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Compare And Contrast Two Of The Set Texts From Two Different Periods "Everyman" And "Doctor Faustus"

1081 words - 4 pages

Both Everyman and Doctor Faustus are plays. They are written within different timePeriods, with Everyman written in the medieval era and Doctor Faustus written in theRenaissance.Everyman and Doctor Faustus are both Morality Plays, these are specifically plays thatexisted within the Medieval period. They were popular during this period as they wereintended to instruct the audience in the Christian way and attitudes to life. The moralityplay is essentially an allegory written in dramatic form. In the fourteenth Century,morality plays were mainly based on the seven deadly sins as in Everyman with eachcharacter representing each sin. Everyman centers around allegory. It focuses on theallegorical representations of moral issues with the inclusion of figures that representabstractions of the issues that are confronted.Doctor Faustus follows the general five-act structure of an ElizabethanRomantic Tragedy. However Christopher Marlowe used the structure of an olderMedieval form of English Drama, the morality play as a model. Morality plays tended toshow the moral struggle of mans soul and the conflict of good and evil. This is evident inthe play of Doctor Faustus who is embroiled in a battle between the temptation of thedevil and God. You could argue that Doctor Faustus is not classed as amorality play. Because in the tradition of a morality play God and the devil are externalforces that affect the individual. However, in Doctor Faustus it is far more of an internaldrama inside Faustus' own mind. Both are entirely didactic in nature, they were madewith the intent to educate their audience in one respect or another. There was a moral toeach that conveyed similar messages. Therefore the term 'morality play' correctlydefines each one.The medieval time period in which Everyman was written contained a society thatrevolved around religion (Ecclesiasticism) The fact that Everyman can get nowherewithout turning to religion directly reflects on the attitudes of the middle ages. There isconstant references to the beliefs and ideas of the Catholic Church such as confession,penitence and the Virgin Mary this suggests the catholic centered society in which theplay existed. It concentrates on the qualities of the catholic religion that areimportant in the journey to heaven. Everyman is a symbol of the human condition andhow it is understood by medieval Catholicism. Whereas in the sixteenth century in whichDoctor Faustus was written, saw a shift of Christian ideals. No longer was there only thestrict belief in God but also the equal belief in the existence of the devil and the "work ofthe devil."The medieval world placed God at the centre of existence, leaving the individual and thenatural world in second place. The emergence of the Renaissance is evident in DoctorFaustus by the clash between the church and the introduction of knowledge throughscience. The Reformation caused a dramatic change at that particular time, England hadconverted from predominantly catholic to...

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