Justification of comical and farcical scenes in doctor faustus sparknotes

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Justification of comical and farcical scenes in doctor faustus sparknotes

Faustus is a classical English tragedy. The given essay is to throw light on comic element in Dr. A Powerful Play with a weak Plot In any tragic or serious play, the dramatist tries to give relief to the audience by introducing comic scenes or episodes. The literary term for such comic interludes is known as tragic relief.

A tragedy is bound to create tension in the mind of the audience and if this tension is not relaxed from time to time, it generates some sort of emotional weakness in the mind of the audience. Hence, comic scenes are a necessity to ease the tension and refresh the mind.

There was a pressing demand from the side of Elizabethan audience for such interludes. Hence, play wrights had to introduce such comic scenes as the producers also demanded them for a successful run of the play. The comic interlude may have an appropriate emotional connection in the development of the tragic play.

But it is also admitted that in Marlowes dramas, this tragic relief seems to be crude and often verges on horse play and buffoonery. For these scenes, it is often said that Dr Faustus is a powerful drama with a weak plot.

A close study of Marlowes famous play Dr. Faustus shows us that there are fourteen scenes in all. Out of them, comic scenes are five or six. According to the critics, the comic elements in these scenes are low and vulgar, full of coarse buffoonery and they can not be accepted as organic parts of the tragic play.

They are of the opinion that only in the first comic scene do we see worked out with some care a comic burlesque of the main plot.

Justification of comical and farcical scenes in doctor faustus sparknotes

Another objection on comic scenes in Dr. Faustus is that most of them are later interpolation and not from the mighty pen of Marlowe. Some of these critical arguments really hold good. If we study Marlowes play Temburlaine, we find him in the prologue to this play, proudly declaring that: From jigging veins of rhyming mother wits, And such conceits of clownage keep in pay, We shall lead you to the stately tent of war.

This shows that Marlowe must have cherished a strong dislike for clownage conceits. Then it has also been found that the first edition of the play was published in and the second edition appeared in And the edition contains more scenes of clownage with new additions.

So it proves that these scenes were not from the mighty pen of Marlowe. But there are also some prominent critics, including T. Eliot who assert that Marlowe was not devoid of a high developed sense of humour and Marlowe should not be judged by a Shakespeare standard in this respect. Marlowe introduced the comic scenes in Dr.

Faustus for many purposes. First, he had to introduce crude buffoonery because it was common stock-in-trade of the Elizabethan dramatists who could not ignore the demands of the groundlings. This was a pressing demand from the side of the Elizabethan audience. They even justify the inclusion of comic scenes in which Faustus teases and trouble the Pope and his guests, outwit the horse-dealer, and make a fool of the talkative knight, planting a pair of horns on his head.

They are essential for dramatic purpose to enable Faustus to display his miraculous powers. Second, the purpose of the introduction of the comic scenes is to offer a temporary relaxation of tension engendered by the serious scenes.

Third, Marlowes description about Faustus pranks on the Pope shows Marlowes hatred for church and Pope. Now we take up the comic scenes one by one and discuss their quality and significance.

Textual scholarship

We have five comic scenes in Doctor Faustus in which low comedy, burlesque and crude buffoonery have been introduced. Scene II in Act- I, in 1which Wagner cuts jokes with the scholars and confuses them may also be treated as a comic scene.THE COMIC SCENES IN DOCTOR FAUSTUS: (A Powerful Play with a weak Plot) In any tragic or serious play, the dramatist tries to give relief to the audience by introducing comic scenes or episodes.

The literary term for such comic interludes is known as tragic relief.

Justification of comical and farcical scenes in doctor faustus sparknotes

Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus A- and B-Texts (, ): Christopher Marlowe and His Collaborator and Revisers, ed. David Bevington and Eric Rasmussen (Manchester: Manchester Univ.

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Press, ), act 1, scene 1, line 3. Hereafter the A-text is cited parenthetically by act, scene, and line number, unless otherwise indicated. We have five comic scenes in Doctor Faustus in which low comedy, burlesque and crude buffoonery have been introduced.

These scenes are: Act-I, Scene iv; 5/5(10). "The abundance", according to a critic, "of the comic scenes here weakens the dramatic quality". Many time the comic scenes are not up to the mark. In the harassment of the Pope, comedy degenerates into farce. The practical jokes played on the horse-courser is sheer-clownage and unworthy of a somber and great play such as Doctor Faustus.

Doctor-Faustus-By-Christopher-Marlowe. Table of Contents. INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE () (A) LIFE OF CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE () (B) WORKS OF CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE. Dramatic Activity of Six Brief Years. Doctor Faustus presents a special problem in that the published texts of (the A-text) and (the B-text) are very different It is generally accepted that some parts of both texts, particularly in the more comic and farcical scenes, were written by playwrights other than Marlowe.

Project MUSE - Faustus, Confession, and the Sins of Omission