The Pursuit of Knowledge of Christopher Marlowe and Mary Shellys Literature

Works created in the Renaissance will demonstrate a much different approach to life than works created at the height of the Industrial Revolution. While both periods represent times of tremendous change, the way in which they affected the populace was quite different. For this reason, the stories told in these time periods are full of vastly different symbols, modes of action and ultimate results. Nevertheless, works such as Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus, written in 1616 at the height of the Renaissance, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, written in 1818 during the Industrial Revolution, manage to convey similar stories at their most basic levels. To understand how this was possible, it is necessary to first compare the historical context of these two periods and the genres into which each of these stories were created before critical analysis of the stories can occur and comparisons made regarding their fundamental teaching.Marlowe’s work was written during a period in history now referred to as the Renaissance. It was a time characterized by a great deal of change as people transitioned out from the dark Middle Ages into the enlightened world of art and science. However, literature and other forms of artistic endeavors remained very closely linked with the ideals and beliefs found in the rest of the social and cultural world, which was both questioning and attempting to validate the claims of the church regarding the possible and impossible. Concepts such as the sorcery contained within Marlowe’s play were considered very real fears and were often associated with the work of the devil. It is significant that Marlowe’s great play was written at a time in which the possibility of sorcery was not merely a theatrical fantasy but a widely shared fear, afear upon which the state could act … with horrendous ferocity (The Sixteenth Century, 2007).

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