DOCTOR FAUSTUS,GREEK TRAGEDY ANDMEDIEVAL MORALITYPLAYSwww.misterconnor.com
Classical Tragedy 5thc BCE**Before Common EraTragedy (Ancient Greek: tragōidia, “he-goat-song”)Sacrifice to the gods implied in the word.From Aristotle’s Poetics and Sophocles’ Oedipus RexChorus (15 men)Tragic hero (hamartia, hubris)Loses material things but has epiphany/anagnorisis“How the high are brought low.” (Seneca)
Miracle & Mystery Plays (10th–14thc) Miracle plays: lives of saints Mystery plays: stories from Old and New Testaments Performed in church as part of holy days Moved outside onto wagons; guilds performed
Morality Plays (15thc) 1 plot About common people; characters often allegories Dramatized allegories representing a Christian’s life and his quest for salvation Show audience that fortune is unpredictable
Medieval Staging Plays performed in church then moved to courtyard Mobile, no stage Used wagons, move episodes from one location to another Guilds put them on Symbolic props
Aspects of Morality Plays in Do c to rFa us tus Good and Bad Angel 7 Deadly Sins Presence of Lucifer and his cohorts Vision of Hell Chorus (1 person) to open the play Allegory
Allegory Form of extended metaphor Characters in a narrative have symbolic meaning as well as literal meaning Personification of abstract qualities Example: Everyman is the name of a character in a medieval narrative who goes through the conflicts of the plot, but he also is a symbol for all Christians who struggle through life to find salvation.
Why authors use allegory To teach moral lessons To explain universal truths In Doctor Faustus the Good Angel and the Bad Angel are allegorical characters. What function do they serve? Are they symbols? Of what?
Syllogisms and false syllogisms Why give up on religion just as he gets his doctorate in theology? “. . .we must sin, and so consequently die. / Ay, we must die an everlasting death” (I.i.4043). Syllogism: 2 statements which, if true, make a 3 rd statement true. Example: Socrates is a man; all men are mortal; therefore, Socrates is mortal.