marlowe's cartoon characters and images of conventional morality, combined with heightened language convey humor rather than horror, until Faustus is condemned to hell for all eternity. The even lighter "Midsummer's Night Dream" also suggests in its early language an initial playfulness for the human and supernatural lovers who engage in transgressing sensual activities. But this comedy set…
Marlowe, Christopher. "Dr. Faustus." Text B. Edited by Hilary Binder. Tufts Classics Edition online. Last updated 2003. Retrieved from Perseus. Database at 8 December 2004 at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.03.0011& ; layout=norm%3Dreg& query=act%3D%235
Shakespeare, William. "A Midsummer's Night's Dream." MIT Complete Shakespeare. Retrieved 8 Dec 2004 at http://www-tech.mit.edu
Shakespeare, William. "A Midsummer's Night's Dream." MIT Complete Shakespeare. Retrieved 8 Dec 2004 at
Is this 'good' or natural one might ask, if Basil is one of the moral characters of the book and defying nature and wishing for eternal youth is immoral? Henry's counsel to Dorian that Dorian yield to his every natural temptation and not bow down to societal morality could be seen as an endorsement of the natural, but Henry also celebrates youth to an unnatural, unchanging degree and he too falls in love with Dorian's image before Dorian. Also, Henry, like Basil, is clearly amoral and self-interested himself, as seen in his disapproval that Dorian's impulses do not conform to Henry's own when Dorian is attracted to a pretty young actress.
Henry is a tempting figure, like Mephistopheles, but Dorian easily outdoes him in 'evil' or transgressions and unnaturalness. Dorian's love of youth, spawned by Henry, takes on a life of its own, just like Faustus' taunting of nature and…
Clausson, Nils. "Culture and Corruption": Paterian Self-Development vs. Gothic
Degeneration in Oscar Wilde's the Picture of Dorian Gray." Papers on Language and Literature. Fall 2003. 21 Apr 2007. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3708/is_200310/ai_n9329138
Marlowe, Christopher. "The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus." Project Gutenberg Etext.
1997. 21 Apr 2007. http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext97/drfst10a.txt
In total contrast with these heroes lies the modern hero or better said the modern man defined by his struggle for power. The idea of an individual selling his or her soul to the devil for knowledge is an old motif in Christian folklore, one that is centered upon in Cristopher Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus."
Doctor Faustus, a well-respected German scholar unsatisfied with the traditional forms of knowledge decides he wants to learn to practice magic. He begins his career as a magician summoning Mephastophilis, a devil while Valdes and Cornelius instruct him in the black arts. Despite the devil's warnings about hell Faustus tells the devil to return to his master Lucifer with an offer of Faustus's soul in exchange for twenty-five years of service from Mephistopheles. As the twenty-five years have passed, Faustus begins to dread his impending death and on the final night he is overcome by…
1. The Norton Anthology of English, Norton Topics Outline. 2003-2006. W.W. Norton and Company. On the Internet at http://www.wwnorton.com/nael/middleages/topic_4/welcome.htm.Last retrieved on November 24, 2006
2. The Sixteenth century topics: The Magician, the Heretic and the Playwright: Overview. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 2003-2006. W.W. Norton and Company. On the Internet at http://www.wwnortoncom/nto/16century/topic_1/welcome.htm
3. Jokinen, Aniina. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature. November 2006. On the Internet at http://www.luminarium.org/medlit/gawainintro/htm.Last retrieved on November 24, 2006
4. Sera, Joseph. A character analysis of Sir Gawain. Pace University Student Projects on Gawain. November 2006. On the Internet at http://csis.pace.edu/grendel/projs2d/ana/page.htm.Last retrieved on November 24, 2006
Man ho as Not Shakespeare:
The Comedic and Tragic Life of Christopher Marlowe
One of the most famous and shadowy figures in the history of the Elizabethan stage is that of the playwright Christopher Marlowe. Unlike Shakespeare, whose plays tend to be quite character-driven, Marlowe wrote extremely rhetorical, highly poetical works with elevated language and elaborate feats of stagecraft. Marlowe was a university-educated man with complex ties to the government and politics of the period. In contrast, Shakespeare's father was a glove maker, although politically a fairly prominent member of his community, and Shakespeare never attended university, only the common school of his town. Marlowe's concern with power and society's elite is reflected not only in the language of his plays, but also in terms of his play's subject matter. This is reflected in his most famous works, such as "Dr. Faustus" and "Tamburlaine." Marlowe is often studied as an…
Goldberg, Jonathan. "The Case of Christopher Marlowe." From Staging the Renaissance. Edited by David Kastan and Peter Stallybrass. Routledge, 1991, pp.75-82.
Gurr, Andrew. The Shakespearean Stage 1574-1642. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Marlowe, Christopher. "Dr. Faustus." From The Complete Plays. Penguin, 1969.
Steane, J.B. "Introduction." From The Complete Plays. Penguin, 1969, pp.11-37.
He exemplifies the expansion of the middle class and commercialism during the era. The book is a kind of inventive biography -- little is known for certain of hakespeare's life but Greenblatt uses the skeleton of hakespeare's plays to fill in details of common concerns of many figures of the period.
Long, William J. "The Elizabethan Age: 1550 -- 1620." From Outlines of English and American
Literature. April 4, 2009. http://www.djmcadam.com/elizabethan-age.html
This is an excerpt from a survey book on literature that is well-reputed in the field, although somewhat out of date. It examines the philosophy and history of the Elizabethan age and how it affected the literature of the period. It suggests the patriotic zeal and cultural vigor that resulted from the defeat of the Armada, scientific discoveries, and foreign travel and exploration were the reasons for the substantial literary output of this period's authors. It covers pencer, hakespeare,…
Shakespeare, William. "The Tragedy of Julius Caesar." From the Language of Literature.
Edited by Arthur N. Applebee. New York: McDougall Littell, 2006.
"Julius Caesar" is one of Shakespeare's 'Roman plays.' It reflects the Elizabethan reverence of the classical age. However, it also reveals anxieties over succession and usurpation of royal authority. It exemplifies the Elizabethan fascination with the supernatural's influence upon world events. And the contrast between Brutus' nobility and the political fallout from his assassination -- or political naivete in the face of Mark Anthony -- highlights Shakespeare's ambiguous characterization.
King's The Man In The lack Suit
The modern concept of self, and the human trait of self-awareness, have been a part of humanity since recorded history -- as has the notion of good and evil, although clearly on a sliding scale. However, it was not until the Middle Ages that the concept of the self in relation to the choices of good and evil coalesced, moving away from the supernatural "the devil made me do it," and allowing for personal responsibility. That did not change the idea that the human individual always has a choice in their path -- the euphemistic fork in the road -- do we choose good, or do we choose evil? Stephen King's short story, The Man in the lack Suit, is a modern retelling of this conflict, albeit not in the traditional manner (King). King's Devil is more like his own Randy Flagg than…
Benet, S. The Devil and Daniel Webster. New York: Dramatist Play Series, 2004.
Goethe, J. "Dr. Faustus." January 1978. googlebooks.com. September 2010 .
King, S. "The Man in the Black Suit." King, S. Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004. 45-51.
See for example the infamous Randall Flagg as the embodiment of evil in King's post-apocalyptic The Stand (1978); the tempting gentleman Leland Gant in Needful Things (1981); or the finale to The Tommyknockers (1987).
Relationship of "The Old English Baron" and "Vathek" to 18th Century English Gothic Fiction
The rise of Gothic fiction in English literature coincided with the advent of the Romantic Era at the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century. Gothic masterpieces such as Shelley's Frankenstein, Lewis's The Monk, and Stoker's Dracula would capture the imagination by fueling it with the flames of horror, suspense, other-worldliness and mystery. These elements are significant because the Age of Enlightenment had been characterized by a cold, objective, analytical focus on nature and humankind. It had been based on the concept that reason was sufficient to explain all events in the world and in fact all creation. Yet as Shakespeare's Hamlet reminded readers, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy" (Shakespeare 1.5.167-168). Part of this interest in the Gothic was inspired…
Christopher Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus" vs. illiam Shakespeare's "Henry IV, Part 1"
Christopher Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus" and illiam Shakespeare's "Henry IV, Part 1" are both two of history's most notable plays. Even with the fact that Marlowe has had a serious influence on Shakespeare, there are a series of differences between the two plays and one is likely to observe how each playwright employs a different attitude in speaking about the same concepts. "Doctor Faustus," for example, is a play that centers on a single character while "Henry IV, Part 1" is more complex and provides audiences with several characters as they progress and develop into individuals that are very different from how they were initially.
In contrast to Marlowe, Shakespeare focuses on humanizing his characters and on actually influencing audiences to identify with them. Marlowe only wants spectators to maintain their roles throughout the play, as he concentrates on presenting…
Logan, Robert A., "Shakespeare's Marlowe: The Influence of Christopher Marlowe on Shakespeare's Artistry," (Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007)
Schuchard, Ronald, "Eliot's Dark Angel: Intersections of Life and Art," (Oxford University Press, 1999)
"Alex Jack's list of Literary Similarities Between Marlowe and Shakespeare," Retrieved December 4, 2012, from the Marlowe Studies Websites: http://themarlowestudies.org/literarysimilarities.html
STYLE OF RITING AND TEACHING METHODS IN PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
Teaching and preaching have always been considered cornerstones of Christian beliefs. For devout Christians, teaching others about various things of value is what their entire religion is based upon as Gospel of Matthew mentions that Jesus is believed to have instructed his disciples to "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the orld" (Matthew 28: 19-20). Teaching has thus been considered an important part of religious beliefs and it is one responsibility that Christians must shoulder. For this prominent Christian figures with authority over the subject have also upheld the responsibility of teaching. Saint Augustine for example maintained that it was…
Augustine. On Christian Doctrine. Trans D.W. Robertson, Jr. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1958.
Batson, E. Beatrice. John Bunyan: Allegory and Imagination. London: Croom Helm, 1984.
Bunyan, John. Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. 1666. Ed. Roger Sharrock. Oxford: Clarendon, 1962.
Bunyan, John. The Pilgrim's Progress. 1678. Ed N.H. Keeble. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1984.
Hamlet does not just put practice his deception on those he views in an adversarial manner, however, but also on his former friends osencrantz and Guildenstern. When they attempt to question him as to what is wrong with him, he seems to be giving them an honest answer when he says "I have of late -- but wherefore I know not -- lost all my mirth" (Shakespeare, 1599). The reader/audience knows that this is a lie; Hamlet has already voiced his suspicions regarding Claudius, but he is unwilling to share them with osencrantz and Guildenstern because he does not trust their feelings towards him. Just the same, Jack deos not trust Gwendolyn's feelings towards him, and so will not reveal that his name is not Ernest. He asks her directly, "But you don't really mean to say that you couldn't love me if my name wasn't Ernest?," which starts an…
Shakespeare, W. (1599) Hamlet. New York: Penguin, 1993.
Wilde, O.(1895). The Importance of Being Earnest. New York: Samuel French, 1990.
Even when has the opportunity to make things better, he does not act. He refuses Charley's job offer because it seems easier to ask for money than it is to do something other than sell. He would rather see the family suffer than try to work at something else for a little while. After he is gone, she tells the kids, "First time in thirty-five years we were just about free and clear" (Requiem 1112). This statement illustrates just how disconnected to two were. She knew enough to know that they were almost at a place where they could stop and breathe but illy does not see things that way. He does not look at retirement as a way of beginning something refreshing with Linda. He fails her because he is not the strong, dependable man she deserves.
illy also fails his children. hile he does not beat his children…
Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. An Introduction to Literature. Sylvan Barnet, ed. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. 1985. 1030-1114.
332-333, 336-337). The fallen angels' response to Satan's call is the final confirmation of his character, because it demonstrates how he is able to maintain the respect and interest of his followers even though it appears as if they have been stripped of everything. In this sense, Satan is a kind of idealized revolutionary leader, outmatched by the "Almighty" but unwilling to give up, all the while maintaining the respect and loyalty of his followers.
In Paradise Lost, it seems almost inevitable that Milton, whether intentionally or not, was on the Devil's side, even if the narrator of the poem was explicitly not. This is evidenced by the discrepancies between the narrator's account of Satan's character and what is revealed in Book I, when Satan first interacts with the other fallen angels. here the narrator suggests that Satan's actions were born out of vanity and greed, Satan argues otherwise, claiming…
Milton, John. Paradise Lost. Boston: Woolsworth, Ainsworth, & Co., 1870.