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Dr. Faustus as Renaissance Tragedy Essay

  • Submitted by: lilack
  • on September 24, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,019 words

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Below is an essay on "Dr. Faustus as Renaissance Tragedy" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Marlowe's Doctor Faustus: A Renaissance Tragedy By transplanting the Faust-myth into the English Morality framework, Marlow tapped the hidden potentials of both the myth and dramatic form. But Doctor Faustus was to be overdetermined thematically by its surrounding culture. This culture found in the myth of Icarus and Prometheusian archetype of betrayal, that is, human aspirations repeatedly colliding with some implacable and impersonal forces, social, political, natural or divine, and consequently yielding to frustration, common to human psyche. The Renaissance philosophy and art highlighted the perplexing juxtaposition of the angelic human being, a creature of reason under the paternal benevolence of God side by side with a human being as a beast of appetite subject to God’s terrible wrath. In philosophy, on the one side were the spiritual reconstructions, which emerging from Ficino’s neo-Platonism and Pico DellaMirandola’s Oration suggest that human being can exalt themselves by reason and love into something like divinity. On the other side there were the documents of counter-Renaissance, such as Machiavelli’s The Prince which studiously avoids transcendental moral reference in favour of pragmatic political tactics. This disparate Renaissance struggles to reconcile the beautiful aspirations of the mind with the fierce demands of the body corresponds to the battle which Nietzsche much later identified as the essence of tragedy between Apollo, the God of civilization, rationality and daylight and Dionysus, the God of frenzy, passion and midnight. Again in the Hegelian model, the renaissance tragedy like Dr. Faustus or Macbeth shows that tragedy is finally answerable less to an individual than to a culture, and less to opinion than to conflict. Faustus rejects the traditional structural system of study, in which ‘Divinity’ was regarded, at that time, “the Queen of the sciences” as well as the discipline which gave meaning to all knowledge an experience. Therefore,...

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