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Compative Essay. Both Dr Faustus and the pardoner share an obsessive greed.

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Introduction

"We are both fascinated and repelled by the obsessions of others" In the light of this view, consider ways in which writers portray obsession and its effects. In your answer, compare one drama text and one poetry text. Both Dr Faustus and the pardoner share an obsessive greed. For Faustus we are fascinated by his greed to rival God in terms of power and knowledge, but repelled by his methods in which to pursue this, which leads him to sell his soul to the devil. Why would one go to such lengths to have his "most desires[...]of power, of honour, of omnipotence", it is this fact that repels us from Faustus as his methods are immoral. But we are fascinated by the disastrous effects it has upon Faustus, inevitably leading him to Hell, moreover, within the 24 years that he had to fulfil his desires, he doesn't do the extravagant things he claimed he was going to do such as to "fill the public schools with silk" or "ransack the ocean for orient pearl", highlighting that pursuing greed inevitably leads to a person's demise. ...read more.

Middle

This repels us from Faustus because to acquire this knowledge he goes to extreme lengths, in this instance, selling his soul to the devil for 24 years. When the story was first published in 1604, the audience would of definiately been repelled by this because selling ones soul to the devil would be of been a serious sin. Modern interpretations would be more liberal to the fact that Faustus sells his soul, but in a country where around 80% are Christian, a modern day audience would still be repelled and deem it immoral to go to such extreme lengths. What fascinates us about Faustus is his greed to rival that of God, not the methods he does to acquire this, but the fact that he has this desire. He openly challenges God, yet openly praises God and heaven, "when I behold the heavens, then I repent[..]thou hast deprived me of those joys". There is a constant battle with Faustus between his obsession with power and his religious beliefs. ...read more.

Conclusion

When blinded by greed, the three peasants only think about themselves, which highlights the damaging effects of an obsession for wealth. It's our basic instinct to want to be better than others and the peasants are exhibiting this behaviour. Because it's common for people to want to be wealthier than others, the message is not unique which undermines our fascination with the story. However the person telling the story is fascinating because he openly contradicts himself, he proudly tells of his schemes to exploit poor people's fears for money which evidently works as he makes "an hundred mark". Why he tells of his exploitative ways is fascinating, because he openly tells the other pilgrims without fear, but as seen, the bartender finds his methods bitter, "thou woldest make me kisse thyn olde breech, and swere it were a relik of a seint", the host points out that the Pardoner would sell his old underpants and claim it to be a relic which is why we're repelled by the Pardoner because his methods of acquiring such wealth is deemed wrong, even as a modern interpretation. ...read more.

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