Early Modern Conventions & Dr Faustus

time period?
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theatre type?
professional, had class based seating, pit was the cheapest - people went there for a good time, meeting place, loud
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space and place
created through language
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thrust stage
stage that extends into the auditorium so the audience is seated around three sides
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heaven and hell on stage
heaven = balcony, hell = trap door
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stage becomes fluid performance space
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staging and set
lack of set, pyrotechnics, spectacle
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type of acting
soliloquy, interactive, use of aside
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use of iambic pentameter
(5 stressed/5 unstressed) usually for characters with a higher status - stress falls on important parts of line - important as pit was noisy so they hear the key stressed syllables
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use of trochaic tetrameter
8 syllables (4 stressed/ 4 unstressed), designed for supernatural characters, allows a quicker rhythm - spellbinding, incantation (Meph. doesn't talk like this tho)
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use of prose
beginning of sentence doesn't start with capital unless it follows a fullstops - used for lower status characters
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all male, doubling of roles, allegorical characters, song and dance, clowning
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ambition and overreaching
on the stage is the world
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protestant morals, christian morals and repentance - P don't believe in purgatory, on Faustus stage is a critique of protestant religion as shows purgatory on stage
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major themes:
manipulation of power, central figures in power becoming evermore insecure, issue of predestination or fate v free will, supernatural
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who and when written and performed?
Christopher Marlowe, first performed 1588-93, two different versions were published slighter later in the Jacobean era
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key aspects of play
one of most performed non Shakespeare plays from this period, has medieval conventions as well as greek and Roman models of learning
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knowledge and science
Faustus is a figure overreaching in his quest for knowledge. Science at the time - real need for medical advances, plagues, death everywhere - backdrop of early modern science. Faustus goes beyond what is acceptable to seek knowledge at great cost
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shows witchcraft onstage, incantations by actors, different versions the devil are shown, fascination with seeing magic performed onstage 'theologically dangerous' - effects of the demonic
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text to stage - giving words power
not a huge amount of scenery, trap doors lead to hell-like area beneath stage, up to actors to create world with language
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Catholicism and god
used to be able to earn salvation - barter etc. as of 1563 CoE abolished this idea - theological backdrop
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Predetermined fate
at mercy of God, on one hand don't have to be good as its all predetermined - however hugely anxiety induced - lot of literature in this period draws upon that anxiety
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Catholic Church
different areas of the church correspond with areas of early modern stage
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Good and Bad angels
controversial - 'bad' angels, link back to Eman - competing embodiments of character's psyche , not black and white contrast between good and bad - commits himself to being damned - doesn't deserve sympathy? or no choice?
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Faustus's use of magic
in 1604 A text- F plays tricks on Pope, in 1616 B text - F rescues Bruno, emperors choice of Pope, from Rome
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The Supernatural
Lucifer, Beelzebub, Meph., Bad Angel, Good Angel (only one on F's side) and devils, 7 deadly sins, friend outnumbered by enemies, sides with enemies
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spiritual responsibility
how much agency does F have, how much is he controlled by god
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


theatre type?


professional, had class based seating, pit was the cheapest - people went there for a good time, meeting place, loud

Card 3


space and place


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


thrust stage


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


heaven and hell on stage


Preview of the front of card 5
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