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

    The medieval morality theme is continued with the presentation of the seven deadly sins and once again Faustus is given the opportunity to either ensure his salvation, or commit himself to damnation. The sight of these unattractive things delights Faustus's soul, and he is shown as a na�ve spectator, able

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

    weight, but the point put forward in favour of the comic scenes are not so impressive. Almost all the critics are unanimous that the comic scenes with its frivolity and buffoonery dilutes the tragic effects and are discardent with its general tone .

  1. Free essay

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

    Now Faustus appears to be captivated and intent on following the path of magic, he is dismissing religion and there is irony in his use of religious words in the same sentence as 'necromancy'.

  2. Faustus: Renaissance Martyr or Tragic Hero

    Several times he is given the hint that he should repent to God. For example, an old man enters towards the end of the play and informs Faustus that it isn't too late to repent because he himself was once a sinner but repented.

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

    Having concluded that he is no longer interested in physics, but instead in necromancy, he appears to seek guidance from the codifier of Roman law, Justinian.

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

    I think that this represents the continuing battle that Protestants must fight against the Catholics. In order for the knight's quest to be completed, he must face the dragon, Errour, a 'monster vile, whom God and man does hate' (1.115).

  1. Comment on the relationship between the comic and serious material in Dr Faustus.

    luxurious life and illicit knowledge he was promised but has accrued nothing more than the power of a satirist's trivial trickery. The satire in Scene four is foolish and shows Faustus as being almost as idiotic as the Clown, despite his great knowledge.

  2. Analysis of Faustus Soliloquy.

    He displays his will provide further evidence to the audience that he is highly intellectual, his ability later in this soliloquy to fluently switch between English and Latin and the ability to instantly think up quotes without difficulty will be seen as very impressive.

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