Read Dr. Faustus (link on unit page). This is a background text to other work we will do this semester. Note the tropes Marlowe employed/created. Also, be able to verbally address the following points and questions:
- Is Mephistophilis Faustus' friend or his deadly enemy?
- Why doesn't Faustus repent?
- What role do diversions play in Doctor Faustus?
- How does magic affect the comic characters, Wagner and Robin?
- What does the Chorus think of Faustus?
- What is the definition of hell in this play?
- Faustus dreams that magic will bring him limitless power. To what extent do his dreams come true?
- How do the Old Man and Helen function as dramatic opposites in Act V?
- Is Faustus a Renaissance or medieval hero? Justify your response.
- Find three examples of hyperbole (exaggeration), and discuss Marlowe's specific techniques.
Is Faustus a hero?
What kind of relationship exists between Faustus and Mephistophilis?
Why is Wagner Mephistophilis' heir?
Does Faustus choose to be damned? Or is he forced into it by demons?
What role do Valdes and Cornelius play in Doctor Faustus?
Of all the things that Faustus desires, what does he desire most?
How does Benvolio resemble Faustus?
Write an entry in Wagner's diary, and date it from the last month of Faustus' life.
Wagner tells Robin to follow in his footsteps. How does Robin carry out the order?
Contrast the characters of the Pope and the Old Man.
Why do the central relationships of Faustus' life involve spirits and shades, not human beings?
How does Marlowe use Aristotle's rules of the structure of a tragedy? Be specific!
What is the point of the Icarus image in the prologue?
What examples of hyperbole (exaggeration) can you find in Faustus' speech to Helen of Troy?
Why is there so much Latin in the play?
How does Marlowe change the verse line to show frustration or uncertainty in Faustus?
Find three examples of irony in Doctor Faustus and explain what purpose the irony serves.
What do you learn about Faustus from his study?
Why is the University of Wittenberg in a state of unease?
What use does Marlowe make of the trapdoor on the Elizabethan stage?
Compare the world of Doctor Faustus to a medieval painting.
Would Marlowe agree with this statement: "A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" (The quotation is from Robert Browning's "Andrea del Sarto.") Why?
Does Doctor Faustus have a Christian moral? What is it?
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