Critics of Pardoner's tale, Doctor Faustus and Othello

Word document on several critical opinions on Doctor Faustus, The Pardoner's Tale and Othello


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  • Created on: 19-06-12 12:20
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George Santanyana : "this excellent Faustus is damned by accident or
predestination" (Santayana)
"Faustus is Everyman, and his sin a re-enactment of the sin of Adam" (Maxwell)
"he overreaches himself, his ambitions for rich reward and power driving him
into wild, dangerous and ultimately tragic actions" (Davis)
J.A Symonds- Faustus is "The Medieval rebel."
R.M Dawkins "Story of a Renaissance man who had to pay a medieval price for
being one." i.e. overreaching
He also notes that Marlowe keeps his tragic protagonist in the medieval world.
Douglas Cole "Thoroughly Christian in conception."
Johnathon Dolimore "Doctor Faustus involves a discovery of limits."
Sir Walter Gregg "Marlowe has depicted Faustus with the spiritual sin of
wanting power for evil."

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A03 The Pardoner's Tale- Chaucer
Dramatic Criticism would consider the theatrical elements, interpreting that
the Pardoner is a `performer.'
Marxist criticism sees the Church in medieval times as primarily a social -
human structure. It held power over people both spiritually, and crucially,
Helen Cooper- Knowledge of evil in the Pardoner works to enable him not to
choose the good but to exploit it.
She also suggests that "death not money is the central theme of the tale."
A.…read more

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Arno Karlen "The homosexual heresay" - prominence of homosexuality in the
church, church's deviation from holiness-sexual desires
A03 Othello - Shakespeare
T.S Elliot "Othello is a terrible exposure of a human weakness."
Carol Thomas Neely Desdemona is "Unfaithful; Othello seeks this love from
Iago." Suggests Othello's self worth & identity spurs from Iago.
Loomba "she passes from being his sexual ally {...} to his sexual and racial
John Knox "Weak, frail, impatient, feeble and foolish."
Lisa Jardine "Too knowing, too independent.…read more

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A.C Bradley "Puts his entire confidence in the honesty of Iago." "Othello is the
most Romantic figure among Shakespeare's heroes."
Kenneth Tyan "All the women are engaged in unbalanced relationships."
Harold Bloom- "Emilia is the only one that Iago underestimates.…read more


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