Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Monday, 18 October 2010

from today's lesson I can conclude

That I cannot write a decent essay in the exam time unless I put in a serious amount of practice,

and my writing gets worse and worse with every sentence.


Thursday, 14 October 2010

White magic vs Black magic

I think the most interesting point from my section is what black magic is seen as from different point of views etc. - Looking at it in more detail.

It states in the Faustus notes that “Black magic also used nature but included the invocation of demons. This was the magic that Dr. Faustus used in Marlowe’s great work. Black magic, or witchcraft, implied the use of supernatural powers for a wicked purpose.”

In more detail black magic is the belief of practices of magic that draws on assumed malevolent powers. This type of magic is summoned when wishing to kill, steal, injure, cause misfortune or destruction, or for a personal gain without regard to harmful consequences to others.

‘black magic’ the term is usually used by those who do not approve of its uses.

Some argue that ‘black magic’ doesn’t necessarily have malevolent intentions all the time, as some consider it to have beneficial aspects, (For example killing deceases or pests.)

In fiction black magic quite frequently will be identified with evil, such as J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter, which reference to the ‘study of the dark arts’ etc.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

act 4 notes

The Emperor links back to ac t 1 – we see that Faustus is taking orders from the Emperor, yet in act 1 but he quoted “Nor can they raise the wind or rend the clouds; “ – he wanted to be better than them, to be ‘god like’ so we now again see that Faustus will not succeed in his ambitions.

The structure is a little odd. It begins with the Emperor talking in prose but quickly changes. Perhaps reflecting how the Emperor is talking to him, in a more personal manner to begin with? More intimate?

The knight enters. A seemingly sceptical character – “I’faith, that’s just nothing at all”

Faustus then conjures up FAKE spirits. More emphasis on his inability to achieve his goals.

Mephistopheles has an unexpected humane response to the horse courser. “I pray you, let him have him”, the word ‘pray’ also has religious connotations which is quite contradictory as Mephistopheles is a devil?

More slap stick when the leg is pulled off. “Oh my leg, my leg! Help!”


Act 4 - chorus notes

The chorus

The chorus begins in past tense – this could be to show that a large amount of time has passed, which emphasises Faustus’ time running out (as he only has 24 years on Earth)

We get the idea that Faustus has actually gained something from his indulgence in to magic. “such learned skill” and “they admired and wondered his wit”. This makes Faustus seem a lot more eligible than act 3, when he was compared to mere clowns and demoted to playing childish tricks. The chorus then changes to present tense “Now in his fame spread forth in every land”, implying Faustus is now very well known. “Faustus is feasted ‘mongst his noblemen”, noblemen are people who have high status, this could link back to the gothic as he is seemingly creating his high status from ‘base of stock’, is seems he is ascending the ladder surrounded amongst noblemen with high ranking. Could possibly be a threat to the hierarchy? Is he now more of a tragic hero? Is he setting himself up for a fall? He is now more of a gothic character.l

Thursday, 7 October 2010

part 2

Faustus responds to this in a very cynical manner, dismissing the idea of hell, “Come I think hell is just a fable.” This could come across as naive, as Faustus is being told this by a devil himself, so not to believe him when he claims it is where he is from is arguably arrogant. Faustus thinks he knows better than a devil. However, the arrival of Lucifer seemingly turns Faustus’ atheist perspective upside down. Faustus remarks “That sight will be pleasing unto me as paradise was to Adam the first day of his creation”. This appears to be an extended oxymoron and offers sadistic features to Faustus’ personality. The fact that he will find hell as pleasing as heaven was to Adam seems very masochistic in reference to Mephistopheles and his first hand experience of hell, and his painful descriptions which emphasise the negativity that comes with it. The protestant audience would have be very opinionated on hell at the time, whereas Faustus’ opinion seems to fluctuate constantly, suggesting he has very little idea of what hell is like, and is very arrogant as to disregard the outlook of Mephistopheles. He also quotes “This word ‘damnation’ terrifies not me, For I confound hell in Elysium”. He seems to hold the view that hell is merely the happy abode of the dead, the ‘elysium’ of classical literature. This courage shown here is not the bravado of the ignorant, but the recklessness of his over educated mind, which is a characteristic Faustus portrays throughout.
Overall Marlowe presents hell in a contradictory manner, and makes it very difficult for a reader from the modern day to decide upon what hell resounds of. The fact that Faustus and Mephistopheles contradict themselves never mind each other also makes it more difficult.

How does Marlowe present the ideas of hell in Dr Faustus?

In doctor Faustus the representation of hell is shown to the audience through the contrasting opinions of Faustus and Mephistopheles. Mephistopheles presents hell from the perspective of someone who has been there himself. Faustus asks ‘Where are you damned?’ to which Mephistopheles replies ‘In hell’, suggesting his first hand experience so his opinion could be valid, however the audience is aware that he is a devil, and devils hold untrustworthy traits and usually resort to trickery. Mephistopheles introduces hell to Faustus in a very negative way. He makes it seem frightening and evil when he remarks, “Where we are tortured and remain forever”. Mephistopheles is a devil, so we assume that he is fearless and invincible, as a devil is seen as a supernatural being, yet the fact that he appears to fear hell creates an overwhelming sense of fear and a more intimidating outlook on hell for the audience. Mephistopheles explains that he is ‘damned’, suggesting eternal torture and pain. However he remains elusive as to the location of hell. He remarks, ‘now in hell’ and ‘Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it...In being deprived of everlasting bliss”. This suggests that Mephistopheles is always in hell, because he is always deprived of eternal bliss. Yet the location of hell still remains quite unclear, as his answer resides around his own situation and isn’t very specific. Mephistopheles also remarks “Hell hath no limits... for where we are is hell”. Here he suggests that Hell is not a physical setting, but more of one that engulfs all that are damned. He says “and where hell is, we must ever be”, suggesting he is damned for eternity in hell, connoting a sense of entrapment and representing impending pain and suffering. This makes hell seem immoral and fearful.

However he contradicts himself later on when he remarks that hell is, “anywhere under the heavens”, insinuating that hell does have a limit, and suggesting that limit is anywhere but heaven, implying that it is Earth that he resides in hell. It seems as if the conditions of being damned involve a big element of the deprivation of eternal bliss. Mephistopheles portrays hell as everything but heaven, with remarks such as “deprived of everlasting bliss”.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Faustus notes act 3 scene 1

I note first of all that act 3 is a very disappointing scene in light of Faustus and his expectations.

The act begins with blank verse, which usually connotes high status, a sense of being noble and intelligence. Faustus still sounds controlled and proper.

It then becomes apparent that Faustus is becoming more dependant on Mephistopheles. “But tell me now, what resting place is this?” It seems that Faustus is being taken wherever Mephistopheles wants to go, so he is not in control. “Conducted me within the walls of Rome?” This also indicates that Faustus is not in control. He doesn’t appear to know where he is, which implies he is quite vulnerable, whereas Mephistopheles is taking charge.

Mephistopheles lowers the tone by speaking in prose. “Faustus, I have. And because we will be un provided, I have taken up his holiness’ privy chamber for our use.” He is losing the high ideal of what Faustus wants to do. This also seems to be a big ant-climax, for Faustus in particular. Instead of seeing all the wonderful things he was hoping to see and visit, he is visiting the pope to have a laugh.

Then Faustus plays about with the pope in his chamber, in a childish manner. Everytime the pope goes to eat something or drink something, Faustus steels it away. (this would be very amusing for the protestant audience as they don’t like the pope, on stage it is seemingly devils playing with devils, as they nickname the pope)

We now begin to get the feeling that Faustus dream is not going to be fulfilled. Not only had the scene had a huge anti-climax on visiting all these wonderful places, but we don’t actually get the feeling that Faustus has any sort of control on whether he gets to or not, which is quite worrying.

Everything that Faustus wanted to achieve has been taken down to a slapstick level. Faustus wanted to move the river Rhine, now it is simply “maine fall into Rhine”, he wanted to control everything between the north and south poles, now he is simply mocking the pope? We also see a childish behaviour in Faustus which we would not expect to see. “How? Bell, book, and candle, candle, book, and bell?” His use of childish mockery emphasises his sudden change in character and status. It also shows how Mephistopheles has managed to lower Faustus’ ambitions to mere games.