Comic Scenes in Dr Faustus
Signi? cance of Comic Scenes in Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe In tragedies, the playwright attempts to give relief to the audience by presenting comic scenes or episodes. Actually such comic interludes is referred to as tragic relief. A catastrophe produces stress in the mind of the audience. Therefore it ends up being necessary to relax the minds of the audience by consisting of comic scenes in the play. Otherwise, it creates some sort of psychological weak point. The audience of the Elizabethan duration pressed for comic interludes to relieve their feeling. The manufacturers likewise emanded them for success of the play. The comic interlude may have a suitable emotional connection in the development of the terrible play but it is likewise admitted that in Marlowe’s dramas, this awful relief seems to be unrefined. Due to these often Dr Faustus is called a play of weak plot. When we study Marlowe’s “Dr. Faustus” carefully it reveals that there are fourteen scenes in all. Out of them, comic scenes are )ve or six. Lots of critics are of the opinion that the comic components in these scenes are low and vulgar. They can not be accepted as natural parts of the awful play.
According to the critics, the )rst comic scene has been exercised with some care, a comic burlesque of the primary plot. It is also felt that most of the comic scenes in Dr. Faustus are of later interpolation and not of Marlowe. Marlowe introduced the comic scenes in “Dr. Faustus” for many purposes. First of all he presented unrefined bu+oonery since it prevailed stock-in-trade of the Elizabethan dramatists. They could not disregard the demands of the groundlings. The Elizabethan audiences justi)ed the addition of comic scenes in which Faustus teases and rouble the Pope and his visitors, outsmart the horse-dealer, and make a fool of the talkative knight, planting a set of horns on his head. They are important for dramatic function to make it possible for Faustus to show his amazing powers. Secondly, the function of the comic scenes was to o+er a momentary relaxation to the audience. Third, Marlowe’s description about Faustus’ pranks on the Pope shows Marlowe’s hatred for church and Pope. It is obvious that Marlowe utilized the exact same technique Shakespeare used, that of using a Fool to include humor and levity.
Likewise, just like Shakespeare, the Fool conveys essential details and/or brightens essential elements of relationships in between primary characters: Shakespeare’s King Lear and his Fool are the prime example of this method. Marlowe uses the fool the horse-courser for levity but also to communicate important details. Approved, the information this fool assists in isn’t on the grand scale of Lear’s fool however is essential to exposing Faustus’ character advancement and the increasing intensity of the falling action that leads up to the climax and resolution.
What art thou, Faustus, however a guy condemn ‘d to die? Thy fatal time doth draw to? nal end; Despair doth drive distrust into my ideas: Confound these enthusiasms with a quiet sleep: Tush, Christ did call the burglar upon the Cross; Then rest thee, Faustus, quiet in conceit. [Sleeps in his chair.] This quote exposes the essential signi)cance of the courser fool and the comic scene. First, Faustus is given opportunity to lament the modifications that are taking over his ideas, changes that run deeply into his character: “Despair doth drive wonder about into my thoughts:/ Confound hese passions.” His time is running out, his years are nearly over, and, “condemned to pass away,” misery drives his thoughts and enthusiasms into directions that are unknown to him. This revelation of his character development increases our sympathy for Faustus. Second, Faustus reveals his deep and hope-)lled ideas about Christ. In an allusion to the burglars upon the cross with Jesus at Calvary, Faustus constructs an example in between himself and one thief. This reveals increasing strength by showing that he is intending to be called to edemption by Christ: “Christ did call the thief upon the Cross;/ Then rest thee, Faustus.” This declaration has even more signi)cance of its own because it bears greatly upon the climax and resolution when Faustus begs to understand how to be redeemed: “I do repent; and yet I do despair:/ …/ What shall I do to shun the snares of death?” To summarize, these comic scenes are signi)cant and It might be stated that the numerous comic scenes serve to )ll the period between Faustus’s achievement of wonderful power and the damnation, which overtakes him after the space of twenty-four years.