Related Keywords

No Related Keywords

Register NowHow It Works Need Essay Need Essay
"Marlowe's biographers often portray him as a dangerously over"“ambitious individual. Explore ways this aspect of Marlowe's personality is reflected in 'Dr. Faustus.' " Christopher Marlowe lived during the Renaissance period in 16th century England. Although this was a time of change, the Elizabethans still had fixed moral values. 'The Chain of Being,' a concept inherited from the Middle Ages, can be described as a hierarchy of society, with the monarch at the top and the lowliest peasants at the bottom. Below people were animals, plants and rocks. During the Elizabethan era, 'dangerous ambition' would probably involve trying to break the 'Chain of Being' and striving to increase one's social status. It was believed to be necessary to accept one's place in the chain, as to disrupt it and overcome the set order of society could mean chaos would follow. Faustus was an exceedingly ambitious man, even in relation to what is considered to be ambitious by people in today's society. In the prologue, The Chorus sums up Faustus' background and early life, emphasizing his ordinary background and academic success. It seems that Faustus' intellect made him become proud and this fired up his ambition. When Marlowe presents Faustus in scene 1, Faustus methodically shuns great authors and classically intellectual subjects, such as medicine and law because they hold little attraction to him, line 11 'A greater subject fitteth Faustus' wit.' The above quote shows how Faustus elevates himself above taking up an intellectual pursuit that would be highly esteemed by the Elizabethans. Another sign that Faustus holds himself in high regard is that he refers to himself in the third person, also shown in the above quote. Faustus' discusses beliefs that he will no longer hold and describes what he wants to achieve in his opening soliloquy. Faustus may be seen as blasphemous in the opening speech, implying that he would only be a doctor if he could be equal to God, lines24-6 'Couldst thou make men live eternally Or, being dead raise them to life again, Then this profession were to be esteemed.' This is made more obvious when Faustus lastly says, line 62 'A sound magician is a mighty god.' Marlowe portrays Faustus as being over-ambitious by his turning to magic, which is a much more sinister and much less conventional pursuit than others that he had been discussing previously. Faustus hopes that magic will make him omnipotent and god-like. There is little evidence to suggest that Marlowe himself wanted power over others, but his rise in society from a shoemaker's son to a scholar at Cambridge University and later, a spy, was extremely rare at the time. Marlowe did not lead a normal Elizabethan life; in fact, one could say that it was similar to fiction. The over-ambitious part of Marlowe's personality is reflected in Faustus because it seems Marlowe must have wanted success in his life, and to over-reach his set path in life. It becomes clearer as the play continues that Faustus is a dangerously ambitious person when in scene 3 he discusses the deal with a devil, Mephastophilis, concerning the selling of his soul to the Devil in return for earthly power. When Faustus makes the contract, it seems as if he is not thinking ahead as his attitude is carefree. He possibly does not believe in Hell, or that he has a soul, or about the reality of the bargain. His attitude at this point can be summed up by the following phrase Scene 4, lines 103-4, 'If I had as many souls as there be stars, I'd give them all for Mephastophilis.' Faustus' ambition for power and lack of foresight are what doom him later on in play. Arguably, ambition can be said to have caused the downfall of Marlowe himself. His violent murder in a London tavern in 1593 was mysterious and historians often question possible motives for killing Marlowe; his drive to succeed may have made other people envious and resentful. In 'Dr. Faustus', other characters are probably envious of Faustus too. In one of the comic scenes, scene 6, we learn that Robin and Rafe have stolen one of Faustus' books and plan to use it to seduce a woman. They must have been jealous of Faustus' power and his magical aptitude; however it is not the case that he is murdered by these characters later on in the play. Faustus is ambitious and enjoys his newfound power until the end of the play, despite being warned of the reality of his empty bargain by the Old Man and by the Good Angel throughout the play. The Old Man says in scene 12 lines 107-9, 'Ambitious fiends, see how the heavens smiles At your repulse, and laughs your state to scorn. Hence hell, for hence I fly unto God.' This moment foreshadows Faustus' lines at the end of the play, where, horrified, he must face the Devil and Hell. Faustus' ambition makes him a more human character despite him his selling his soul to the Devil, which may make him more difficult for the audience to relate to because of the extraordinary situation. His intellect sometimes creates doubts in his mind about the bargain that he has made, but his ambition overrides his conscience until the very end. This is shown by the Good and Evil Angels, who appear in scenes 1 and 5. They are binary opposites and in my view are present to put another side to Faustus' personality "“ a conscience. The Good Angel tries to motivate Faustus to repent by concentrating on God's anger. However the Evil Angel contradicts the Good Angel, Scene 5 lines 253-6 'EVIL ANGEL: Too late. GOOD ANGEL: Never too late, if Faustus can repent. EVIL ANGEL: If thou repent, devils shall tear thee in pieces. GOOD ANGEL: Repent, and they shall never rase thy skin.' The Good and Evil Angels' stichomythic dialogue is not too realistic and shows how torn Faustus is between the two sides. He is easily swayed and believes the angel that speaks last, but it is interesting to bear in mind that despite the warnings, his ambition stays with him to the end and leads to his downfall. Marlowe portrays Faustus' ambition as dangerous; it was the cause of his demise. Perhaps Marlowe used the theme of over-ambition as a warning to the audience, who would be likely to be wary of ambition - it was looked down on as a negative personality trait in Christian England. Ideas around at the time such as 'The Chain of Being' reinforced religious opinion into people's everyday lives and morality plays popular from the early 1400s to the 1580s were used to strengthen people's Christian principles, as 'Dr. Faustus' also does by discouraging ambition. Marlowe reflects ambition in the character of Faustus to deter the audience from being ambitious, and over-reaching their place in the 'Chain of Being'. However, if Marlowe chose to be 'dangerously over-ambitious' and regarded himself as this, it is likely that he may have written 'Dr. Faustus' differently, not viewing ambition in such a negative way. Whatever Marlowe's view on ambition was, it is not made clear in the play, through Faustus or other characters. Certain aspects of his personality are indeed reflected in Faustus, which make reading the play and exploring Faustus as a character even more intriguing.
0 User(s) Rated!
Words: 1277 Views: 226 Comments: 0
"Marlowe's biographers often portray him as a dangerously over–ambitious individual. Explore ways this aspect of Marlowe's personality is reflected in 'Dr. Faustus.' " Christopher Marlowe lived during the Renaissance period in 16th century England. Although this was a time of change, the Elizabethans still had fixed moral values. 'The Chain of Being,' a concept inherited from the Middle Ages, can be described as a hierarchy of society, with the monarch at the top and the lowliest peasants at the bottom. Below people were animals, plants and rocks. During the Elizabethan era, 'dangerous ambition' would probably involve trying to break...

Marlowe reflects ambition in the character of Faustus to deter the audience from being ambitious, and over-reaching their place in the 'Chain of Being'. However, if Marlowe chose to be 'dangerously over-ambitious' and regarded himself as this, it is likely that he may have written 'Dr. Faustus' differently, not viewing ambition in such a negative way. Whatever Marlowe's view on ambition was, it is not made clear in the play, through Faustus or other characters. Certain aspects of his personality are indeed reflected in Faustus, which make reading the play and exploring Faustus as a character even more intriguing.

Become A Member Become a member to continue reading this essay orLoginLogin
View Comments Add Comment

In "Little Red Cap" discuss the...In "Little Red Cap" discuss the use of imagery, syntax and structure. Plan: Introduction to the collection of poems Similarities and differences between this poem and original fairytale Imagery "“ how has Duffy used the words used to create pictures in the reader's head? Syntax "“ word order. Why has she written sentences the way she has? Emphasis on a particular word. Structure "“ length of stanzas "Little Red Cap" is written by Carol Ann Duffy found in a collection of poems called "The world's wife", where she has given a voice to the women fantasy characters and real people who have generally been silent or their thoughts made clear through the voices of their husband's or partner's. Firstly, the title of the poem grabs your attention and reminds you of 'Red Riding Hood', a children's story. This is clever, as it sets the readers mind to thinking about the story, which means that the reader can connect all of the similarities in the poem to the children's story, for example; "What big eyes he had! What teeth!" The poem "Little red cap" is among others where Duffy has based this poem on a fairytale story, in this case, little red riding hood. However, this poem has a few differences to the original version of the story. For example, this poem uses imagery to create a very sexual feeling, where as the original fairytale was not in any way sexual, but had a more simplistic idea of 'good "“ little red riding hood' and 'bad "“ the sly wolf'. The wolf in this poem is portrayed to the reader as a 'good' character, and Little Red Cap as the 'sly' one who appears to know what she is doing in order to get what she wants. In the first stanza of the poem, Duffy starts off with the metaphor "At childhood's end". This portrays that childhood is so powerful it has been described as a physical place. The reader can picture this place clearly because of they way she has continued to describe the "houses petered out into playing fields" ""¦till you came at last to the edge of the woods". This makes the reader think that she is no longer an innocent child, she is independent and is now an adult. However, we find out in the second stanza that she is still only "sweet sixteen" which makes us wonder if she is really as grown-up as we first thought. Even though much of the poem relates to her no longer being a child, no longer being naïve and innocent, Duffy uses the language to perhaps warn the reader that she is not as grown-up as we presume. The sentence "I lost both shoes, but got there, wolf's lair, better beware" stands out as a break of normality. It has been written so that it rhymes and spoken quickly, rolling off the tongue to draw more attention to that particular sentence. The sentence is witty and perhaps even a little childish but has an element of trying to be grown-up. The stanzas throughout the poem are irregular. Stanza 5 is the longest one in the poem and the rushed enjambment of the words gives the reader a sense of excitement. A good example of the imagery Duffy has used in this poem is, "Away from home, to a dark tangled thorny place". The way she has used these words makes the image very clear for the reader to imagine exactly what the Wolf's lair must be like, a nasty place, away from the protection and safety of her home. The wolf is initially portrayed as a 'bad' character, perhaps because that is the role in which is usual, however we learn that the wolf isn't as 'bad' as we first predicted, which differs to the original tale. "It was there that I first clapped eyes on the wolf". By writing it in this way, the emphasis is drawn to the word 'I' meaning little red cap. If she has changed the syntax and written 'it was there where I first saw the wolf", the emphasis would have been more on the wolf, and at this stage Duffy isn't ready to completely introduce the wolf, only to let the reader hear what Little red cap thinks of him. In this poem, the wolf appears to be educated and not 'sly' in order to con little red riding hood, which is the first difference between Duffy's poem and the original fairytale. We can see this in the second stanza "you might ask why. Here's why. Poetry." Of course, the reader knows that the wolf cannot literally read or talk, but this personification is used to create a stronger connection between the reader and the character of the wolf in the poem. For this reason we can see that little red cap also has a passion for learning, for it was the poetry that bought her to the wolf. The word poetry, was separated from the rest of this line in a sentence on it's own which is another way Duffy has used her words to draw attention to the more important things. For this reason, it is more unexpected for the reader to hear in the change of personality for the wolf's character. There is a lot of imagery throughout the poem to portray to the reader that little red cap has lost her innocence. Left it behind at the end of her childhood. "My stockings ripped to shreds, scraps of red from my blazer snagged on twig and branch". This powerful use of the colour red may symbolise the passion in this very sexual part of the poem, or perhaps even blood, because imagery has been used in such a dramatic way that the reader can see clearly she may even want to have sex with this wolf; "for what little girl doesn't dearly love a wolf?" This is almost chatty, written in the way someone would speak to a friend. For this reason, Duffy appears to have written to a more female orientated audience. Duffy uses more colour later in the poem "where a wall was crimson, gold, aglow with books", this imagery arguably does not mean that she has a passion for the colour or the wall in a physical sense, but reinforces the point that she has a passion for learning. Another reason for Duffy's vivid use of colour in the poem using colours such as "crimson, red and blood" also helps build up to the killing of the wolf, although the reader may still be a little surprised that little red cap has used violence after her contrasting calmer approach previously in the poem. After the stanza, which portrays a very sexual nature, Duffy uses her use of words, and again uses colour to show purity. "And went in search of a living bird "“ white dove". The white colour is a very pure, natural colour and the dove is a very gentle bird. So it almost appears a shock when in the next line the wolf eats the dove "which flew, straight, from my hands to his open mouth." Before this, the wolf appeared the educated one, but now the role is reversed as little red cap appears very intellectual and appreciates beauty in this instance, the dove, where as the wolf does not. The sentence continues "one bite, dead". This is a very short sentence and emphasises the quick snap of his jaw and demonstrates the destruction that the wolf could cause. In the last stanza of the poem, we also found out that the wolf was in fact a 'bad' character after all and the poem refers back to the original fairytale in which the wolf had been 'sly' enough to trick the grandmother into letting him eat her "saw the glistening, virgin white of my grandmother's bones". Towards the end of the poem, little red cap appears to be looking back and reflecting. The enjambment adds to the reflection. "Words, words, were truly alive on the tongue, in the head, warm, beating, frantic, winged; music, and blood." This again is a very quick sentence consisting of singular words to give a fast, panicked, maybe even exciting feel. Duffy has used personification here so that the reader can relate closely to Little red cap's passion and excitement for literature, of course words cannot really be "warm" or "winged" but these add to the sense of excitement Little red cap is feeling. In the next stanza "but then I was young"¦" There is no longer a panicked feel to the words, but is looking back on the reality of her experience. This is a calmer approach and makes her sound grown-up again. Duffy uses repetition in the last stanza: "I took an axe to a willow to see how it wept. I took an axe to a salmon to see how it leapt. I took an axe to the wolf as he slept"¦" This rhyming is a change to the way Duffy has written the rest of the poem, which makes the last stanza stand out and to make the impact of the words stronger on the reader. Also in this last stanza, there is a change of tense from past to present. "I filled his old belly with stones. I stitched him up. Out of the forest I come with my flowers, singing all alone. This draws the readers attention to the last few lines which are very important in the poem, because everything that has been said previously is contradicted in these last few lines, for example the reader finds out that the wolf isn't as 'good' as he was portrayed, because he did in fact eat the grandmother. As well as this, we see that little red cap is no longer portrayed as innocent because she has had to use violence. The last stanza is also a reflection of her innocence "out of the forest I come with my flowers, singing all alone", this demonstrates an almost innocent approach which mirrors what was said in the beginning of the poem. This is a clear way to show Little red cap's growth and independence throughout the poem, although she still appears a little innocent. However, arguably once she has lost her innocence she cannot get this back. However by doing this she is showing that perhaps she no longer wants to be "at childhood's end" but back with the protection and security that she would have had when she was still an innocent child. In conclusion, Duffy has cleverly written this poem based on the fairytale little red riding hood, but there are many hidden meanings to various parts of the poem, for example touching on childhood innocence and teenage rebellion. There are also arguably different interpretations to what Duffy has written.   

In "Little Red Cap" discuss the use of imagery, syntax and structure. Plan: Introduction to the collection of poems Similarities and differences between this poem and original fairytale Imagery – how has Duffy used the words used to create pictures in the reader's head? Syntax – word order. Why has...

Words: 1862 View(s): 475 Comment(s): 0
Judith Ortiz Cofer is a Puerto...Judith Ortiz Cofer is a Puerto Rican whose writing often examines the conflict and the beauty of cultures mixing together, as people immigrate to America. Though she exhibits a strong connection to her Latin heritage, she often seems to also resent that part of her life. There are many standards and expectations in the Puerto Rican society which Cofer writes to subvert, viewing them negatively. As a Puerto Rican woman, Cofer often disagrees with the limits and expectations placed on a woman in Puerto Rican society, and this attitude is the subject of much of her work. In "Claims," the speaker describes "Grandmother." Cofer uses this poem to illustrate a family and describe an individual, as well as telling the reader about parts of Puerto Rican culture, such as its views on women's roles and on sexuality. On the surface, "Claims" is a poem about a Grandmother's life. She has grown old, like a used, weathered "Bedouin tent." After spending her life as a wife and mother, "Grandmother" finally has a chance to reclaim her own life. "Grandmother" seems to have been submissive, accepting her role throughout life to sacrifice herself for others, while all along wishing for her freedom. She considered each of her children a burden, but an acceptable one. She "had made a pact / with man and nature" to live as a wife and bear and raise children. She kept her pact, waiting for the day when her children would leave the nest and her husband would pass away. In "Claims," Grandmother's time has come and her real self, the person she wants to be, is returning, like the sea rising with the tide. One can imagine the sand when the tide is out, as it is claimed by people and animals. The sea seems to be giving up part of itself, but it will return to claim the sand again. In the same way, the Grandmother has given her life, allowed other people to occupy days that were hers, but is reclaiming her "sand" in the poem. Examining "Claims" on another lever, one finds messages speaking out against the portrayal of a good woman in Puerto Rican societies. Women are expected to sacrifice every aspect of their own lives for their husbands and children. The Grandmother accepted her role in society, but always had dreams of claiming her own life. "Grandmother" made a promise when she was married, and she kept her promise. She raised five children and led a life committed to a husband who was expected by society to wander. But all along, Grandmother had dreamed of the day when she could secure her freedom. She dreamed of sleeping in her own bed and simply being herself. Her dream is finally realized in old age, as described in the poem. Grandmother "claimed the right" to be herself and live her life. Her days were constantly occupied by caring for her children and her nights were always invaded by her husband's presence. Now that her family has all moved on, Grandmother has her house and her life for herself. Each right that she has claimed has multiple meanings about her life and society, her dreams and true personality. The first right, that of sleeping alone and owning her nights, describes an internal conflict which Grandmother carried. While she truly loved her family, she yearned for space and freedom. She wanted to control at least some part of her life, but every moment was dedicated to her family. Her second right is "to never bear / the weight of sex again nor the accept / its gift of comfort." For women in Puerto Rican society, there are many limitations because of their gender, but there are also many ways in which female sexuality is encouraged and praised. The role of wife and mother which Puerto Rican women are placed in is a very confining one. Their entire lives are devoted to finding a husband to love, in spite of society's expectations that he will stray, and to bearing and raising children. A "good" Puerto Rican woman gives her whole life to her family. Past that, she sacrifices even more to anyone else who is in need. The "weight of her sex" involves all the expectations and limitations placed on a woman by society because of her gender. However, there are other sides to society's views of women. One of these ideas is that a woman should appreciate her sexuality. This concept is often thought to be particularly evident in Latin societies, such as Puerto Rico. Women wear colorful, often risqué clothing. Their dancing is beautiful, complicated, and often seductive. Another aspect of the comfort of a woman's sex is the close bond that women often share in a community. For example, women may look forward to seeing their neighbors at the grocery store or the laundromat. This closeness provides a woman with comfort and a chance to relax and take time off from her family duties. There is also comfort in the guaranteed loving bond a woman has with her children and in knowing that her family is strong. The woman's sex is a burden and a place of refuge, but Grandmother's chance to abandon her sex is part of her dream of freedom. Cofer often illustrates cultural synthesis in her works. Some evidence of this can be found in "Claims." For example, the poem is written mostly in English, but there are elements which imply a Latin culture. The most obvious is the use of the word "náufragos," which translates to "shipwreck victims," to refer to her miscarriages. Most simply, the use of a Spanish word implies that Grandmother is part of a Latin society. Also, it is a reference to the closeness of island people to the ocean. They rely on it for food, business, and contact with other countries. There is also the fact that the poem is written in English, but it is about a Puerto Rican woman. Though there is evidence of knowledge of the Puerto Rican society and definite respect for Grandmother, the speaker seems to be an American, living an American life while keeping a connection with her Puerto Rican heritage. Grandmother is a strong woman. She lived a life of sacrifice, giving of herself to every aspect of her family and community. She accepted the burdens and the gifts of her place in society. The language of the poem is not overly intellectual or complicated, showing the simplicity and honesty of Grandmother's life. It is plainly written and flows, as Grandmother flowed through life, accepting her roles and society's limitations. The speaker has completely adapted to her new life, as one can tell by the mastery of the English language which is shown in the poem. Some of the isolated lines show bitterness which is felt by Grandmother, such as when she says that "Children"¦ / steal your days." Another example is the last line of the poem, completely separated from the rest of the thought"” "she is claiming back her territory." One can find several emotions in that one line, from hostility about the time she sacrificed to relief that she can finally claim her time back. In her work, Cofer presents many issues of Puerto Rican society. She challenges gender roles and takes steps to unite the two cultures she lives in without losing either one. "Claims" tells several stories"”the story of an old woman's life and of a female's place in Puerto Rican society, for example. It has vivid imagery of the old woman, of the ocean, and of shipwrecks. "Claims" defends a woman's right to be herself, rather than a slave of society and of her family. In this poem, Cofer once again challenges the expectations and limitations placed on women by society. It is a complicated work with many layers of meaning.   

Judith Ortiz Cofer is a Puerto Rican whose writing often examines the conflict and the beauty of cultures mixing together, as people immigrate to America. Though she exhibits a strong connection to her Latin heritage, she often seems to also resent that part of her life. There are many standards...

Words: 1316 View(s): 145 Comment(s): 0