Week 6 Notes
Popular in British Literature to 1798
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Popular in Foreign Language
Justine Anne Guevarra
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Shelby Flippen on Tuesday March 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 221 at Towson University taught by K. Attie in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see British Literature to 1798 in Foreign Language at Towson University.
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Date Created: 03/08/16
Marlow’s Doctor Faustus The Medieval morality play meets Renaissance humanism 1. Historical/Cultural Context Queen Elizabeth helped bring plays from being performed by trade guilds to theater performances Superstition and religion Widely prevalent belief in ghosts, angels, and devils this play was scary because of potential real consequences of acting a. (such as abjuring the holy trinity – 5355) 2. Marlowe Influence Profoundly influenced Shakespeare Raised poetic standards through unrhymed iambic pentameter (blank verse) – “mighty lines” Background Middle/working class origins (like Shakespeare) “his parents base of stock” (DF 4) BUT had a university education (due to expectation of entering priesthood and Queen Elizabeth 1 pardoning him when it was revealed he didn’t want to be a priest) Presumed spy of Catholic secrets/information for Christian Queen Elizabeth 1 Murdered at 29: suspicion of assassination due to spy background 3. Style The Marlovian Hero An ambitious, spectacular, megalomaniac (person obsessed with their own power) Influenced Shakespeare’s highlow style High scenes with upper class characters blank verse Low scenes with lower class characters prose 4. Medieval Morality Play Clear, unambiguous moral message Allegorical Characters epitomize peoples’ vices/sin (personification a. Good angel/bad angel b. 7 deadly sins pageant 5 Theme: Knowledge = power Faustus’ overindulgence Greed: a. “In heavenly matters of theology. Till swollen with cunning, of self conceit” (1920) b. “Be a physician, Faustus, heap up gold” (14) c. Desire for Botanical encyclopedia Lust a. “Sweet Analytics, ‘tis thou hast ravished me” (6) Faustus’ power is bound in magic books (narrative or physical limits) Similar to Beowulf 6 Theme: Morally educated, but not wise Will not accept moral limits and believes that his power transcends geopolitical reality (physical reality) BUT constantly acts according to this reality “I’ll have them wall all Germany with brass” (88) “I’ll have them fill the public schools with silk” (90) a. Socially subversive: disrupts law of social class corresponding with clothing Decree handwritten in blood Faustus is so prideful that he will not accept Mephistopheles’ proof of hell “til experience change thy mind” (27) Moral Tyranny Desires the power to meet all his pleasures (belief that with limitless power comes limitless pleasure) Specific use of knowledge is dangerous a. Of good and evil (Adam and Eve) and ( 7 AntiCatholicism Catholic figures are not associated with God (so Mephistopheles can talk about and work with them) “Go and return an old Franciscan friar, That holy shape becomes a devil beast” (2556). “I know you’d fain see the pope” (49).
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