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Dr Faustus

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Dr Faustus

Dr Faustus' last hour is described very dramatically because the protagonist, thinking to death is desperate even if he hopes in God's pardon. He tries to become less than a man wishing to run into the earth, to be drown up into the entrails of a cloud and to turn into a foggy mist and imploring to be changed into some brutish beast or asking weather is body would turn to air. This part of the play describes the last hour of Dr Faustus' life and we can notice that the second half seems to run with ever-increasing speed. These techniques express the dramatic power of the moment with Dr Faustus approaching to his end.

The play contains elements still medieval and other belonging to Renaissance culture; for instance, the feature of God is certainly medieval, because it's the image of a God terrible, having no pity, always able to punish men and having no mercy on souls; in fact he is frightened because of the presence of God; above all he fears his terrible punishments. The feature of Faustus, necromancer, also belongs to medieval culture and we can also notice a "morality" touch in the play with the final punishment, typical of medieval culture. In addition to this the importance of the influence of stars in everyday life and also the presence of angels and devils among the characters of the play remind again the typical providentialism of the middle ages, with the description of hell as a place of physical torments.

But Christopher Marlowe, the playwright, certainly belongs to another cultural scenery, the Renaissance, and expresses some interesting features typical of that period. For instance, we can notice that he believes in the power of men's mind and he is conscious of his infinite capacity and he echoes the spirit of adventure and quest; finally, he describes Dr Faustus as a scholar and a theologian.

We can find in the play many references of God because Dr Faustus is always imploring him, hoping in pardon or at least in a small punishment. The feature of Christ is very interesting in this moment because it is associated with the image of blood, probably metaphor of the vital Dr Faustus' fluid of life, frightened by the eternity of his soul's future punishment.

From the point of view of the kind of verse, Marlowe uses the blank verse, i. e. lines in iambic pentameters without any finally rhyme. The tone is very dramatic because the author describes a scene of death. In fact Dr Faustus often uses a particular language, very urgent, sometimes broken and repetitive, often polysyllabic but sometimes monosyllabic, conveying the impression of a desperate soul.


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