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Lucy Prebble’s Enron and Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus: Comparing the Construction of Theme of Excess Power and Its Abuse


Is Doctor Faustus or Enron more successful as a moral play?

The playwrights show lessons that the audience are to discover whilst enjoying the play. However, probably the playwrights have different objectives regarding enjoy they are, Marlowe projects a moral warning about reaching higher than ‘incredible power authorizations.’ Writing in the 16th century it naturally falls into the category of a morality play in part. Whereas Enron looks for to offer an ultra- theatrical demonstration of how corporate madness works, Enron does not have the universal importance that Marlow produces by presenting Faustus as an everyman. Instead the function of Enron is to make the audience question their trust and the dependability if the capitalist system that allowed the Enron catastrophe to occur.

Primarily, both plays use a comparable message about the risk of overreaching undoubtedly, Marlowe creates a protagonist whose downfall takes place because ‘his waxen wings did install above his reach’. ‘waxen’ recommends that Faustus’ is in fact vulnerable and the understanding he is revealed as having, just places him on a flimsy pedestal, this is since wax is flexible and easily melts. Essentially man’s fragility is communicated. Likewise, the threat of overstretching is displayed in Prebble’s discussion of Skilling’s arrogance that ‘nations are useless.’ Both protagonists are seduced by the allure of power using an ethical message about the corrupting nature of greed. This is further exhibited in Enron as the LJM, the wielder of the power, is produced in ‘a run down place at the bottom of Enron’ creating the impression that this hell, particularly as the ‘box glows red and pulsates.’ Red is closely related to hell and danger particularly as it is set in the underbelly of Enron, nevertheless, the ‘throb’ has undertones with a heart; recommending that hell has actually ended up being the heart of the company, Enron, a company that much of the modern population trusted and purchased is dependent and worships hell.

Doctor Faustus in lots of parts follows the allegorical category of a morality play that was the primary category that made the shift from the medieval to the Early Modern duration, therefore, suggesting that it aspires to be an ethical tale. The staple of a morality play was that it had universal relevance by representing an everyman, Faustus is the embodiment of this as he is ‘born, of parents base of stock.’ For that reason, the moral message of the play is accessible to all members of society whereas Enron appears more to be a window into the on goings of corporate business, that isn’t always appropriate to all society. Furthermore, the simple characterisation of the seven lethal sins and the angels is normal of a morality play where the moral message is clear as the characters adopt a Brechtian function by being created to portray a message oppose to prioritising thorough character development, indeed the bad angel is utilized to illustrate the horror ‘hell’s pains constantly’ using alliteration offers the impression of hell going on forever, whilst the severe consonant noises offer insight the horror and unforgiving nature of hell. This is where the success of Faustus as an ethical tale could come into question as Marlowe develops Faustus himself as a multifaceted character that can be sympathised with in addition to despised. He can be appreciated for his yearning for the knowledge of ‘the Delphian oracle’ this referral to where the ancient Greeks sought divine knowledge, reveals Faustus as aspiring for greater intelligence, perhaps this could be Marlow discreetly laying blame at the feet of the church for restricting everyman’s access to understanding by keeping the bible in Latin. Nonetheless, Faustus’ cold-hearted techniques of repairing ‘2 spreading horns’ on Benvolio and after that condemning males to ‘the lowest hell,’ motivates hatred towards this flippant behaviour, this is a result of excess power.

It might be argued that Fastow is utilized by Prebble for similar reasons as Marlowe’s usage of Faustus, to use a cautioning about greed and fascination with personal gain as he exclaims ‘what the f ** k do you want’ to the revered Lehman siblings. This disrespect and awful use of language reveals Fastow as having an inflated sense of self-importance. Nevertheless, I would argue that its main intent is to use a condemnation of business and the capital system, as Fastow exclaims ‘This is a location where we are anticipated to be innovative. The system motivates it.’ The brief sentences seem final; developing a damning represent of the loopholes that the present system enables. Whilst it is It is difficult to feel sympathy for the guys whose deregulation policies did so much damage, Prebble advises us of the global complicity in money praise.

There is an ethical message in both plays nevertheless, ‘Faustus’ end be such as every Christian laments to believe on’. Faustus includes a strong message concerning male’s ability to wield power effectively whether this be interpreted in a Christian mindset specifying that God’s position shouldn’t be challenged or using to renaissance thinkers unto which individualism was appearing. In this renaissance duration, brand-new understanding was rife and Marlow uses a cautioning about how everyman chooses to utilize this brand-new power than understanding brings. It uses an ageless moral message that can be relevant to all status of man and all ages. Meanwhile, Enron shows the danger of excess power nevertheless the discussion of the Lehman brothers as Siamese twins and Arthur Anderson as a ventriloquist, contribute to the concept that this play is developed to make a mockery of the business system rather of releasing a message relating to the behaviour of an everyman.

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