Dr. Faustus Explication

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| Alexandra Janczewska
Alexandra Janczewska
Dr. Faustus
|
| 10/15/2011|

1) Dr. Faustus was a modernized morality play written in 1588, the Elizabethan era, by Christopher Marlowe. It differed from classical examples of its genre because it showcased English national pride as well as anti-Catholic sentiments. Its plot spanned to several locations over twenty-four years; an uninterrupted line of action following the traditional 5-stage structure. A comic sub-plot paralleled the main storyline. The opus was written in blank verse with various literary elements including symbolic imagery, monologues, soliloquys, metaphors, allusion, dramatic irony, and incorporated Greek elements: chorus, prologue/epilogue, and tragic hero. 2) Marlowe’s play begins with the Chorus’ introduction of Dr. Faustus reading to himself in his study, contemplating the rewards of black magic over leading a pious life. His struggle is projected as pleas from Good and Bad Angel to either abstain from or carry on with using magic. Faustus, with the help of friends Cornelius and Valdes, begins his journey: he summons Mephistophilis and is bluntly warned about the dangers of associating with Lucifer. The sub-plot mirrors this with Wagner first utilizing black magic to intimidate the clown and lure him into the practice. The action switches back to the tragic hero, now considering his actions and more passionately seeking advice for his decision. He stupidly disregards further warning, and even after his blood congeals, promises his soul in a blood-pact. To solidify his pledge for twenty-four years of demonic power, Lucifer and the seven deadly sins are called and from this point onward, Faustus begins listening to the ‘loudest’ voice over the most reasonable one. His first “feat” is pulling vulgar pranks on the pope. Next he summons a phantom of Alexander the Great for Charles V, but victimizes a skeptical knight. Once again, Dr. Faustus deteriorates: this time to entertain a duke and...
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