Faustus and Pardoner Essay

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Compare & Contrast Marlowe's 'Doctor Faustus' & Chaucer's 'The Pardoner's Prologue & Tale' 'Doctor Faustus' and 'The Pardoner's Tale,' two very familiar pieces of classic texts written by two different men and separated by just over a century with a number of identifying qualities and comparisons with each other and one important common theme: the wrath of God. 'Doctor Faustus' is the tragic tale of an intelligent man so smitten by his own pride and desire to match God's abilities that it inevitably leads to his own eternal damnation, and the Pardoner, a corrupt and morally questionable man of the church preaching a tale of three men who literally destroy each other after all succumbing to one of the most basic human sins: greed. The vulnerability of the human spirit and how easily its corruption may be exploited, as well as the punishment for succumbing to such manipulation are the basis for both texts. Although God has no physical or spoken representation in either of these tales, his strong presence is more than felt by both the characters and reader. Common themes and motifs throughout both text include the use of strong and subtle humour, religious language and ideals, cultural and historically significant events, and the presence of death as well as several similarities (and differences) between the characters of Faustus and the Pardoner themselves. The Pardoner and Faustus are both men gifted in their areas of general expertise, however they are both guilty of great terrible sin, the sin of succumbing to sinister temptation. The irony of both characters, appears to be that they have both risen to the very heights of their professions, and if their ambitions were to have ever been applied to bettering themselves and the world around them than they may have both been heroic men had they not applied their talents to such amoral acts.
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