7 Tragedy From Aristotle’s Poetics and Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex to Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus &Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
8 Classical Tragedy 5th c BCE Chorus (15 men)Tragic hero (hamartia, hubris; high station and moral worth)Catastrophe/reversal; unitiesLoses material things but has epiphany/anagnorisisCatharsis; audiencesexperience pity & relief
9 Senecan Tragedy Roman 4th c BCE-65 Knew in Medieval5 actsRevenge; bloodyNo catharsisFortuna turns wheelto bring high low
10 Miracle & Mystery Plays (10th – 14th centuries) Miracle plays: lives of saintsMystery plays: stories from Old and New TestamentsPerformed in church as part of holy daysMoved outside onto wagons; guilds performed
11 Morality Plays (15th c) 1 plot About common people; characters often allegoriesDramatized allegories representing a Christian’s life and his quest for salvationShow audience that fortune is unpredictable
12 Medieval Staging Plays performed in church then moved to courtyard Mobile, no stageUsed wagons, move episodes from one location to anotherGuilds put them onSymbolic props
13 Renaissance & Restoration Tragedy Hero starts good/turns evilHero usually important if not rulerFall from grace marked by reversals and discoveriesAudience experiences fear and pity; catharsisAdded comic relief and subplots
14 Traits from Morality Plays in Doctor Faustus Good and Bad Angel7 Deadly SinsPresence of Luciferand his cohortsVision of HellChorus (1 person) to open the playAllegory
15 Origins of StoryJohann Faust (1488) bragged he’d sold his soul to the devil for magical powers.Wandered Germany until death in 15411587 story about him appeared in Germany: The History of the Damnable Life and Deserved Death of Doctor John FaustusTranslation in English 15921592 first performance of Doctor Faustus
16 Influences on Authorship Written between ?Perkins, don at Cambridge, preached about witchcraft because of popular interest in discovery and detection of witches; witchcraft is like “desiring to become a god, longing to win reputation, dissatisfaction with inward gifts received such as knowledge, wit, understanding, memory, and suchlike.”
17 Problems with Authorship Faustus entered official records in 1601 but not as new work.In 1602 at least 2 others paid for work on FaustusFirst published in 16041616 another version printedToday’s version based on work of Sir Walter Gregg
18 Problems with Authorship, cont. Quality not consistent.Most believe that Marlowe wrote tragic beginning and end; some that he did most of Acts 1, 3 & 5.Collaborators wrote much of comical middle sections.
19 Renaissance authorship Patrons; sold to printer or booksellerNo royalties; no copyright; pay poorCensored by government and churchPrinting legal only in London, Cambridge & Oxford UP after passed censorship1579 John Stubbs lost his right hand as penalty for attempting to publish pamphlet against proposed French marriage
20 PatronageFirst professional writers; University wits tried to make a living with their writingWho will be offended? Who will pay?Theatrical manager Philip Henslowe’s diary is full of entry after entry about university graduates in prison for debt or eking out a miserable existence writing plays.
21 Authorship/Ownership 60 % literacy by 1530Writing passed by hand, copied pieces they liked in their own commonbooks, often no original author given.Plays belonged to acting companies, not the playwright. Text changed with actors and situation; dramatists collaborated/changed.Plays evolved with no printed copy to stabilize the correct text. Ben Jonson first to print play texts--after Marlowe’s death.
22 Additions to Faust Legend Connections to witchcraft and Perkins’s motivations for witchcraft from sermonsAmbivalence of FaustusThematic elements
23 AllusionsReferences to literature, art, music, historical events and peopleWhy put Faustus in Wittenberg? What famous medieval person is connected with the university in Wittenberg?Burning chair in Hell; Hungarian peasant rebel Gyorgy Dozsa (1514)Icarus and Daedalus
24 Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (1560) by Peter Breughel the Elder Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (1560) by Peter Breughel the Elder. Musée Royaux des Beaux Arts de Belgique, Brussels.See W. H. Auden’s poem about this picture of Icarus, Musee des Beaux Arts
25 Allegory Form of extended metaphor Characters in a narrative have symbolic meaning as well as literal meaningPersonification of abstract qualitiesExample: Everyman is the name of a character in a medieval narrative who goes through the conflicts of the plot, but he also is a symbol for all Christians who struggle through life to find salvation.
26 Why authors use allegory To teach moral lessonsTo explain universal truthsMarlowe uses these allegorical characters in Faustus: the Good Angel and the Bad Angel. Why?What function do they serve?Are they symbols? Of what?How would they have been presented on stage then? Now?
27 Another Allegory: The 7 Deadly Sins PrideCovetousnessEnvyWrathGluttonySlothLecheryWhich sins does Faustus commit?Why does Marlowe include the 7 Deadlies?Which characters possess these traits?
28 Why Faustus abandons learning Philosophy: “…though it has attained that end” (I.i.10).Medicine: “Could’st thou make men to live eternally / Or being dead raise them to life again” (I. i ).Law: “Too servile and illiberal for me” (I.i.34).
29 Why give up on religion just as he gets his doctorate in theology? “. . .we must sin, and so consequently die. / Ay, we must die an everlasting death” (I.i.4043).Syllogism: 2 statements which, if true, make a 3rd statement true.Example: Socrates is a man; all men are mortal; therefore, Socrates is mortal.
30 Faustus’s Syllogism He has created a syllogism. Is it logical? “. . .we must sin, and so consequently die. / Ay, we must die an everlasting death” ( ).What is wrong with his thinking? Why is it ironic?
31 Logical Fallacy?Faustus has taken the quote out of context and ignores the rest of the quote which promises mercy for those sinners willing to repent.The world’s greatest scholar comes to ruin because of faulty research and reasoning; he misreads an important quote from an untrustworthy source.
32 What to look for as you read Chorus: What functions does it serve?Appears 4 times: to introduce heroic nature of the play, to foreshadow, to provide exposition, and to identify the setting.Irony: Look at Faustus’s arguments and thinking. What logical mistakes does the great scholar make?
33 What else to look for Allegory Allusions Comic relief; parallel subplotsIdeals/beliefs from Reformation, Medieval Period, and Renaissance;Beliefs about witchcraft and the devilAntithesis/contrast
34 Ask yourself Is Faustus’s fate predestined or does he have free will? What is knowledge?Does Faustus ever find knowledge?What does Faustus really want?Can Faustus be both hero and villain? Bad and good? What evidence can you find in the play?
35 Sources Barnet, Sylvan, ed. “Introduction. ” Doctor Faustus Sources Barnet, Sylvan, ed. “Introduction.” Doctor Faustus. Christopher Marlowe. New York: Signet Books, vii-xix. Bevington, David. “General Introduction.” The Complete Works of Shakespeare. New York: HarperCollins, Rpt. in Doctor Faustus: Divine in Show. Ed. McAlindon, T. Twayne’s Masterworks Studies. New York: Twayne, Duncan-Jones, Katherine. “Devil May Care.” New Statesman 131 (1996): McAlindon, T. Doctor Faustus: Divine in Show. Twayne’s Masterworks Studies. New York: Twayne, Gounod, Charles. “Alerte, Alerte! – Sauvée!” Faust. Performed by Chor und Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. New York: Philips Classic Compilation, “The Sixteenth Century I ): Introduction.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 6th ed. Ed. M. H. Abrams. New York: W. W. Norton, Stenning, Rodney. “The ‘Burning Chair’ in the B-text of Doctor Faustus.” Notes and Queries 43 (1996): Stumpf, Thomas A. “Images and Music.” Freshman Seminar: Visits to Hell. (2001). 29 Sept < Walton, Brenda. Lessons for Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. Orlando, FL: Network for Instructional TV, Oct <