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The Tragical History Of Doctor Faustus

1440 words - 6 pages

The tragical history of Doctor Faustus, which followed in the wake of
Tamburlaine, is acclaimed by all as Marlowe's best play in which the
leaven of fertile poetry and fearless imagination works wonders.

Introduction:

The tragical history of 'Doctor Faustus', which followed in the wake
of 'Tamburlaine', is acclaimed by all as Marlowe's best play in which
the leaven of fertile poetry and fearless imagination works wonders.
The idea of a passionate struggle to reach beyond the grasp of
ordinary mortals as its theme Marlowe takes this old story of the
medieval magician who sells his soul to the Devil for twenty four
years of pleasure and the gift of all knowledge and gives it a
significance as in to that of such world old myths as Eve's eating the
apple and Prometheus' defiance of Gods. Hence, making the Faustus
legend a symbol of humanity's splendid struggle to reach the stars, as
well as a tragedy of infinite aspiration ending in agony and remorse.

Inspite of the critics and scholars being one in their opinion to
recognize Christopher Marlowe's 'Doctor Faustus' as one of the
masterpieces of British drama there cannot be any denying the fact
that the most glaring weakness of 'Doctor Faustus' lies in the lack of
a well knit or an organic plot.

Aristotle's definition of Tragedy:

According to Aristotle 'Tragedy' in the real sense is an imitation of
an action that is complete, and whole, and of a certain magnitude; The
beginning, called by modern critics the incentive moment, must start
the cause-and-effect chain but not be dependent on anything outside
the compass of the play meaning that its causes are downplayed but its
effects are stressed. The middle, or climax, must be caused by earlier
incidents and itself cause the incidents that follow it. The end, or
resolution, must be caused by the preceding events but not lead to
other incidents outside the compass of the play; the end should
therefore solve or resolve the problem created during the incentive
moment. Aristotle calls the cause-and-effect chain leading from the
incentive moment to the climax the "tying up" (desis), in modern
terminology the complication. He therefore terms the more rapid
cause-and-effect chain from the climax to the resolution the
"unravelling" (lusis), in modern terminology the dénouement. A
well-constructed plot, therefore, must neither begin nor end at
haphazard, but conform to these principles.

Plot Construction :

According to Aristotle there are five distinct divisions of a an ideal
plot of tragedy of which the first one is the initial incident or the
"Paritass" giving birth to the conflict and there is the rising action
or "Epitass" to intensify the conflict; thirdly we get the climax, the
turning point or the "peripeteia" and fourthly there is the
"dénouement" then comes the falling action or the "Calabasm"; and
finally the "Catastrpohe" or the conclusion in which the conflict is
brought to an inevitable...

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