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The use of blank verse in Doctor Faustus?

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aicha-91 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 12, 2008 at 6:34 PM via web

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The use of blank verse in Doctor Faustus?

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s4ukgp | College Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:18 PM (Answer #1)

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The unrhymed decasyllabic line is known as blank verse, Marlowe was the real creator of the most versatile of English measures. Sackville, Norton and Surrey experimented with this metre more than twenty years before Marlowe. They failed because they worked on wrong principles and the results which they produced were of an intolerable tedious monotony.

Marlowe's achievement in developing blank verse can be illustrated by the study of "Doctor Faustus". In the chorus passage for example, the verse seems more consistently regular in its beat.

"Not marching now in fields of Thrasymene....................................... Intends our muse to vaunt his heavenly verse" (Line 1-6 I, chorus line)

Marlowe's "middle style" is illustrated in Faustus's first soliloquy in Act I scene 'i'

"Settle thy studies, Faustus, and begin.................................................................... Then read no more: Thou hast attained that end."(I, i lines 1-10)

The final monologue is the most striking specimen of blank verse. It is emotional passages which illustrate Marlowe's highest achievement as a writer of blank verse.

"O, I'll leap up to my God!- who pulls meme down?-..................stretches out his arms" (Act, V, scene iii, lines 78-84)

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