Shakespeare's Characters In Doctor Faustus By Christopher Marlowe

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The greatest of the University Wits, Christopher Marlowe has to his credit quite a few significant plays. Arguably, he is second only to Shakespeare among sixteenth century English playwrights. As a dramatist, Marlowe brilliantly reflects the contemporary Renaissance zeitgeist. However, he is ahead of his time as well. Many of the issues he highlighted in his plays would come to occupy the mental landscape of many coming generations. Edward II is one such play. It is one of the earliest chronicle plays in the history of English drama. It may not enjoy as high repute as Doctor Faustus. However, it bubbles with critical issues and deals with them in all their complexities. It shows how the private and public lives of a king are
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ii after all other leading characters have been introduced. Interestingly, it is Mortimer -- and not Edward -- with whom the Queen is first seen talking. Mortimer asks: 'Madam,whither walks your majesty so fast?' And Isabella replies: 'Unto the forest, gentle Mortimer'. Thus at first sight it becomes clear that the Queen shares a cordial, if not intimate, relationship with Mortimer. She addresses him as gentle Mortimer. The Queen does not hide to Mortimer how she has been alienated by Edward: 'the king regards me not'. Noticeably, throughout the play other lords are not seen directly conversing with Queen. It is only Mortimer who has an easy access to her. Towards the end of this scene, Isabella departs the stage with the following words: 'Farewell, sweet Mortimer'. Mortimer is not only 'gentle Mortimer', but also 'sweet Mortimer' to Isabella. At this stage, however, Isabella is still considerate towards her husband Edward. In response to Mortimer's assertion: 'The king shall lose his crown', Isabella says: 'for my sake,/ Forbear to levy arms against the …show more content…
At the end of the play, Prince Edward sentences Mortimer to death, but puts Isabella to trial. The play does not tell us whether Isabella is eventually found guilty and punished. Possibly, showing Isabella being punished by her own son would be horrendous. At the same time, showing her going scot-free would be a travesty of justice. Hence, Marlowe chooses the middle-path; Edward III puts Isabella to trial with a stern disposition. The order he passes on his mother in the final scene of the play (Act V Sc. vi) is worth quoting in

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