Answer TWO of the following in a short paragraph (at least a few sentences, and cite specific examples from the text when possible):
Q1: One of the hallmarks of Elizabethan theater is blank verse, which is unrhymed lines that follow a strict meter, usually iambic pentameter: ten syllables, with an unaccented syllable followed by an accented one (an ‘iamb’ is a syllable, and there are five unaccented and five accented—hence, penta + meter). Typically, the upper classes speak blank verse, while the lower classes speak prose (that is, lines without meter). However, this is not always the case. Discuss a short passage where the language changes from poetry to prose (or the reverse); why do you think Marlowe does this and how might his audience “hear” this change? What would it tell them about the characters and/or their dialogue in this moment?
Q2: Many modern critics (and audiences) have complained about the comic scenes in the play between Robin and Wagner, finding them too silly or inconsequential compared to the serious business of Faustus and Mephistopheles. However, why might these scenes be very effective in performance? What do they add to the play—or allow to the audience to see/experience between the more literary moments? (you might also consider if this sounds like another writer, or if this could still be Marlowe, just writing to the Groundlings in the audience).
Q3: Faustus is given ample opportunity in these scenes to save his soul, and even Mephistopheles warns him, “But Faustus, I am an instance to prove the contrary,/For I am damned and am now in hell” (Scene 5). What makes him continually deny the existence of hell and damnation, and plunge headlong into a bargain with Lucifer? Why does he think he’s getting the better end of this bargain? Or does he simply believe he can outwit Lucifer and Mephistopheles?
Q4: Discuss a passage which seems to work better (or as good) on the page as on the stage. Why might being able to read and study this passage help the reader more than if he/she just saw it performed on stage? Why might this passage remind us that Marlowe was first and foremost a poet, and wanted his words to be heard/read rather than just performed and mimed? How might this passage help us understand why Dr. Faustus survived the thousands upon thousands of plays that were performed in this period—most of which were lost and forgotten?