Dr Faustus Essay
Look back at the two answers that you produced for assignment one, and read carefully through your tutors comments. Remember to check that your tutor has written on your (PT3) form as well as the comments in the margins. You should choose one of your answers to rework. Your answer to this part of the assignment will need to be produced in two stages. First you will need to present the original versions the answer that you have chosen to rework. You should include your tutor made on this answer. Secondly, you should produce a new draft of your answer, drawing on your tutors comments.
Original version with comments. When we begin to read the first three verses of this passage we realize that the daemon Mephistopheles is actually referring to the Old man. This verse explains to us that the old man’s faith in God is so strong that Mephistopheles cannot touch his soul. So he tries to afflict his body with pains, but the Old man’s body is of little worth. The Old man’s soul is so beautiful whereas Doctor Faustus’s soul is black due to making a pact with the devil. (Comment-Paul Dixon)Yes, well noted.
You’ve put these first lines of the extract nicely into context here, and your interpretation of them is very good. Do you think the fact that Mephistopheles has ‘touched’ Faustus’s soul contributes to the portrayal of him as a tragic hero? Mephistopheles calls forth a daemon and brings forth Helen of Troy, apparently the most beautiful woman to ever be desired. Helen is famous for her abduction by Paris which led to the Greeks starting a war over her which was called the Trojan War. Faustus has just witnessed in front of him Helen of Troy.
He says the verse: “Whose sweet embracing’s may extinguish clean/ These thoughts that do dissuade me from my vow. ” (O’Connor, 2003, pp. 101-103) In my opinion he says this to divert his attention elsewhere as he doesn’t want to be reminded of his eternal damnation which soon awaits him. When Faustus begins to talk about Helen of Troy we are brought into reverie. We are struck by the poetry of Marlowe’s text. The most famous quote of Doctor Faustus is: “Was this the face that launched a thousand ships/ And burnt the topless towers of Ilium? (Doctor Faustus, the A text, J. O’Connor (2003) P. 101-103) This piece of text is quite interesting as it shows Faustus emotions of infatuation by Helen of Troy. “Her lips suck forth my soul”: this verse explains the intensity of the besotted first kiss. By doing this Faustus fears that Helen has stolen his soul which could make him immortal. From lines 91-95 in the passage there is clearly an iambic pentameter being played here but on the third and fourth line there is blank verses.
Marlowe does this to achieve a dramatic effect on the audience. Faustus seems to give up all hope on eternal paradise. (comment-Paul Dixon) The whole extract is written in blank verse, which is unrhymed iambic pentameter (see Book 1, p. 35). The lines you refer to, lines 93 and 94, break the rhythm of the regular iambic pentameter for dramatic effect. Faustus says “I will be Paris” (Doctor Faustus, the A text, J. O’Connor (2003) P. 101-103) it’s very hard for the reader not to pity him as he desperately wants to feel like a hero in love.
Faustus seems to waste his intelligence on delusions of great importance. The lines “O, thou art fairer than the evening air/ Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars” are a couplet; this is a pair of successive lines of verse especially a pair that are the same length. (comment -Paul Dixon) This is potentially a good point, but you need to be more specific about how these lines create this effect. See the note to line 94 at the bottom of p. 102 of the set text.
Doctor Faustus seems to have constant battles with his own head therefore making the play somewhat a psychological tragedy. Doctor Faustus‘s own imperfections lead him to make the wrong decisions and judgments. Faustus’s suffering was all a result of self-inflicted pain therefore making him a tragic hero and the audience sympathizing with him. (Comment-Paul Dixon) Good summary, but it would be even more effective if you had been a little more explicit about how some of the lines you’ve highlighted above contribute to the portrayal of Faustus as a tragic hero.
Assesment Summary Comments- At the same time, you could be a bit more specific about how some of the passages that you highlight contribute to the portrayal of Faustus as a tragic hero. I notice that you have drawn on an online source for several of your ideas in interpreting the extract. You can use and refer to such sources when writing your assignments, but I would advise you to keep this to a minimum. One of the main things you are being assessed on in AA100 is your knowledge and understanding of the AA100 study materials, so it will always be best to ely on them mostly (as you have in Part 1).
In this case more reliance on the chapter by Anita Pacheco on Doctor Faustus in Book 1 might have helped you to clear up some misunderstanding about blank verse and iambic pentameter. Having said that, you have evidently also made use of the notes in the set text of the play in interpreting and contextualizing the extract. More reference to the module materials here would have raised your grade to a Pass 2, but I think the analysis you have done deserves a mark not too far off.