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The Tragical History of Dr Faustus

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John van IJzendoorn

on 3 April 2013

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Transcript of The Tragical History of Dr Faustus

Dr Faustus Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus Conflict between Medieval and Renaissance Values Conclusion - Known for the mystery and rumour surrounding his name. (atheism/government agent) - First stage-version of the Faustus story. - Quest for knowledge very much a Renaissance motive. Even though the quest for critical thinking and knowledge prevailed in the Renaissance, it is never an excuse to renounce God for unlimited knowledge. Hence the fact that God is omnipotent, despite the split between the world of physics and the world of theology Christopher Marlowe - Writer of tremendous energy and talent. - Stabbed to death in a pub brawl at a Londen tavern, aged 29. - Dido, Queen of Carthage(1587-90); Jew of Malta(1590); Edward the Second(1593); The Massacre at Paris (1593); The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus (1593). - Improved "blank verse" as an instrument of writing. Iambic Pentameter - 10 syllables in one line. - Rhyming pattern: Iamb - First, third, fifth, seventh & ninth syllable unstressed, second, fourth, sixth, eight & tenth syllable stressed - Also famous as actor/poet/playwright/translator. - Attended Corpus Christi College in Cambridge. - Based on German Faustbuch. - Two existing versions: A-text (1604) & B-text (1616) - - Marlowe stuck fairly close to the Faustbook, especially when mixing comedy & tragedy Blank Verse - No rhyme at end of lines - Use of Iambic pentameter - Idea of selling soul to the devil for knowledge very old. Sin, Redemption and Damnation Solutions to avoid Damnation Motives - Blood - Good Angel vs Evil Angel - Rejection of ancient authorities - Medieval world places God at the center, where the individual man is not important. Theology Queen of science Doctor Faustus tells “the story of a Renaissance man who had to pay the medieval price for being one.”
R.M. Dawkins - Renaissance world emphasis on individual; on classical learning; on scientific inquiry into the nature of the world. Classical elements Was this the face that launched a thousand ships,
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss:
Her lips sucks forth my soul, see where it flies!
Come Helen, come, give me my soul again.
Here will I dwell, for heaven be in these lips,
And all is dross that is not Helena!
(12.81–87) Faustus seeks heavenly grace in Helen’s lips, which can, at best, offer only earthly pleasure. “Make me immortal with a kiss,” he cries, even as he continues to keep his back turned to his only hope for escaping damnation—namely, repentance. - Faustus offered several moments where he can redeem himself, but chooses loyalty to Hell. Faustus never shows any signs of remorse, but is looking for other ways to escape his fate. - Dr Faustus committing mortal sin; a conscious disobedience of God and an swearing allegiance to the Devil. - No matter how horrible sin, forgiveness always there through redemptive powers of Jesus Christ. Possibility of Redemption always open. Ugly hell gape not! Come not, Lucifer!
I’ll burn my books—ah, Mephastophilis! Even in his final moment Faustus offers to burn his books and not ask God for forgiveness. - Change into an animal (Pythagoras' Metempsychosis) - Slow down or stop time altogether. - Let earth cover his body, so that he cannot be found. - Conjuring up Helen of Troy (immortalised in mythology. So by having her kiss him, he will become immortal too) (Not in the final hour-scene) - Let Faustus' body be turned to air and soul turned into little water drops. - Leaping up towards God. - Draw Faustus up like up a foggy mist. - New deal where Faustus will go to Hell a (hundred)thousand years and then go to to Heaven. - The final solution is not repent, but the burning of books. Since this is not asking God for forgiveness, Faustus is taken away to burn in Hell perpetually.
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