Moral Theme in Literature

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In the plays, Dr. Faustus and Importance of being Earnest, what strikes us is the presence and absence respectively of conventional morality. Marlowe's novel is concerned with the Faustian myth where a person sells his soul to the devil in order to gain something great.


The most important character is that of Doctor Faustus himself who is so obsessed with achievement and greatness that he agrees to sell himself to the devil. The novel follows the conventions of morality plays and sticks to the framework of this genre. There is a good angel and a bad angel, there is advice of repentance, there is greed and selfishness and then eternal damnation. On the other hand, no such conventions are found anywhere in Importance. Wilde had always been concerned with shattering myths and conventions so it is only obvious that in this play as well, he seeks opportunities to thrash conventional morality. At one point we find Algy saying, "divorces are made in heaven" (350), and as comic as it sounds, the motive behind such statements is simple relinquishing of morality as it was understood in Victorian times. The author doesn't try to show explicit sexual connotations in the play but there are implicit suggestions, which are made to indicate deviation from fixed rules of morality. The following exchange shows what is meant by Wilde's implicit suggestions:
Readers can see clearly what Wilde is suggesting and thus it becomes obvious that he was absolutely not interested in upholding conventional morality. However Marlowe was not so original or heterodox. ...
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