The Comic Scenes of Dr. Faustus Essay
The Comic Scenes of Dr. Faustus When I first began reading Dr. Faustus I did not even realize that there were comic scenes. Only after being told and after watching the movie did I realize that there were comic scenes. Many critics say that Christopher Marlowe did not even write these scenes, but instead say that they were written later by other playwrights. After realizing that there was in fact comedy in the play, I began to ponder why it was in the play.
My first thought was that they were there to lighten the mood of such a dark and serious play. Any good playwright knows that you can’t hold an audience’s attention with hours of serious, deep, and emotional content without also having something to lighten the mood. With this point of view, I realized that it was very possible that Mr. Marlowe did not in fact write the comic sections of this play (I really wanted to believe that he wrote them), maybe a later playwright found that the play was too serious.
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The fact that I wanted Marlowe to be the author of the whole play (I don’t like it when someone comes along changes a piece of art, or that people say that someone changed it because it is just too good to be true) made me dig deeper to try and find something that sounded more sensible to me. I would have to say that it was eight lines in scene five that were spoken by Mephastophilis in response to a question from Faustus. These Lines were (pg. 442 lines 110-125): Mephastophilis. Now Faustus, ask what thou wilt.
Faustus. First will I question thee about hell: Tell me, where is the place that men call hell? Mephastophilis. Under the heavens. Faustus. Ay, but whereabouts? Mephastophilis. Within the bowels of these elements, Where we are tortured and remain forever. Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscribed In one self place; for where we are is hell, And where hell is, there we must ever be. And to conclude, when all the world dissolves, And every creature shall be purified, All places shall be hell that is not heaven.
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