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Morality in two plays: Doctor Faustus and Importance of Being Earnest - Book Report/Review Example

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Author : rosalee68

Summary

The book review ‘Morality in two plays: Doctor Faustus and Importance of Being Earnest’ outlines the theme of Victorian values in literature. The author describes the meaning of morality through exploring of two novels by Christopher Marlowe and Oscar Wilde…

Extract of sample
Morality in two plays: Doctor Faustus and Importance of Being Earnest

GWENDOLEN: Oh! I hope I am not that. It would leave no room for developments, and I intend to develop in many directions.
(Wilde 358)

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. He believed in the morality of his times and thus his play is full of moral lessons and suggestions. Though Doctor Faustus was moved more by power and achievement than moral values, still the fear of damnation surrounds him constantly and is often found in the play. At one point, for example, we see Faustus eulogizing human power and greatness:
But think'st thou heauen is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee Faustus it is not halfe so faire
As thou, or any man that breathe[s] on earth.
(574-76)
Go forward Faustus in that famous Art
Wherein all natures treasure is contain'd:
Be thou on earth as Ioue is in the skye,
Lord and Commander of these elements.
(101-4)

But such lines are not left alone. They are quickly responded to in stern words that instantly evoke fear of damnation:

Why this is hell: nor am I out of it.
Think'st thou that I who saw the face of God,
And tasted the eternall Ioyes of heauen,
Am not tormented with ten thousand hels,
In being depriu'd of euerlasting blisse?
O Faustus leaue these friuolous demandes,
Which strike a terror to my fainting soule.
(301-7)
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