Megan Burns Blog Entry 1

The article I read this week was called Marlowe and God: The Tragic Theory of Dr. Faustus

Citation:
Ornstein , Robert. "Moder Language Association." Moder Language Association. 83.5 (1968): 1378-1385. Web. 15 Nov. 2012. .

So the article began with some information about the two editions of Dr. Fuastus that were published (the 1604 Quarto and the 1616 Quarto) and an argument of the validity of each edition (one being the text that was clearly written by Marlowe, and the other being cleaner, shorter and easier to read). It goes a great deal into Marlowe's idea about Theology and the idea of a hero. This article makes the argument that the character of Faustus, to Marlowe, was less of a comment on society and was more of a tragic hero in the eyes of Marlowe himself. Marlowe, it seems, had a pension for the supernatural that greatly informed his writing. The questions he asks in Dr. Faustus have a lot more to do with existential questions of humanity. He had great "metaphysical longings"(Ornstein 1379), and though much of Faustus' commentary is often said to be on contemporary society, it seems from this reading that such claims are projected by contemporary studies of Marlowe and Elizabethan society in general. The same with his supposed atheism. It may ver yell be true that he was atheist, but many writers, especially in theater, at the time were accused of being atheist, and most of these claims are circumstantial (Ornstein 1379). Another thing that I thought was interesting was that Ornstein called Faustus a "cosmic tragedy" (Ornstein 1379). This article supports a lot of the misunderstandings about Marlowe, which will help build a strong argument, perhaps for Marlowe, as not a rebel, merely a misunderstood supposed one. Or it can simply serve to play devil's advocate (pun intended?).

1 Comment

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I very much appreciate that you've grounded your journal entry in a specific text. Doing that has helped to structure your response and offers compelling information to me, your reader. As you continue to journal, don't let the ideas culled from this particular article fall away. Keep this questions in play. You seem to be noticing a relationship between Marlowe the historical figure and the Marlowe we see in his characters (for example, Faustus). Here's a question for you: Given Marlowe's penchant for magic, did he ever get in trouble with the law? Magic was linked to the "old religion" and therefore was not acceptable within the Church of England.

GRADE: 100%

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