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Dr. Faustus, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, The Alchemist by Ben Jonson, Pygmalion,...

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user1450001 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted March 3, 2013 at 6:53 AM via web

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Dr. Faustus, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, The Alchemist by Ben Jonson, Pygmalion, Look Back in Anger- From among these plays which is your favourite and why?

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 3, 2013 at 5:55 PM (Answer #1)

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Because I associate literature with philosophical ideas, I choose Dr. Faustus as the play most valuable among this prestigious list.  Goethe was inbedding his whole philosophical premise inside this work, much larger than its mere stage presence (Part I), and in many ways a “drama of ideas”—by personifying the dichotomy and struggle between rationale mind and intuitive-emotional-faith driven impulses, Goethe has created a mega-character embodying both a real, believable figure with human emotions and instincts, with an abstraction as large as Philosophy itself. He has used the dramatic devices of dialogue, conflict, internal and external expression, romance, etc. to express the otherwise ineffable notion that Man is both physically bound and intellectually boundless. When Part II is added (what is sometimes called closet drama—not meant to be staged except in the reader’s imagination, like Seneca’s plays) the Faustian piece of literature becomes one of perhaps ten great works in the dramatic mode.  It will never exhaust its readership.  The other works on this list all deserve study and praise, but (excepting perhaps Hamlet) do not have the larger-than-life philosophical reach of Dr. Faustus.  And, as I mentioned, I am a follower of “the drama of ideas.”

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