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Shelley began writing 'Frankenstein' in the company of what has been called 'her male coterie', including her lover Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and his physician John Polidori. It has been suggested that the influence of this group, and particularly that of Shelley and Byron, affected her portrayal of male characters in the novel. As Ann Campbell writes: '[The] characters and plot of Frankenstein reflect . . . Shelley's conflicted feelings about the masculine circle which surrounded her.' Certainly the male characters in 'Frankenstein' are more developed that those of the females. Elizabeth Fay has suggested that the female characters are 'idealised figures' in much of Shelley's work, particularly in the descriptions of Caroline and Elizabeth, the two mother figures in the novel. Caroline is, on surface value, a perfect parent, together with her husband, which renders Victor's irresponsibility in abandoning the creature more unforgivable. She 'possessed a mind of uncommon mould' which was also 'soft and benevolent'; she is compared to a 'fair exotic' flower which is sheltered by Alphonse; she drew 'inexhaustible stores of affection from a very mine of love to bestow' on Victor, and her 'tender caresses' are some of his 'first recollections'. She is the idealised mother, a figure that Shelley viewed wistfully, as her own mother died when she was ten days old to be replaced by a disinterested stepmother. Caroline's parenting provides the care that Frankenstein might well have lacked, had he been left to his father alone "“ his father dismisses Agrippa's work without explanation, thereby setting Victor on his course towards 'destruction'. This is the first introduction of a theme that continues throughout the book, that of the necessity for female figures in parenting and in society. Without a mother figure and left only with Frankenstein who subsumes both parental roles, the creature's life is blighted by his imperfection and lack of companionship. However, Caroline is also the trigger to Alfonse's chivalry, thus presenting him in an improved light and allowing his character to develop at the expense of her own weakness. This is a feminist comment from Shelley, whose mother Mary Wollenstonecraft was a notorious feminist and an important influence. Justine, too, is an 'idealised figure', described during the trial as having a countenance which, 'always engaging, was rendered, by the solemnity of her feelings, exquisitely beautiful.' She is the archetypal innocent, being beautiful, weak and entirely accepting of her fate to the point of martyrdom. She would doubtless incense feminists now, accepting death with equanimity ' "I am resigned to the fate awaiting me" ' at the hands of misjudging and dominant men. She is a somewhat two-dimensional character, being compliant in all things, enduring the mistreatment by her mother and not objecting to the injustice of her condemnation. In this sense she serves merely as a plot device, used to introduce the evil of the creature and to show Frankenstein's cowardice in refusing to defend her in time. Here she is another feminine figure used to further a male character's development, just as Caroline was used to develop the character of Alfonse. She is also a vehicle for Shelley's attack on the contemporary judiciary system, which explains her name. The character of Safie is used by Shelley as a direct attack on sexism. Safie is a stronger character than the other women in the novel, as she defies her father in escaping to join Felix. Shelley comments upon the state of 'bondage' inflicted on females in Islamic society at the time, which Safie objects to, encouraged to 'aspire to the higher powers of intellect, and an independence of spirit' by her mother. Shelley, in applauding this determination and self-respect on the part of women, is condemning a society which oppresses females and upholds males as superior. However, Safie is not merely used for this; she is also presented as a contrast to the creature, who is similarly separated from the De Laceys by a language barrier, but who can never be accepted by them because he lacks her 'angelic beauty'. She is an example of man's intolerance towards ugliness, as her beauty transcends the barrier of language whereas the creature's benevolence cannot. Elizabeth is the most 'idealised figure' of all the women in the novel, afforded the following romantic description: 'The saintly soul of Elizabeth shone like a shrine-dedicated lamp in our peaceful home . . . her smile, her soft voice, the sweet glance of her celestial eyes, were ever there to bless and animate us. She was the living spirit of love to soften and attract.' She is here made to transcend ordinary mortality to become 'celestial' and 'saintly'. This makes her death more appalling and triggers Victor's active fury, whereas the suffering of the innocent Justine did not. The base murder of 'the living spirit of love' can be said to be the creature's revenge against humankind, as the killing of something so natural and integral to humanity kills happiness with it. But whilst Elizabeth is assigned this pivotal role in the novel, she is in herself two-dimensional as a character, having no friends outside of the family and no interests save 'trifling occupations' within the household. She is content to wait for Victor, despite his long absences and frequent and serious depressions. She is the idealised woman at the time of the novel's setting, being submissive, supportive and beautiful. However, the character of Elizabeth can also serve a further purpose. It has been argued by several critics that Elizabeth is the creature's opposite, that she and he together make up Victor. She is his good half and the creature his bad. Both characters are orphans and heavily dependent on Victor. Elizabeth is beautiful, good and female, whereas the creature is ugly, evil and male. The blending of the two create Victor, who has robbed himself of gender by assuming both parental roles. It has been suggested by one critic that Victor has feminine characteristics, being 'sensitive, passionate about literature . . . and becom[ing] enamoured with [other men's] voice[s] and feelings'. This theory can be supported, in that Victor attributes to Elizabeth the ability to 'subdue [him] to a semblance of her own gentleness'. By contrast, the creature unfailingly enrages Victor, causing him to lose self-control and become violent. Whilst the feminine roles are flat and manipulated to affect the character and actions of the male roles, the latter are considerably more defined. As Elizabeth Fay writes, Shelley shows the 'realistic weaknesses and frailties' of men in the novel. Walton is presented as sexist and selfish, mocking his sister's fears for his safety in his opening sentence: 'You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.' Margaret is an unsatisfactory audience, as he desires a companion 'whose eyes would reply to [his]'. This companion must necessarily be male, for how could a female possibly communicate adequately with him? However, despite this wish for male companionship, Walton possesses certain feminine characteristics, such as his distaste for violence: ' . . . my best years [having been] spent under your gentle and feminine fosterage, has so refined the groundwork of my character that I cannot overcome an intense distaste to the usual brutality exercised on board ship'. He writes adoringly of 'the stranger's' 'conciliating and gentle' manners, 'unparalleled eloquence', nobility and 'cultivated' mind. Walton's ambition to discover 'uncharted territories' is arrogant, as he desires to acquire 'dominion . . . over the elemental foes of our race'. He craves idolatry and power. Shelley introduces this here so that Walton's later failure towards the close of the novel is celebrated by the reader, who has understood that Victor's arrogance has caused devastation, whereas Walton has paid little heed and is bitter in his failure. Shelley is commenting on the stupidity of male hubris, which she 'sensed in the scientific ambitions of Romantics such as her husband,' as the critic James W. Maerten has suggested. Maerten writes also of Anthony Easthope, who has drawn: 'a circular fortress as a model of the . . . masculine ego. Ego . . . is entrapped in its own defences, unable to escape the barriers it has raised against a universe [which is] an enemy . . . The most praised . . . in our civilisation are those who can contain and control the most monstrous powers: biological pathogens, nuclear fission, toxic waste, vast armies. Such Promethean desires are ultimately the illusions of Icarus.' Victor's ego causes him to desire 'a new species' which would 'bless [him] as its creator and source'. He cannot control the monster that he creates, thereby losing his essential masculinity. His attempt to defy Nature and steal God's power for himself is as fatal as Icarus' stupidity in trying to do what man cannot. This male arrogance is introduced by Alphonse, who assumes the care of Caroline and renders her submissive in gratitude. The blatancy of the strong male and weak female roles here has been condemned by some, who suggest that the imposition of a male role on Victor is a form of filicide. This is responsible for his insecurity which in turn leads to his 'overreaching ego inflation'. A critic has argued that: 'Victor Frankenstein is compulsively self-destructive, driven by forces he cannot recognise to create a son by his own efforts and without the troublesome involvement of a woman . . . [upon which] he is horrified . . . and rejects the creature totally, thereby turning the son into the very monster whose existence he has always denied in himself.' It is possible to corroborate this view to some extent, as Victor's feminine qualities conflict with his identity as a man. Shelley was concerned with the issue of gender, as in her novel 'The Last Man' she created an essentially genderless character, Lionel Verney, and discussed how he only acknowledged his gender when he viewed himself in a mirror. His reflection told him that he was an English gentleman, but without this empirical perception he had no such identity. Elizabeth Fay writes of him that he is a 'feminised ideal', 'combining masculine and feminine traits in such a way as to confute traditional notions of gender'. Robert W. Anderson writes that: 'Frankenstein's creature embodies gender transgression on two levels . . . the first being [his] status as being a surgically constructed male, the second being Victor's non-gender transgression in co-opting the female trait of reproduction, transforming his laboratory into a virtual womb.' The creature has no real gender, despite being created physically as a male. He is denied male dominance over females by Victor, who has made him too ugly to be accepted into human society and then destroys the female mate that he had partially made for him. The creature, like Victor, has feminine characteristics, being profoundly affected by literature and nature, and being sensitive to emotion. He is made male only so that there can be no sexual overtones in the relationship between himself and Victor, and the battle between them can be physical and violent as well as rhetorical. The absence of femininity in the making of the creature is its integral flaw. Despite all of Victor's efforts to make the creature perfect, it will ultimately be ugly, because it is unnatural for a male alone to reproduce. Beauty cannot result of only masculinity. Shelley is condemning a single father in this. The death of her mother left her to the care of her father, whom she adored. He often neglected her, leaving her feeling unwanted. The lack of grief on the part of her husband as their babies died augmented this conviction in men's inability to care for children alone. This reinforces her message throughout the novel of the necessity for women in society. Shelley was forced to ask her husband to claim to be the author of the novel, as women were not accepted as writers at the time. Men alone in science and education are fallible, as she suggested in making Frankenstein's experiment so disastrous. Therefore the oppression of women at the time was irrational and arrogant. Frankenstein represents flawed masculinity, as an example of a society without women. Shelley manipulated masculine and feminine gender identities in her novel to try and persuade her audience that men alone cannot create, whether it be children or art.
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Shelley began writing 'Frankenstein' in the company of what has been called 'her male coterie', including her lover Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and his physician John Polidori. It has been suggested that the influence of this group, and particularly that of Shelley and Byron, affected her portrayal of male characters in the novel. As Ann Campbell writes: '[The] characters and plot of Frankenstein reflect . . . Shelley's conflicted feelings about the masculine circle which surrounded her.' Certainly the male characters in 'Frankenstein' are more developed that those of the females. Elizabeth Fay has suggested that the female...
necessity for women in society. Shelley was forced to ask her husband to claim to be the author of the novel, as women were not accepted as writers at the time. Men alone in science and education are fallible, as she suggested in making Frankenstein's experiment so disastrous.

Therefore the oppression of women at the time was irrational and arrogant. Frankenstein represents flawed masculinity, as an example of a society without women. Shelley manipulated masculine and feminine gender identities in her novel to try and persuade her audience that men alone cannot create, whether it be children or art.

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Erin Lowe- also author of many...Erin Lowe- also author of many outstanding American History essays.... of which two are published somewhere here..... one about Peter Noyes, and another about Mercantilism..... Books won"t stay banned. They won"t burn. Ideas won"t go to jail"¦ In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education. The only way that the ideas of this world that are deemed bad are going to go away is if we are allowed to see them and change them. If we are not allowed to see what is bad then our society will never grow to become a better place. What censorship does is keep us protected; leaving us living sheltered lives. If we never see a racist comment how are we to know that racism is bad? At the same time Censorship can be a good thing because it keeps children from seeing pornography, and terrible acts of violence. However censorship should not keep anyone from seeing literature, even if it is considered slightly explicit in a sexual, racial, or violent manner. Censorship should leave the ideas of people alone and leave them with their first amendment rights. Amendment one of the United States Bill of Rights reads Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble"¦. What this means is that we, in America have the right to be any religion, and to not have that religion forced upon us. We have the right to say what we want and to publish our ideas if we so wish, and to read the ideas that others have published. We can also peaceably assemble, or gather in protest without violence what we think is wrong. The biggest right that we have is that of free speech and press. We can say what we want! As American sometimes we take this for granted. However even though we have the right to free speech we have to draw the line somewhere, but where? We so often condemn books that were written to fight the very things that we claim to be fighting. This quote illustrates one of the things that are so wrong with censorship. We seem to ban or censor books, like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, that are actually against racism or whatever the objection to the book is. When a book is taken the wrong way it is simply the fault of the reader, and not the book. The book therefore cannot be censored in this case. To override the right of free speech on the grounds that the speech in question is likely to harm or offend others is to commit an act of censorship. Not all censorship of this manner is unjustified however, for some speech causes significant and direct harm to others, such as maliciously defaming speech, and speech which opens national secrets to enemies. There should be however a presumption that all speech is protected from censorship in that the censor always has to prove and to persuade the people that the speech is bad. In this way it is using new and better ideas to eliminate the bad ideas. The speaker should not have to prove every time that an individual challenges his/her speech that it really is good. The proof has to be that whatever harm or offense the speech has caused is significant, and direct. Free speech is a valuable thing, and should not be restricted by its remote or superficially adverse affect on others. Without free speech no search for truth is possible"¦ no discovery of truth is useful"¦ Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech that denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life f the people, and entombs the hope of the race. This quote had an excellent point in the case against censorship. To discover new ideas and the truth of life we need to be exposed to new thoughts, and different thoughts. If we always saw the same thoughts over and over we could never expand; we could never become better as a society without new ideas. If new ideas cannot be written or seen then their discovery is useless, for they cannot help without being seen. SO it is better that we see cases in which free speech is used in a bad way, such as in defaming specific people or groups or ideas, than to have no free speech at all as a result of free censorship. Defaming something that should not be defamed can be recovered from, for good things will be supported more than gone against. Also, things that need to be obliterated from society will be by this right of free speech. The denial of free speech will smother the life of a society. A society where different ideas aren"t all owed will soon fail. However there is no right to harm or to offend other people. If an idea in a book is explicitly insulting a particular group or person it could be censored, depending on the type of offense. If, for example a book says that African Americans are all stupid, simple, and should be killed off for this fact the book should only be read by choice, and not be forced upon anyone. An adult is capable of making a choice not to read, or allow their child to read a book that is expressly offensive to them. People always seem to be not concerned with what they read, but with what other people read. Quite often it is a white person that bans a book for fear that it might insult an African American, or a male, thinking that it might insult a female. Did you ever hear anyone say "That work had better be banned because I might read it and it might me very damaging to me"? People should really only censor for themselves, and they should be allowed to censor for themselves. The mind that becomes soiled in youth can never again be washed clean This statement is in many cases true. Small children should not be exposed to pornography, or to extreme violence, for their developing minds are very impressionable. However they can be exposed to a wide variety of ideas, so that as they grow older they can decide for themselves what and who they want to be. If they are exposed to racist ideas, it is very likely that they will also be exposed to anti-racist ideas, leaving their mind still undecided. If children are exposed to minor sexuality then it will leave them having a much easier time accepting themselves when they become young adults, and then adults. The things that are put into the minds of the young will never leave them, and so in some cases censorship is necessary. Many books are censored for reasons of sex, violence, the occult, racism, or for having rebellious children in them. Most common are the racism, and sex reasons. Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut is an example of a book banned for these reasons. The book is a collection of short stories by Kurt Vonnegut and the title is the same as the title of one of the stories. These stories include Welcome to the Monkey House, All the King"s Horses, Who am I This Time?, More Stately Mansions, The Foster portfolio, and The Kid Nobody Could Handle along with many others. Those listed however seemed the most likely to be banned out of the book. Kurt Vonnegut is well known as a pessimistic writer, whose topic usually is the future. He wrote these for mass produced and distributed magazines. They therefore are rather conventional, both thematically, and technically. Through these stories you can see some of the information about Vonnegut himself. He is the product of an Indianapolis middle class family. Many of the stories also show Vonnegut"s and America"s preoccupation with the Cold War, love, status, and identity. The first story, Welcome to the Monkey House a future society is described in America where a scientist had invented and ethical birth- control pill that removes all pleasure from sex, and the government requires al women and men to take them. The pills are ethical because they didn"t interfere with a person"s ability to reproduce, which would have been unnatural and immoral, all the pills did was take every bit of pleasure out of sex. Thus did science and morals go hand in hand The hero of this story is a very short, funny looking man who calls himself Billy the Poet. He seduces the suicide hostesses, whose job it is to help people commit suicide painlessly and effectively, whenever they want in a pleasurable way. In this case he dresses up as an old man who wants to commit suicide. When he seduces these women, always at gunpoint he forces them to abandon their ethical birth control pills. The people who understood science said that people had to quit reproducing so much, and the people who understood morals said that society would collapse if people used sex for nothing but pleasure This story is not nearly as pessimistic as some of Vonnegut"s other novels, however it isn"t optimistic either. The story makes the government and the scientific community the villains of the story for taking away sex. It also makes Billy the Poet a hero for rebelling against the government edict and for spreading his philosophy of pleasure through sexual intercourse. One thing that should be pointed out about this story is that it was originally written for Playboy magazine. One of the ironies of the story was after Billy raped the suicide hostess and removed her ethical birth control pills. He leaves her with a poem and a bottle of regular birth control pills. The poem was How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways which is ironic because Billy has shown no love for the suicide hostess, only a little bit of pleasure for converting her to a Nothinghead. However the poem is appropriate because the suicide hostess" feeling about sex were very like those of most Victorian ladies. The effect of the ethical birth control pills is also much like the effects that the author of the poem, Elisabeth Browning, felt after falling off of her horse. The theme of this story is not in the altruistic efforts of Billy the Poet, but rather, things that seem good really aren"t necessarily good. The next story was All the King"s Horses. This story is the product of the Cold War of the early 1950"s when Americans were becoming more and more suspicious of the Soviet Union and of China. The Sort describes a battle between a group of Americans, led by Colonel Kelley, and Pi Ying, a Chinese guerilla leader. The Americans were the victims of a plane crash in China. Ying brings Kelley, his wife, his 2 sons, and twelve American soldiers to a hideout where he offers the Colonel one chance to save all their lives. The chance is that he must uses the Americans as chess pieces in a game against Pi Ying while a Russian advisor observes. If Kelley wins the Americans will go free. Ying is a rather evil bloodthirsty character and the Russian is eager for a war between the United States and Russia as soon as the time is right. Ying is assassinated by his mistress, and then the Russian takes over, but Kelley has already won. The Russian lets the Americans go, and says that ultimately there will be a war between them, but later. This story now seems very dated, however it reflects accurately the American sentiment during the early Cold War period. The theme of the story seems to be in the choices that people make. People make good decisions and people make bad decisions. Those that make good decisions come out well in the end. The story Who am I this time? is an example of Vonnegut"s stories that show a concern about role playing, and people being who they are, and aren"t. The main character, a very shy hardware clerk only comes alive when he is in a role in the local theatre group. The director in the story decides to do the play A Streetcar Named Desire. The hardware clerk, Harry becomes Marlin Brando in the play and a young girl named Helene who plays Stella in the play falls in love with him. Because harry was left on the doorstep of a church as a baby he has no concept of self, and Helene was always employed moving from place to place, so she never developed a personality of her own. Both of them therefore yearn for an environment in which they can blend in and feel that they have an identity. They marry, and their marriage only works because they are constantly reading lines of couples from various plays. The story More Stately Mansions was about a woman who from the beginning of the story is rather odd and in the end seems completely psychotic. The theme of the story is that the dream is always more precious than the reality. A couple moves into a suburban home and discovers that their neighbor Grace has an obsession with home decorating. Grace invites them over for a couple drinks and they discover that Grace"s home is rather dull, dirty, and everything is falling apart. Grace falls sick and while she is in the hospital her husband inherits enough money that he can do all of her decorating that she"d been dreaming about over the years. When she came home from the hospital however the only thing that she notices is the bouquet of roses that her husband bought her. She seems to think that this was the way that she left her house, and that it was always perfect and beautiful. She sits on the couch, looking rather depressed and her husband announces that a new Home Beautiful has come in the mail, to which she replies read one and you"ve read them all when she used to be obsessed with the magazines. The Foster Portfolio is one of the most pessimistic of any of the stories. IT is one of his many stories about the relationships between fathers and sons. Herbert Foster works as a bookkeeper to support his wife and child. He has inherited almost a million-dollar stock portfolio, but he feels that the money is tainted because it came from his father, a man who abandoned wife and child to devote his life to playing music and to drinking gin and he won"t touch it. Three nights a week Herbert goes out to a cheap bar because he had the respectability his mother had hammered into him. But just as priceless as that was an income not quite big enough to go around. It left him no alternative but- in the holy names of wife, child and home- to play piano in a dive, and breathe smoke, and drink gin, to be Firehouse Harris, his father"s son, three nights out of seven. Foster"s split personality causes him to find it necessary to create roles that help him cope with what seem unbearable problems. The story that gives this book the biggest merit is The Kid Nobody Could Handle. The music teacher, Helmholtz is appalled to find that Jim Donnini, a juvenile delinquent from the streets of Chicago, has been vandalizing Lincoln High School. Filled with compassion and desperation Helmholtz offers him his most prized possession, John Philip Sousa"a trumpet. When the boy initially shows no interest, Helmholtz hammers the instrument against a coat tree and mutter that Life is no damn good ; and only then does Donnini show any interest in Helmholtz. With the start of a new school semester, Jim Donnini takes the last seat of the worst trumpet section of the C band. As Helmholtz tells him and the rest of the band Our aim is to make the world more beautiful than it was when we came into it"¦ Love yourself"¦and make your instrument sing about it Vonnegut is saying in this story that without a sense of self worth it is impossible for anyone to achieve anything. The entire book Welcome to the Monkey House was banned only a few times, for it isn"t taught in very many schools. However the main example of it being banned was in Alabama, where a teacher was fired for teaching it because the book promoted the killing off of the elderly, and free sex. The teacher later sued, and won. These two things, the killing off of the elderly, and free sex were both in the actual story welcome to the Monkey House. The story did promote free sex, but only normal amounts of sex. The idea was that the pills were wrong, not that people now should have more sex. As for the killing off of the elderly, the idea was for the killing off of anyone that wanted to die because there was a large population problem going on. There were also many good reasons for the book being taught. The book has many morals taught in it and just about every story has a positive message in it. The positive message in All the Kings Horses was about making good choices and being bold in life, the message in The Kid Nobody Could Handle was about believing in yourself. There was even a positive message in More Stately Mansions that dreams are sometimes better than reality, and that the dreamer is not necessarily bad. The positive message in Welcome to the Monkey House is that sometimes the big guy is wrong, and change can be brought about by one small person, along with that we shouldn"t as a society be afraid of sex. In most cases censorship indeed seems to be only a violation of peoples right to free speech. It is, in the words of the Disinformation website an easy way for prudish control freaks to get their jollies. However, there are cases in which censorship is right. For children, there is a reason for censorship, but adults can decide whether or not they want to read books like Welcome to the Monkey House.   

Erin Lowe- also author of many outstanding American History essays.... of which two are published somewhere here..... one about Peter Noyes, and another about Mercantilism..... Books won"t stay banned. They won"t burn. Ideas won"t go to jail… In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always...

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Faustus died a death that few...Faustus died a death that few could bear to imagine, much less experience. After knowing for many years when exactly he would die, he reached the stroke of the hour of his destiny in a cowardly, horrid demeanor. Finally, when the devils appeared at the stroke of midnight, tearing at his flesh as they draw him into his eternal torment, he screams for mercy without a soul, not even God Himself, to help him. However, what to consider Doctor John Faustus from Christopher Marlow's dramatic masterpiece The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus is a very debatable issue. For example, one can see that he threw his life away for the sake of knowledge, becoming obsessed with the knowledge that he could possess. In this case, he is unarguably a medieval tragic hero. However, when considering the fact that he died for the sake of gaining knowledge, pushing the limits of what is possible in spite of obvious limitations and, eventually, paying the ultimate penalty, he could be considered a Renaissance martyr. These two points of view have their obvious differences, and depending on from what time period one chooses to place this piece of literature varies the way that the play is viewed. However, the idea of considering him a martyr has many flaws, several of which are evident when considering who Faustus was before he turned to necromancy and what he did once he obtained the powers of the universe. Therefore, inevitably, the audience in this play should realize that Faustus was a great man who did many great things, but because of his hubris and his lack of vision, he died the most tragic of heroes. Christopher Marlowe was borne on February 6, 1564 Discovering Christopher Marlowe 2, in Canterbury, England, and baptized at St. George's Church on the 26th of the same month, exactly two months before William Shakespeare was baptized at Stratford-upon-Avon Henderson 275. He was the eldest son of John Marlowe of the Shoemaker's Guild and Katherine Arthur, a Dover girl of yeoman stock Henderson 275. Upon graduating King's School, Canterbury, he received a six-year scholarship to Cambridge upon the condition that he studies for the church. He went to Cambridge, but had to be reviewed by the Privy Council before the university could award him his M.A. degree because of his supposed abandonment of going to church. He was awarded his degree in July of 1587 at the age of twenty-three after the Privy Council had convinced Cambridge authorities that he had "behaved himself orderly and discreetly whereby he had done Her Majesty good service" Henderson 276. After this, he completed his education from Cambridge over a period of six years. During this time he wrote some plays, including Hero and Leander, along with translating others, such as Ovid's Amores and Book I of Lucan's Pharsalia Henderson 276. During the next five years he lived in London where he wrote and produced some of his plays and traveled a great deal on government commissions, something that he had done while trying to earn his M.A. degree. In 1589, however, he was imprisoned for taking part in a street fight in which a man was killed; later he was discharged with a warning to keep the peace Henderson 276. He failed to do so; three years later he was summoned to court for assaulting two Shoreditch constables, although there is no knowledge on whether or not he answered these charges Henderson 276. Later Marlowe was suspected of being involved in the siege of Roven where troops were sent to contain some Protestants who were causing unrest in spite of the Catholic League. Then, after sharing a room with a fellow writer Thomas Kyd, he was accused by Kyd for having heretical papers which "denied the deity of Jesus Christ" Discovering Christopher Marlowe 2. Finally, a certain Richard Baines accused him of being an atheist. Before he could answer any of these charges, however, he was violently stabbed above his right eye while in a fight Ingram Frizer Discovering Christopher Marlowe 2. Doctor Faustus could be considered one of Marlowe's masterpieces of drama. It was his turn from politics, which he established himself in with his plays Edward II and Tamburlaine the Great, to principalities and power. In it he asks the reader to analyze what the limits are for human power and knowledge and ponder what would happen if one man tried to exceed those limits. The play opens up with Faustus, who is supposedly the most learned man in the world, talking about how he has mastered every field of knowledge known to man. He is bored with theology, finding that man is doomed no matter what happens, and he has become a master physician, curing a whole village of a plague. He feels that there is nothing left for him to learn, as is frustrated by this; therefore, he decides to delve into the realm of necromancy and magic. He calls upon two other magicians, Valdes and Cornelius, to teach him how to conjure. He learns to do so, and upon his first private experiment into the black art, Mephistophilis appears to him in the form of an ugly devil. This repulses Faustus, so he tells this devil to go away and return as a friar. The devil does so, but then explains that it was not his conjuring that brought forth this devil, but the fact that he conjured and, therefore, cursed the trinity that made him appear. Faustus realizes the amount of power that he can gain from being a necromancer, so he tells Mephistophilis to return to hell and tell Satan that he will sell his soul to him for twenty-four years of absolute power. Satan agrees to this, telling Faustus to sign the bargain in blood. Faustus does so even after a Good Angel appears to him trying to convince him not to do so and several omens appear which warn him not to make the bond. For the next twenty-four years Faustus, with Mephistophilis as his servant, has absolute power. However, in spite of this, he spends his time going to several different important places to display his power in the form of petty tricks. In Rome, Faustus turns himself invisible and, along with Mephistophilis, pokes fun at the Pope and some friars. He also goes to the German court where he shows of his power to Emperor Carolus by conjuring the ghost of Alexander the Great. When one knight is sarcastic with Faustus' tricks, he places a set of horns on his head. Later on, Faustus sells his horse to a horse-courser on the condition that he not take the horse into water. Soon thereafter, the horse-courser returns, furious that his horse turned into a bundle of hay in the middle of the lake. Finally, later on in the play, Faustus conjures up Helen of Troy for some fellow scholars for their viewing pleasure. As the play draws to its climax, Faustus begins to realize what he has done and that death, which he once thought didn't exist, is indeed his ultimate destiny. Several times he is given the hint that he should repent to God. For example, an old man enters towards the end of the play and informs Faustus that it isn't too late to repent because he himself was once a sinner but repented. Faustus still doesn't listen. Finally, as the clock strikes twelve upon his hour of destiny, many ugly devils appear and drag him off as he finally screams for mercy. After finishing reading or seeing this play, one can argue that Faustus was a Renaissance hero. In fact, some argue that this play epitomizes the ideals of the Renaissance: egocentrism and the over-indulgence of knowledge. "The lust for power that led to the excess of the Renaissance"”the slaughter of Montezuma and countless American Indians, the launching of the Armada, the very creation of the English Church out of Henry's spleen"”is epitomized in Dr. Faustus" Shipley 404. Because Faustus gave his life and soul to Satan himself for the sake of gaining a greater knowledge is proof that he is a Renaissance hero. He rebels against the limitations set forth by medieval ideals and makes a contract for knowledge and power. In essence, Faustus, like every other Renaissance man, tries to prove that man can rise above the current set of limitations. Faustus does go to extremes by chancing damnation in order to gain his knowledge; however, he is considered tragic and God himself is seen as the bad guy because He set forth limitations on knowledge and makes man suffer eternal damnation when trying to exceed those limitations. The comedy then comes out when one thinks that man was created by God and, therefore, given his thirst for knowledge by God. When he tries to gain knowledge, then, he is damned forever. This divine comedy is one of the ironies that one can perceive in Marlowe's play. However, this Renaissance view of Marlowe being a martyr much less realistic when considering Faustus to be a medieval tragic hero. In fact, for the very reasons that one can argue that Faustus is martyr, one can give strong evidence that he fell from grace and became a tragic hero. First of all, the Faustus claims that he is a master in all fields of study. In medicine, his "[prescriptions are] hung up like monuments / Whereby whole cities have escaped the plague" 1.1.20-21. He is bored with the study of law for "this study fits a mercenary drudge / Who aims at nothing but external trash, / Too servile and illiberal to me" 1.1.34-36. With theology, Faustus claims that he is dumbfounded by the loose translation of the quote from Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death." This final area is where the irony is greatly seen in the play. Throughout the play, Faustus is given the option to repent for these sins and turn back towards God. When the Good Angel and the Bad Angel appear to him throughout the play, both sides try to persuade Faustus that they are right. The Bad Angel tells Faustus about how he should delve into necromancy, for this art is "wherein all nature's treasury is contained" 1.1.75. The Good Angel, on the other hand, warns that by dealing with magic, he would ask for "God's heavy wrath upon thy head" 1.1.72. At first, Faustus is so eager to gain this knowledge from Satan that he ignores the Good Angel. Later, when the Good Angel appears again and pleads for him to think on heavenly things, but again Faustus, either because he doesn't want to or is afraid to, ignores this angel. The irony comes from Faustus' view on the statement from the Book of Romans mentioned above. Faustus only recalls the first half of the verse; the entire verse states, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." His oversight of this pivotal verse, which in itself is the center for Christianity, is the ultimate irony in his downfall. He refu Secondly, Faustus originally asks Mephistophilis and Satan for the power to do anything, "be it to make the moon drop from her sphere / Or the ocean to overwhelm the world" 1.3.38-39. He is even promised this power for twenty-four years if he sells his soul to Satan. However, when he is given his extraordinary power, he resorts to using it for petty tricks and tomfoolery. Originally, Faustus gained this power in order to learn more about the essential nature of the universe. However, when he travels to Rome, he doesn't try to use his power in this way; he becomes invisible, boxes the pope in the ear and snatches cups away from the pope's hands. He then causes fireworks to explode at the feet of the cardinals and the pope. Finally, he returns with Mephistophilis, both dressed as cardinals, and poses as two fathers returning from a mission. All of this is pure slapstick comedy to the audience; it is also comedy against Faustus. He is given great powers, and resorts to using them for petty tricks. He does the same thing later on, while at the German Court and Emperor Carolus the Fifth, where he makes the ghost of Alexander the Great appear and where he also makes the horns appear atop the head of the knight, Benvolio. He then shows how his one-time thirst for the secrets of the universe become overshadowed by his simple lustful fantasies when he conjures up Helen of Troy and then, once he is faced by the old man and his warnings, exits with this legendary beauty. Not only is he blinded so much by his power that he resorts to simple tricks, but he is reduced to the indulgence of his simple pleasures. Through these displays of his necromantic powers Faustus shows the true tragedy of his character. Finally, and probably his most tragic flaw, is the fact that he tries to gain a knowledge that is completely forbidden to him. Although the Renaissance view says that from the search of such forbidden power one become mighty and truly great, the medieval view says that there are certain limits for man and he should never try to break those limits. In nature, each and every thing obeys a certain order that God Himself set. First there is God, then the angels, then man, then animals, and finally inanimate objects. If man tries to sink lower into the realm of the animal, which implies trying to succumb to man's animalistic lusts and tendencies, one is seen as succumbing to the "id" personality, as called by Sigmund Freud. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, one can try to become more become superhuman, attempting to break the limits of man. Lucifer was once of the most beautiful angels until he was guilty of "aspiring pride and insolence / For which God threw him from the face of heaven" 1.3.68-69. Faustus thinks that he can become like God by gaining these great powers; little does he know that he is damning himself to eternal torment. Even when his final seconds are approaching, he tries to break the limitation that, since time began, man has tried to circumvent: time itself. Although he was given all of the power of the universe, he was ironically not given the power to halt time, and as he is about to meet his destiny, more time is all he can ask for so that he can repent for his sins: Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven, That time may cease and midnight never come; Fair Nature's eye, rise, rise again, and make Perpetual day; or let this hour be but A year, a month, a week, a natural day, That Faustus may repent and save his soul! O lente lente currite noctis equi 5.3.133-139. This last line, meaning "Slowly, slowly run, O horses of the night," sums up Faustus' desperation and tragic nature very thoroughly. Once he didn't believe in death or in hell; sadly, now he realizes that those two things are the only reality he will have from then on. Over time, this play has received many critiques. In fact, there is question on whether or not Marlowe actually wrote this play in its entirety. One critic says that "this drama should be regarded as a skeletal structure of the play written by Marlowe, for the surviving manuscripts are so interspersed with comic scenes and the lines themselves are so often revised according to whims of the actors that the original writing must be culled out of the surviving version" "Dr. Faustus" 261. This same author, when thinking along the same lines as the above quote, says, "the exploits of Faustus are frequently rendered pure low comedy" "Dr. Faustus" 261. From this he concluded that these parts weren't written at all by Marlowe. Although this may be true, as the stylistic differences between the comical and the serious scenes is very broad, drawing this conclusion from the fact that the slapstick comedy that Faustus and Mephistophilis exhibit together is of a much different tone from the rest of the play is preposterous. In my opinion, Marlowe included these scenes and these obvious examples of comedy to show the true tragedy of Faustus. He begins the play as a great man who is a master in every field of knowledge known to man. The best way to represent his truly dramatic turn-around is to show Faustus becoming involved in petty tricks and antics to show of his incredible power. This true tragedy is, I believe, a step that Marlowe consciously took in order to show the dramatic change in the character of Faustus. I am not saying that someone else besides Marlowe couldn't have written these scenes. However, when looking at the debate from this point of view, it is very possible that Marlowe did write them intentionally to show the dramatic change in Doctor Faustus. Faustus was indeed a tragic hero. Many scholars and literary experts may debate that, because this play was written in the Renaissance, Christopher Marlowe intended that Doctor Faustus be seen as a martyr trying to attain that which was forbidden to man in a time when doing so was the noble thing to do. This is not true, however. Doctor Faustus was a tragic hero through and through, and the way that he presents himself in the play is solid evidence for this. To begin with, he feels that he can justify his turning to witchcraft and necromancy by his gaining of all other knowledges. The irony here is that he never did, or he would have realized that even after he had committed blasphemy by conjuring spirits, he could have turned back to God. He also is a tragic hero because of his methods of using his new power. Instead of using it to attain the secrets of the universe, he plays petty tricks and tomfoolery on various important people around the world, including the pope and the German emperor. Finally, he proved his tragic nature by trying to move above and beyond the limitations set by God himself. Faustus knew that he had to abide by certain laws and rules that God set aside for all of mankind. Faustus knew his limitations, and thus by trying to break those, he damned himself to eternal torment. Ironically, Faustus could have been the most incredible human being who ever lived. If he had repented, the world would have seen that God is truly merciful because he forgave such a blasphemous heathen as Faustus. Faustus could have become an example for all of mankind and proven that if he could be forgiven, then all could be forgiven. However, because he was stubborn, ignorant, and blind, he refused to see that he was never truly damned until he was drug by the devils into the heart of hell itself.   

Faustus died a death that few could bear to imagine, much less experience. After knowing for many years when exactly he would die, he reached the stroke of the hour of his destiny in a cowardly, horrid demeanor. Finally, when the devils appeared at the stroke of midnight, tearing at...

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I. Introduction "These books are written...I. Introduction "These books are written chiefly to the young, the ignorant, and the idle, to whom they serve as lectures of conduct, and introductions into life. They are the entertainment of minds unfurnished with ideas, and therefore easily susceptible of impressions; not fixed by principles, and therefore easily following the current of fancy; not informed by experience, and consequently open to every false suggestions and partial account." "” Samuel Johnson "[W]e are polluting the world with our television programs, our movies and so forth, our books. We are polluting the whole world. We"ve made the world drunk, if you will, with the wine of our fornication. The whole world has been affected by Hollywood." "” Pat Robertson Creators of entertainment have always been made to answer for the effects that their works have on their audience, and on the larger society. However, the Spanish Inquisition had a much more invasive and powerful presence than modern critics of popular entertainment. Miguel de Cervantes published Don Quixote during the height of the Inquisition. Inquisitors' stamps of approval are branded into the introductions of both parts: "I have had the book "¦ submitted to examination. It contains nothing against the faith or good morals." This overarching concern about the evils within entertainment must have had an oppressive effect. Yet, Cervantes also sees the power to entertain as a wonderful power to create; indeed, it is this power in the romances of chivalry that drives Alonzo Quijaño to become Don Quixote. With this in mind, we turn to the adventures Don Quixote has with the duke and duchess. Two opinions on their presence in the novel dominate literary criticism. Either they exist as a necessary device to give Don Quixote a chance to complete "real" chivalric tasks or at least ones that he does not create himself out of madness, or they are cruel, selfish, or crazy, and torture Don Quixote for their own pleasure. However, both of these interpretations overlook Cervantes's valuable insight into the role the duke and duchess play as producers of entertainment. The duke and the duchess are conventional readers of Don Quixote. However, they have unlimited funds at their disposal, so they may respond to the book in ways that ordinary readers could not. It is as if they are billionaires who see a movie that they absolutely love, and consequently decide to buy the rights to make the sequel. They hire the same actors, and make the movie world their own. Yet, as novice producers, they have not yet fully realized the power of fiction to shape both those creating it as well as the world consuming it. Don Quixote provides the reader with a brilliant depiction of how entertainment is produced, and what effects it can have on reality. II. The Characters of the Duke and Duchess Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh, writing in the early twentieth century, describes the duke and the duchess as readers who fall in love so deeply with Don Quixote's imaginary world that they "set their own business aside in order to take part in the make-believe, and to be the persons of Don Quixote's dream. There was never any Kingdom of Barataria"¦so the Duke lent a village for the purpose"¦ In this way"¦the dream of Don Quixote makes the happiness it does not find." Raleigh sees the duke and duchess as helpful participants in Don Quixote's chivalric world who facilitate its marvelous fictional creation. In other words, the duke and duchess are conniving with Don Quixote and Sancho, although perhaps they serve more as parental figures, encouraging their children in make-believe play. They use their resources to produce the entertainment of Don Quixote's world, and bring happiness to the consumers of Don Quixote "“ or at least for Raleigh. Yet this interpretation seems lacking, as it glosses over the tone of the actions of the duke and duchess. After convincing Don Quixote and Sancho that Dulcinea's enchantment can be cured by 3,000 lashes to Sancho's back, "the duke and duchess, pleased with their hunt and at having carried out their plans so cleverly and successfully, returned to their castle resolved to follow up their joke; for to them there was no reality that could afford them more amusement." At first glance, this seems to be consistent with Raleigh's thesis: the duke and duchess love Don Quixote's world, and strive to keep it primed with fresh amusing adventures. Yet, in doing so, they treat Don Quixote as a fictional character, and care not for his humanity. Quixote and Sancho are the targets of mental deception and physical abuse from the duke and duchess. Both are deluded by elaborate pranks, singed from Clavileño's explosion, Quixote attacked by cats, and Sancho trampled by his townspeople, to name a few examples. Cervantes is very clear in demonstrating the tendency of the duke and the duchess to abandon humanity for their own amusement. In particular, they react violently when their visions for entertainment are ruined, as Tosilos does when he refuses to fight Don Quixote in order to marry the daughter of Doña Rodriguez. The duke and duchess impose an extremely harsh two-week imprisonment on Tosilos for his disruption of their production. Critics Vladimir Nabokov and Cesáreo Bandera highlight these cruelties, describing the ducal castle as "a kind of laboratory where two poor souls, Don Quixote and Sancho, are vivisected" and the duke and duchess as "stepping below the dignity of their functions in a manner which is explicitly described as reprehensible." Nabokov's analysis of the duke and duchess is more comprehensive and more widely read, so we will use him as our touchstone for this school of criticism. Nabokov does not see any happiness in Don Quixote's fictional world because he does not see the fictional world as substantially separate from the "real" world of the duke and duchess. For Nabokov, Don Quixote is a mentally disturbed human being who is ridiculed and tortured for almost a quarter of the entire book by the duke and duchess. Yet this interpretation is flawed as well, but not for want of reading Raleigh. Raleigh's interpretation relies on feeling a tone of joy in Don Quixote's adventures; Nabokov argues convincingly that there can be no such joy in the face of such abject torture. What Nabokov overlooks, however, is Cervantes' irony. This is the essential problem with Nabokov's reading of Don Quixote, as highlighted by Catherine Kunce. Before we address this claim on the duke and duchess, it will be helpful to understand her basic argument with Nabokov. Here, she persuasively argues her case in regard in regard to Don Quixote's recanting: "[Nabokov] faults the ending of Don Quixote, because 'when Don Quixote recants at the end of the book, "¦ it is neither from gratitude to his Christian God, nor is it under divine compulsion "“ but because it conforms to the moral utilities of his dark day' 18. Nabokov seems not to notice that Cervantes is doing more than appealing to convention as an easy artistic solution to end his tale. But Don Quixote's recantation exposes rather than 'conforms to' the 'moral utilities' of Cervantes' time. Nabokov misses the fine irony that Don Quixote is 'confessing' to a compoundedly 'mad' mission that sustains some of Christianity's loftiest, presumably antiquated, ideals. Don Quixote undertakes his quest, after all, because 'many were the wrongs that had to be righted, grievances redressed, injustices made good, abuses removed, and duties discharged' Cervantes 29"¦By having Don Quixote 'confess,' Cervantes unmasks both a virtue beyond insanity, and an insanity behind a 'virtuous' society's exacting of such 'confessions.'" This same analysis may be applied to Nabokov's reading of the duke and duchess. Nabokov criticizes all of the ducal episodes as "chop-licking satisfaction with a joke and the immediate planning of another just as brutal." However, Nabokov overlooks Cervantes' moral lesson. He uses the brutality of the duke and duchess not for entertainment, but precisely to show the evils of entertainment without morality. They all read the romances of chivalry, but Don Quixote extracts virtue, and the duke and duchess extract amoral amusement. Cervantes acknowledges the "moral utilities" of the Inquisition, as he recognizes the ability of the romances of chivalry to warp the minds of the unthinking duke and duchess, but he also subverts the moral utilities, presenting the "mad" Don Quixote as the one consistent virtuous character in the novel. In addition, the "torture" of the duke and duchess helps to sustain Don Quixote's constructed moral world. Throughout the second part, Don Quixote is much more melancholy than in the first. His modus operandi of creating chivalric situations out of ordinary situations falters, and he is left only with imagined enchanters and an entirely created story in the cave of Montesinos. In one of the only truly candid moments that Don Quixote shares, he whispers, "Sancho, as you would have us believe what you saw in heaven, I require you to believe me as to what I saw in the cave of Montesinos." Indeed, he recognizes how inherently fragile his existence is as a knight of chivalry. Yet the presence of the duke and duchess "“ even at the very beginning of their interactions with Don Quixote "“ inspire Quixote's knight-errantry. When he first approaches the castle, it is "the first time that he thoroughly felt and believed himself to be a real knight-errant and not an imaginary one." The adventures created by the duke and duchess help reinforce Don Quixote's constructed world. These new adventures also highlight the virtues of the knight in the face of evil. In other words, the more torturous the adventure, the more the character of Don Quixote builds as a true knight-errant. When Quixote is inventing his enchanters, his position is entirely created, and therefore dependent on his madness. However, when the duke and duchess terrify Don Quixote with a flood of cats and bells in order to reap some personal amusement, "it cost him five days of confinement to his bed." After Altisidora's first plea for Quixote's love, "he shut the window with a bang and, as much out of temper and out of sorts as if some great misfortune had befallen him, stretched himself on his bed." Even Cide Hamete feels moved to comment on Quixote's condition after the bursting of stitches in his only pair of stockings, exclaiming, "O poverty, poverty!" Quixote's state of poverty and depression reinforces the need for knight-errantry in the world. For the reader, it creates a longing for the "old" Don Quixote, happy and righting wrongs throughout the country. This is the result of the adventures of the duke and duchess; without them, Don Quixote may have lost his belief in his knight-errantry. Thus, a critical examination of the duke and duchess yields an ironic picture. They are both readers, who delight, like Sir Walter Raleigh, in Don Quixote's knight-errantry, and enchanters, who, in Nabokov's words, "torture" the knight. Ironically, Cervantes uses their torture to highlight and sustain Don Quixote's goodness. Don Quixote needs the duke and duchess in "reality" to be his enchanters in the world of knight-errantry. III. The Larger Significance of the Duke and Duchess: Amoral Entertainment In addition to examining the role that the duke and duchess have in relation to Don Quixote, it is also important to see their relation to the book as a whole. Ruth El-Saffar argues, "Don Quixote is in many ways a lesson in reading. All the major characters are drawn into the story by virtue of their interest in imaginatively involving themselves in the lives of others or in ideas which carry them away from their daily routine." Characters within Don Quixote "read" Quixote's constructed world of knight-errantry, and are so taken by its entertaining power that they attempt to close the distance between their "real" existence and the imaginary world of Don Quixote. Quixote himself seems a model of someone who has transcended this boundary between reality and glorious fiction, and so other characters attempt to follow him in. However, El-Saffar points out that as soon as a character begins to "write" this imagined story, that character begins to lose control over his or her own "real" life. This model applies quite easily to the duke and duchess, as we are told by Cervantes that the duke and duchess enjoy nothing more than the company of Don Quixote and Sancho. However, the duke and the duchess are unique among the characters who attempt to "write" the adventures of Don Quixote because they can and do fully give themselves to the creation of the fictional world. They are the archetype of modern entertainment producers, using their unlimited funds and willing actors to create a sequel of enormous proportions with fantastic special effects. The duke and duchess give up all critical distance between their reality and their fictional creations; their only goal is amusement. As producers, the duke and duchess are wildly successful. Cide Hamete tells us that the plots the duke and duchess create for Quixote are "so clever that they form the best adventures this great history contains." Cervantes presumably would not agree with the absolute quality of this statement, but there is some truth to the superlative. The adventures with the duke and duchess are the standard travails of knight-errantry. They involve a mythical flying horse, a giant, damsels in distress, and a fair seductive maiden. Their magnitude makes the other adventures of Don Quixote pale in comparison. Furthermore, the adventures are wildly popular. The servants of the duke and duchess are so taken with the story that they not only work to build the visions of their masters, but they also add new elements to the fiction, like washing Don Quixote's beard. In addition to the participants, readers of Don Quixote delight in these adventures. They comprise about a fourth of the entire novel, and so must contribute to its larger success. Yet, in the end, the situations the duke and duchess create for Don Quixote are simplistic and formulaic devices used again and again in the romances of chivalry. Their storylines add nothing to the uniqueness or brilliance of Don Quixote; their sequel is not The Godfather Part Two, but rather Die Hard 2; not Henry IV Part I, but The Merry Wives of Windsor: the same vision, but blown up in proportion, and executed without thought. We distinguish here between the creations of the duke and duchess and the reactions of Don Quixote and Sancho; the former are simplistic and formulaic, whereas the latter carry a deeply moral and virtuous message. However, before we can understand the full magnitude of Cervantes' commentary, we must first examine the consequences of the duke and duchess's productions. The power to entertain is also a power to influence in unforeseen ways. L. Fradenburg gives the popular perception of this concept: "The phrase 'entertainment value' usually implies three things: entertainment does have some kind of value; something that has entertainment value isn't very valuable otherwise; and paradoxically this very lack of value is what gives entertainment its ability to enchant and manipulate both masses and individuals. 'Entertainment' now is always already 'lite' [sic]; yet again, its triviality is held responsible for its power to stupefy an entire planet, raise the violence levels of entire populations, corrupt youth, "¦and destroy cultural diversity." The "entertainment value" of the first part of Don Quixote brings such joy to the duke and duchess that it drives them to forego any affairs of state or moral duties they may have to spend more time with their "trivial" adventures. The utter lack of thought in reading the basic facts of the adventures has the power to manipulate the moral fibers of all servants and friends of the duke and duchess "“ save the priest, to whom we will return. In addition, the trivial way in which violence is depicted in the romances of chivalry has obviously influenced the duke and duchess, as they care not a whit for any of Don Quixote's injuries. In fact, even after his face left "as full of holes as a sieve" as the result of one of their pranks, the duke and duchess grieve not at his pain, but at the fact that it causes him to withdraw from their adventures for five days. Fradenburg explains: "The problem is not that entertainment, being trivial, gives the brain such an easy time that it loses the ability to reason and reflect, but rather that entertainment is the very means whereby inattention is transformed into attention, indifference into the possibility of attachment, ignorance into a willingness to 'at least try it "“ come on, it's really good.'" The duke and duchess are so enthralled with the concept of these adventures that they want more; the attractiveness of the entertaining world is extremely addictive. Cervantes sees this same power in entertainment. After all, Don Quixote is created out of a mad desire for the romances of chivalry. Quixote himself is in much the same situation as the duke and duchess. All love chivalry, and all strive to remain within Quixote's fantastical creation. However, there is a distinct difference between Quixote's readings and the duke and duchess's. The duke and duchess are obsessed with fun adventures, and, as Fradenburg puts it, are always '"lite". Quixote, on the other hand, is a more careful reader. He worries about the "seams and scars" that must be inflicted after so many battles, and is also deeply committed to the chivalric elements. The duke and duchess ignore any sense of virtue in their creations, whereas Quixote is constantly concerned with his faithfulness to Dulcinea, and his duty to protect the weak and oppressed, even going so far as to free the rightfully imprisoned. For Cervantes, the attitude of the duke and duchess to amuse-at-all-costs is certainly harmful. As Nabokov and Bandera note, it is harmful to Don Quixote himself. However, Quixote is a character, and in placing himself as a knight-errant, necessarily exposes himself to this behavior. Furthermore, Quixote and Sancho are paid for their efforts, both in money "two hundred gold crowns" and with invaluable adventures to bulk their fame. But this is not the harm that concerns Cervantes. Cervantes is worried about the readers of these adventures. Although the duke and duchess are the subject of social criticism "“ too much money, too much idleness, very little virtue "“ their adventures are very amusing, and enhance the novel's effect. David Gushee sees that "the imagined and depicted worlds"¦encounter the journeying and struggling and wandering and developing souls of the consumers of culture." Thus, while some readers, like Quixote or perhaps we should call him Quijaño, may be able to see the problems with pure entertainment, others, like the duke and duchess, receive only hedonistic pleasure that encourages future thoughtless action in search of more pleasure. Gushee gives a modern parallel with the film Gladiator: "The film stimulated much thought for me about the decadence of the Roman Empire and the appeal of the counter-cultural love ethic of the early Christian movement rapidly spreading in that context"¦[but the reaction of my son's friends was that] it was 'real cool' when guys got their heads chopped off." Cervantes shows that the influence of entertainment on the unthinking or undeveloped mind is certainly dangerous the duke and duchess, and can even be harmful on the thinking mind Quixote. IV. Cervantes' Moral Entertainment Cervantes, aware of the power of entertainment, infuses his novel with a deeper moral consciousness. He wants to be the responsible producer in contrast to the duke and duchess and so many authors of romances of chivalry. How to do this, and still keep the novel entertaining, is certainly a difficult task. However, he is aided by his characters, and in particular, Don Quixote himself. Quixote's complete and utter dedication to virtue certainly resonates with the reader, and so Cervantes must tap into Quixote's virtue to show the morality in the adventures of the duke and duchess. Cervantes makes his first delineation between virtue and the actions of the duke and duchess by surrounding the ducal episodes with religious imagery. The episodes begin with a dinner between the duke, duchess, Don Quixote, Sancho, and a priest. However, the priest refuses to be a part of the adventures in which the duke and duchess wish to take part, warning the duke, "Señor, your excellency will have to give account to God for what this good man does" and then leaving, never returning to the castle again. And as soon as Quixote leaves the castle, he runs into men carrying carved images of Christian saints, and after seeing them, remarks, "I take it as a happy omen, brothers, to have seen what I have"¦perhaps with improved luck and a sounder mind I might direct my steps in a better path than I am following at present." The absence of any sane moral balancing presence during the ducal adventures is made even more obvious by the fact that these Christian moments are really the only two times in the entire work that truly religious elements enter into the work the priest in Don Quixote's town has a significantly secular presence in the book, disguising himself and avidly consuming romances of chivalry. In addition to defining the episodes with the duke and duchess as a valley of anti-Christian activity, Cervantes also invests a lot of care in Quixote's virtuous responses to their pranks. In particular, Quixote continues to stick to the virtues he sees in knight-errantry, even in the face of horrifyingly embarrassing experiences. The allure of the young Altisidora surely stirs some longing within Quixote's loins, yet "the warmly wooed Don Quixote began to feel alarm," and instead of yielding to his yearnings, he continues his adherence to a strict sense of virtue. And although it seems like everyone within the castle is mad, with Don Quixote himself the maddest, opening the door for the lust every other character now has for creating adventures, when someone living at the castle has a real problem that necessitates a real solution, she chooses Don Quixote as her only savior. Doña Rodríguez seeks out Don Quixote to right the wrongs done to her child by an unfaithful suitor, and he takes this charge as seriously as everything else he has done. This adventure proves Quixote's honesty and virtue more than any other "“ he is truly trying to follow what he sees as the good of knight-errantry. The adventure also shows the absolute commitment that the duke and duchess have to pure and unadulterated entertainment. Since the real suitor cannot be found, they select an actor, at random. When that actor, Tosilos, fails to fulfill his role, they react violently and throw him in jail for two weeks. This contrast in reactions gives Cervantes the critique he needs against the amusement-at-all-costs mission of the duke and duchess. For Cervantes, in creating his wildly entertaining Don Quixote, has also given us a paragon of moral virtue in Don Quixote. V. Conclusion On May 7, 2002, Don Quixote was voted the world's best work of fiction by a poll of popular modern fiction writers, including Salman Rushdie, John Irving, John le Carré, and Norman Mailer, beating the second-place work by more than fifty percent of the votes. This award certainly points to its lasting "entertainment value," as Don Quixote has enchanted and manipulated audiences for centuries. Cervantes recognized his power to entertain his audience, and at the same time, to infuse them with a powerful moral virtuosity. As T.S. Eliot said, "Mankind cannot take very much reality." In order to understand the plights of humanity, we immerse ourselves in fiction, which, in its verisimilitude, gives us better understanding of ourselves. Professional and successful authors of fiction understand the responsibilities and consequences that come with the ability to entertain, as they receive letters about the influence of their work in people's lives. These authors see Cervantes' careful use of his power in Don Quixote. Cervantes upholds the moral virtues, but subverts the moral utilities of the Inquisition. The duke and duchess are perfect examples of perfect citizens in the eyes of the Inquisition: they are sane, they support a priest, and they engage in reading the acceptable literature as determined by the Inquisition. Yet, Cervantes shows that their connection to Christian virtue is nonexistent. Don Quixote, on the other hand, is an enemy of the Inquisition. But he is the only main character who acts at all times with morality in mind. Cervantes creates entertainment, and when his reader is bubbling over with joy in reading the adventures, he will think "at least try it" "“ but instead of merely envisioning violence and lusty affairs, he will be immersed with the virtue and honor that surround Don Quixote.   

I. Introduction "These books are written chiefly to the young, the ignorant, and the idle, to whom they serve as lectures of conduct, and introductions into life. They are the entertainment of minds unfurnished with ideas, and therefore easily susceptible of impressions; not fixed by principles, and therefore easily following...

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