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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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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...

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Racism in African society and its...Racism in African society and its effect on the character of Hally in "MASTER HAROLD" "¦AND THE BOYS. In the play "Master Harold" "¦and the Boys, Hally demonstrates, through repeated acts and expressions, the sentiment of the entire African society at the time the play takes place. In 1950, the policy of apartheid was beginning to be practiced in South Africa. The Population Registration Act was passed, which divided the population into four racial groups Post 112. The Group Area Act of 1950 controlled ownership of property by different races. The 1950 amendment to the Immorality Act prohibited sexual contact between different races. These are the attitudes of the time. Yet, in the beginning of the play, the reader does not sense the separation of Hally and the two black men that later is blatantly portrayed. In fact, we come to learn that Sam and Hally are so close that Hally would actually spend a lot of his time as a child in Sam's room, where they and Willie would play and talk often. So, for part of the play, Sam and Hally reminisce of the old days. For example, there was one time when Sam built a kite out of brown paper and tomato-box wood pasted together with flour and water and with a tail of Hally's mother's old stockings. Hally loved the kite once it was in the air and had a lot of fun with it. Hally almost wishes that he could return to those times because that was a time when "life felt the right size". Fugard 379 Unfortunately, Hally's mood changes drastically throughout the play. When his mother calls from the hospital with news that his father may coming home, Hally quickly becomes very sharp with the two black men. For example, he says to Sam "Tell me something I don't know, Sam. What the hell do you think I was saying to my Mom? All I can say is fuck-it-all." Fugard 387 One of the first derogatory remarks that Hally makes towards Sam comes shortly after Hally's first telephone conversation with his mom. He says "Don't try to be clever, Sam. It doesn't suit you." Fugard 397 We can determine by his mood shift and by his attitude on the phone with his mother, that Hally doesn't want his father to return home for some reason. We find out that his father is a drunken cripple, who has caused Hally shame for most of his life. The play recalls one instance which caused a young Hally to be ashamed of his father. Sam had to carry Hally's father home from a bar because he had passed out drunk. "A crowded main street with all the people watching a little boy following his drunk father on a nigger's back!" Fugard 649. Sam realized that the drunk was no person to be teaching Hally to be a man. That is why he made the kite. So Hally would have something to look up to and be proud of, instead of ashamed. When they were flying the kite together, Sam tied it to a bench and said he couldn't stay. Hally was too young to realize it at the time, but that was a white-only bench. Sam could not stay. This is one example of the restrictions put up between blacks and whites in South Africa during the time of apartheid. The Separate Amenities Act would subject a black man to fines of up to fifty pounds or as much as three months in jail, simply for sitting on a white-only bench. That is the circumstances that Hally grew up around which forced him to have the same kinds of racist views as the rest of the society he lived in. Another of Hally's actions that demonstrated his attitude towards blacks is when he strikes Willie with his ruler. He is only seventeen, and hitting a grown man with a ruler. He can get away with it only because a black man dare not touch a white boy, for fear of the consequences. In the beginning of the play, Sam describes what it is like for black people in jail in South Africa. They are beaten with a cane and humiliated. "They make you lie down on a bench. One policeman pulls down your trousers and holds your ankles, another one pulls your shirt over your head and holds your arms"¦" Fugard 166 Obviously, Hally feels he can treat black men the same way, hitting and humiliating them. After this incident, the three begin talking about ballroom dancing, and they think of it as a perfect world in which "nobody trips or stumbles or bumps into anybody else." Fugard 542 They create their own perfect world with their imaginations, which ballroom dancing symbolizes for them. All is well between them until another call comes from Hally's mother. His father would be coming home. Hally's mood once again takes a violent turn for the worse. Sam, overhearing Hally's conversation with his mom, expresses concern in the issue. Hally only tells him to mind his own business. Soon, Hally begins to talk badly of his father. Sam knows that Hally will say something he regrets, so he tries to warn Hally to quit while he's ahead. Instead, Hally turns his anger on Sam. This is when he makes the next in a series of racial comments. He says that his father is Sam's boss, and when same says that isn't true, because he gets paid by Hally's mom, Hally says "He's a white man and that's good enough for you." Fugard 608 Soon after, Hally tells his father's joke about a nigger's arse not being "fair". He tells Sam he wants to be called "Master Harold" from now on, as a sign of respect. The irony of this situation is quite evident. "Master Harold is a boy, and the 'boys' are men." Post 116 So, Hally changes from the beginning of the play when he seems to have a respect and even a love for Sam, to requiring respect of him. His attitude of superiority over the black man is summed up with his most disrespectful action towards Sam, spitting in his face. Throughout the entire play, Hally never apologizes for his disrespect towards Sam, nor does he even show remorse. The reason is that he doesn't see his behavior is wrong. The society he belonged to deliberately sets out to humiliate black people," Durbach 69 and this created an indifference in the members of that society. In South Africa at this time, there was nothing wrong with a white boy hitting a black man. But if a black man had raised a hand against a white boy, he would have been severely punished. Although the two seem to have a friendly relationship, Hally can choose at any time to threaten Sam with the power he has over him. HALLY: To begin with, why don't you also start calling me Master Harold, like Willie. SAM: ["¦] And if I don't? HALLY: You might just lose your job. Fugard 620-624 And it would be just that easy for Hally to have Sam fired. The reason for Hally's disregard of Sam's feelings is the shame he feels about his father. He feels like he has to humiliate someone else in order to feel less ashamed of himself. So he "echoes his father's bigotry" Durbach 71. Hally brings his feelings of shame and self-doubt and tries to unload them on Sam through insults and abuse. He says it is to be a sign of respect. Here, respect loses meaning in the normal context of the word. It is not really respect, but rather correction by threat. Hally is totally safe in anything he says or does towards the two black men simply because he is a white boy in a society that hates black people. So, all the frustration and anger he has inside him as a result of how ashamed he feels of his father is misdirected onto Sam, the man who actually played the role of "father" better than anyone else. Even to the end of the play, Sam is still trying to persuade Hally to take back his racist comments and actions. He does not use violence, but rather "moral suasion and exemplary behavior" Durbach 74. He behaves like a real man in order to teach the real boy how a man behaves. The irony of the situation is that the black men are expected by society to treat the white boy as their "master" so to speak. They are supposed to treat him like a full grown man, while Hally refers to them occasionally as "the boys". In actuality, the "boys" are teaching Hally to be a man. Sam keeps trying, even offering his hand to Hally before Hally turns it down, and walks into the rain leaving Sam to feel like a failure, because he has failed in what he had set out to do with the young Hally, years ago. To "induce change in a morally receptive child" Durbach 76. When Sam offers his hand to Hally, asking him to come down off that white-only bench, which symbolizes the whole of the racist ideals which Hally demonstrates. Sam has hope for Hally, but an attitude ingrained on him from his birth is not one so easily left behind. Sam never blames Hally, realizing that he is just a "casualty of his upbringing" Durbach 76. So, Hally gets away with everything he does to disrespect the pair of black men, and at the end of the day feels no better about himself than he did before. Sam's inaction did not have the effect on Hally he might have hoped for. But Sam loved the boy, and wanted to teach him the right attitude to have. Unfortunately, the effect society had on Hally's character was too deep. So Hally is just a product of his circumstances, and nothing more.   

Racism in African society and its effect on the character of Hally in "MASTER HAROLD" …AND THE BOYS. In the play "Master Harold" …and the Boys, Hally demonstrates, through repeated acts and expressions, the sentiment of the entire African society at the time the play takes place. In 1950, the...

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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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Novels, are they parallels of the...Novels, are they parallels of the authors lives'? The story of Frankenstein is the first articulation of a woman's experience of pregnancy and related fears. Mary Shelly, in the development and education of the monster, discusses child development and education and how nurturing of a loving parent is extremely important in the moral development of an individual. Thus, in Frankenstein, Mary Shelley examines her own fears and thoughts about pregnancy, childbirth, and child development; hence a link between her and the novel is created. Pregnancy, childbirth, as well as death, played an integral role in the young adult life of Mary Shelley. She mothered four children a miscarriage that almost lead to her death, all before the age of twenty-five. Only one of her children, Percy Florence, survived to adulthood and outlived her. In June of 1816, when she had the waking nightmare, which became the catalyst of the tale, she was only nineteen and had already had her first two children. Her first child, Clara, was born prematurely February 22, 1815 and died March 6. Mary, as any woman would be, was devastated by this and took a long time to recover. The following is a letter that was written by Mary to her friend Hogg the day that the baby died. 6 March 1815 My dearest Hogg my baby is dead "“ will you come to see me as soon as you can "“ I wish to see you "“ It was perfectly well when I went to bed "“ I awoke in the night to give it suck it appeared to be sleeping so quietly that I would not wake it "“ it was dead then but we did out find out till morning "“ from its appearance it evidently died from convulsions "“ Will you come "“ you are so calm a creature and Shelley is afraid of a fever from the milk "“ for I am no longer a mother now. Mary What is informative and devastating about this letter is that Mary turned to Hogg because Percy was so unsupportive. Actually Percy didn't really seem to care that the child was dead and even went out with Claire, leaving Mary alone to suffer in her grief. William, Mary's second child, was born January 24, 1816. William died of malaria June7, 1819. Subsequently, at the time that Mary conceived of the story, her first child had died and her second was only 6 months old. There is no doubt that she expected to be pregnant again and about six months later she was. Pregnancy and child rearing was at the forefront of Mary"s mind at this point in her life. Frankenstein is probably the first story in Western literature the expresses the anxieties of pregnancy. Obviously male writers avoided this topic and it was considered taboo and in poor taste for a woman to discuss it. Mary"s focus on the birth process allowed men to understand female fears about pregnancy and reassured women that they were not alone with their anxieties. The novel expresses Mary's deepest fears; What if my child is born deformed? Could I still love it or would I wish it were dead? What if I can"t love my child? Am I capable of raising a healthy, normal child? Will my child die? Could I wish my own child to die? Will my child kill me in childbirth? Mary was expressing her fears related to the death of her first child, her ability to nurture, and the fact that her mother died having her. All of this is expressed in Victor Frankenstein"s complete failure in parenting. For approximately nine months Victor Frankenstein labored on the creation of his "child". Finally on a "dreary night in November: he witnesses the "birth": "I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs." Frankenstein pg. 51 Instead of reaching out to his child, Victor rushes out of the room disgusted by the abnormality of his creation. When the creature follows after him, Victor runs away in horror completely abandoning his child. While creating his child, Victor never considered whether this creature would even want to exist. He also didn"t take enough care with the creature"s appearance. He could not take the time to make small parts so he created a being of gigantic size. Victor never considered how such a creature would be able to exist with human beings. He did not take time with the features either and created a being with a horrifying appearance. Unable to accept his creation, Victor abandons his "child" and all parental responsibility. He even wishes that his "child" were dead. "I gnashed my teeth, my eyes became inflamed, and I ardently wished to extinguish that life which I has so thoughtlessly bestowed" pg. 87 The creature, himself, realizes that a child that is deprived of a loving family becomes a monster. The creature repeatedly insists that he was born good but compelled by others to do evil. Mary Shelley bases this argument in Rousseau"s Emile and Second Discourse. Mary"s account of the creature"s mental and moral development follow the theories of David Hartley and John Locke. Mary Shelley read Rousseau"s Emile in 1816. Rousseau stated that: "God makes all things good; man meddles with them and they become evil." Rousseau specifically attributed moral failings to the lack of a mother"s love. Without mothering and a loving education " a man left to himself from birth would be more of a monster that the rest." Thus, Mary Shelley is suggesting that a rejected and unmothered child can become a killer, especially a killer of its own family. There is definitely a strong link between the novel's plot and the events of Mary Shelly's life. Writing this novel may have been a way of dealing with the pain that would have plagued for lengthy periods of her life. The strongest links are: - Birth - Death - Rejection  

Novels, are they parallels of the authors lives'? The story of Frankenstein is the first articulation of a woman's experience of pregnancy and related fears. Mary Shelly, in the development and education of the monster, discusses child development and education and how nurturing of a loving parent is extremely important...

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