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Christopher Marlowe, the most important of the University Wits and few of his renowned tragedies

He is ‘The last of the University Wits, but certainly the best one.’

He is well known in the history of English literature for his unique writing skill and content that enriched the Elizabethan drama into a different level. He was born in 1584 to a poverty- stricken family, where his father was a shoemaker. From that background he struggled a lot and went to The University of Cambridge. Like most of the University wits, initially he worked as an actor; then he smartly used his rich classical knowledge to produce dramas. The type of characters and storyline he used is simply rare. In short, he used to use characters and plots which are larger than life in both their qualities and their faults. In this article, we are going to discuss a few of his significant tragedies. So, let’s start the discussion –

Tamburlaine, the Great

It was probably written around 1587 and 1588, which talks about an over-ambitious emperor who had the desire to conquer the world. With his militant brilliance, he wanted to conquer more states because of his lust for power. In the first part of the play, he became a successful warrior in each and every conquest and won the entire African continent. The first part ends with his marriage with Zenocrate, the Egyptian princess. In the second part he has a proper family with his wife and sons, whom he wants to teach to be like him. Two of his sons followed his father’s ideology but one disagreed. Meanwhile Zenocrate died and this is considered to be the beginning of the great emperor Tamburlaine. Finally, he considered his son Calyphas as a coward and killed him in rage; then in a battle he fought furiously and died. Overall, his extreme pride and overambition lead him to his doom.

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, an intellectual torment

The protagonist Doctor Faustus is a professor of the University of Wittenberg. He is a renowned mentor because of his knowledge of divinity, law, medicine and logic. He has all the knowledge that can possibly be acquired for an ordinary human being. At this stage he craves for more. Finally, one dark evening Faustus dedicates his soul to Lucifer, the negative energy and in exchange Faustus has 24 years of power to achieve whatever his heart desires. Then he has to write this pledge in his own blood. After 24 years he has understood his mistake but that was already too late. He violated the norms of God and finally when he cried for mercy, God didn’t listen to him.

To end the discussion, we’ll use some of the lines of this great creation –

“Mephistopheles: Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it.

Thinkest thou that I, who saw the face of God

And tasted the eternal joys of heaven,

Am not tormented with ten thousand hells

In being deprived of everlasting bliss?

Sohini

Sohini is a journalism and mass communication enthusiast from Kolkata with an extreme interest in creative writing. Focused on entertainment, health and lifestyle, her stories could make your net surfing much more interesting.
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