• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comparative discussions between the First and Last soliloquies in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Comparative discussions between the First and Last soliloquies in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. Ans.: The two soliloquies, namely the first and last ones by Dr. Faustus in the beginning and in the end respectively, are for their structure and unmatched brilliance of poetry, extraordinary superb. These two, as considered by the critics, are instances of some of the most mature verses of Marlowe. These two soliloquies, in Aristotle's words, capture the man Faustus "in action." Especially in the last scene of the play the drama with the aid of the brilliant speech rendered by Faustus, marks the climax of the play. This is a soliloquy in the profoundest sense, since it isolates the speaker. These two soliloquies have considerable structural similarities. Both the soliloquies contain lines of iambic pentameter. Marlowe has used blank verse in both of these soliloquies. The first soliloquy contains sixty-three lines. The last one, in the other hand, contains fifty-five lines. The first soliloquy justifies the speech of the chorus made earlier depicting Doctor Faustus as a scholar. We find in the first soliloquy the Renaissance spirit in Doctor Faustus. ...read more.

Middle

We may remember the first step that Faustus took twenty-four years back to sell his soul to the devils so as to spend his life in "all voluptuousness", the step that leads him where he is now. Having made himself proud about his self-reliance, striven to be more than man and thus displayed an overreaching pride, Faustus in his last soliloquy longs whole-heartedly to be less than a man: "a creature wanting soul", or "some brutish beast", which at death would face mere extinction and not eternal damnation. That time plays an interesting role in the intellectual life of Faustus, which in passes through a gradual degeneration, is notable. The last soliloquy records his hopeless attempt to put to the constant of the working universe: "that time may cease and midnight never seems." The grim dramatic irony in Faustus's utterance unfolds itself, as we hear, with Faustus, time contracting: "a year, a month, a week, a natural day." This predicament of Faustus reminds us of the first scene where he had the prospect of being granted endless time. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is also another difference between Faustus's first and last soliloquy. The first soliloquy is made by a man for whom aspiration is the guiding force and whose vision is not colored by reality but dyed with optimism. But, to the contrary, the last soliloquy is that of a man to whom crude reality is grimly exposed at the fag end of his life and for whom frustration is the only possibility. In spite of all these, Faustus maintains to the end the individuality of mind. This retention of individuality is at once, as we have observed, in the first and last soliloquies, Faustus's glory and damnation. In the first soliloquy, Faustus was full of optimism. In the last soliloquy, he is all despair. If we judge from the Christian point of view, the reason of Faustus's damnation is despair, which is a Christian sin. But if we judge by a human and secular point of view, the damnation of Faustus is the dilemma of a heretic who tried to the limitations of mankind. The two soliloquies are in fact the microcosmic reflection of the whole play. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Christopher Marlowe section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Christopher Marlowe essays

  1. Free essay

    Compare the first and final soliloquies in Dr Faustus - is Faustus a hero ...

    Hell doesn't exist but he still doesn't repent here even though Hell is moments away. This following quote however could indicate an outside force is preventing Faustus from being able to repent, "O, I'll leap up to my God! Who pulls me down?"

  2. Analysis of Faustus Soliloquy.

    His claim that because of his work 'whole cities have escaped the plague, and thousand desperate maladies been cured'. This may further fascinate the reader, as there is something he may find more desirable or satisfactory than saving the lives of thousands.

  1. Do Renaissance texts deal primarily with Renaissance concerns, or with universal human emotions and ...

    The beast though, is merely dazed, and so the battle must continue. It is the knight's loved-one, Una that spurs the knight into further action. 'Add faith unto thy force and be not faint: / Strangle her, else she will strangle thee' (1.165).

  2. What does the play show us about attitudes to sin and damnation?

    The attitude to Faustus' choice to sign the contract with Lucifer is a negative one and this is shown with the symbol of congealing blood, showing it to be "unwilling" to cooperate in the sin. The rhetorical question: "Is not thy soul thine own?"

  1. Would You Consider Doctor Faustus to be a Medieval Morality Play or a Renaissance ...

    In the medieval era that preceded the Renaissance, the focus of scholarship was on God and theology, so the Prologue locates its drama squarely in the Renaissance world, where humanistic values hold sway. The Chorus insists, we will focus not on ancient battles between Rome and Carthage, nor on the

  2. The tragical history of 'Doctor Faustus', which followed in the wake of 'Tamburlaine', is ...

    conflict and there is the rising action or "Epitass" to intensify the conflict; thirdly we get the climax, the turning point or the "peripeteia" and fourthly there is the "d´┐Żnouement" then comes the falling action or the "Calabasm"; and finally the "Catastrpohe" or the conclusion in which the conflict is brought to an inevitable end .

  1. Faustus: Renaissance Martyr or Tragic Hero

    Faustus realizes the amount of power that he can gain from being a necromancer, so he tells Mephistophilis to return to hell and tell Satan that he will sell his soul to him for twenty-four years of absolute power. Satan agrees to this, telling Faustus to sign the bargain in blood.

  2. "Look again at Faustus' opening soliloquy, from 'Settle thy studies, Faustus, and begin' to ...

    is, and one may ponder over what an intelligent doctor could find more appealing than wisdom. Next, he appears to turn from thinking about philosophy to science. He refers to Galen, a famous ancient physician, and his Latin quote explicitly means that 'the doctor begins where the philosopher ends'.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work