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The tragical history of Doctor Faustus Essay

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The tragical history of Doctor Faustus, which followed in the wake of
Tamburlaine, is acclaimed by all as Marlowe's best play in which the
leaven of fertile poetry and fearless imagination works wonders.

Introduction:

The tragical history of 'Doctor Faustus', which followed in the wake
of 'Tamburlaine', is acclaimed by all as Marlowe's best play in which
the leaven of fertile poetry and fearless imagination works wonders.
The idea of a passionate struggle to reach beyond the grasp of
ordinary mortals as its theme Marlowe takes this old story of the
medieval magician who sells his soul to the Devil for twenty four
years of pleasure and the gift of all knowledge and gives it a
significance as in to that of such world old myths as Eve's eating the
apple and Prometheus' defiance of Gods. Hence, making the Faustus
legend a symbol of humanity's splendid struggle to reach the stars, as
well as a tragedy of infinite aspiration ending in agony and remorse.

Inspite of the critics and scholars being one in their opinion to
recognize Christopher Marlowe's 'Doctor Faustus' as one of the
masterpieces of British drama there cannot be any denying the fact
that the most glaring weakness of 'Doctor Faustus' lies in the lack of
a well knit or an organic plot.

Aristotle's definition of Tragedy:

According to Aristotle 'Tragedy' in the real sense is an imitation of
an action that is complete, and whole, and of a certain magnitude; The
beginning, called by modern critics the incentive moment, must start
the cause-and-effect chain but not be dependent on anything outside
the compass of the play meaning that its causes are downplayed but its
effects are stressed. The middle, or climax, must be caused by earlier
incid...


... middle of paper ...


...d are laid bare.

Conclusion:

Hence the fact remains that 'Doctor Faustus' is unquestionably a
masterpiece by Christopher Marlowe and one of the greatest and the
most powerful tragedy to be written before Shakespeare inspite of its
flaws and limitations. But at the same time it is also clear that
though the beginning of the play just like the end has been perfectly
executed but the middle portion is weak and does not serve its
purpose. As Levin puts it: "The structural weakness of the plot
however corresponds to the anti-climax of the parable; it lays bare
the gaps between the bright hopes of the initial scene and the abysmal
consequences of the last". Therefore, the statement that Doctor
Faustus has a beginning and an end but no middle can be accepted to
some extent as the middle portion though existing is not relevant to
the development of the play.


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