What are the Points of Interest in “Doctor Faustus”
Doctor Faustus is a play written by Christopher Marlowe. The original book’s title is “The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus.” The play was performed between 1588 and 1593. As per the record there are two different versions of the play and there are many more differences if the written text is compared to the actual performance. Therefore, for Doctor Faustus there are three vital points of interest about Language and three more points of interest about performance.
The opening and the closing soliloquies are the first point of interest concerning the language. The opening soliloquy is more of Faustus telling what is going on in his mind, like thoughts have voice and can be heard. “All things that move between the quiet poles shall be at my command: emperors and kings” . It shows his wish of what power he wants to posses and that he will give everything to get that power. The closing soliloquy and the words that the Faustus is saying are also very well crafted thoughts of repentance, like it could be seen in the Faustus’s mind.
The reference to historical people, events and places is also an important point. Throughout the play different names and events are mentioned which refer to other things. For example, in Act V.i, he refers to Helen as “the face that launched a thousand ships” (line96). Troy, Achilles and Paris are also mentioned. The lines from 95 to 115 are like rewriting the history where Faustus is also a part of it. Another example is in the Act III.i, from lines 160 to 200 the reference is to German emperor and the popes of Rome.
The words thy, thou, thee, are used throughout the story. This is a very good reference that will explain the usage of English in 1590 ties in a way that some language features were different. It should give the students a sense like the talking takes place back in the time. Anyway the setting is in Germany and probably Italy too, which can be concluded form many lines spoken in Italian.
Points of interest about Performance could begin with the role of the chorus in the play is very important. The chorus narrates about the Faustus’s past, where he was borne and narrates what is going to happen to him. From the prologue the chorus enters and what is going to happen is from lines 20 to 27. The chorus also ends the play. It is very interesting to imagine the chorus. How many people are there? It is a chorus not a single voice talking.
The appearance of: the angels (a bad one and a good one); the devils and the prince of the devils; the seven deadly sins. How this abstract things are presented. In this play, they have human characters. They can talk and act. What are they wearing? Do the angels have wings? Does the bad angel have wings and red small hors too? It is a very interesting play concerning the characters and how they appear to be. How do these seven deadly sins appear to be? What they are wearing. Do they wear clothes at all?
Another important point concerning the performance of the play is the thunder and lightning when the devils and Lucifer are appearing. This effect creates an atmosphere that something has come from somewhere and in the same getting the attention from everyone. It somehow relates the coming of the devils with the natural power and the sky. The devil should have come from somewhere. It is a kind of unusual or maybe normal for devil’s appearance.