"Doctor Faustus is a tragedy only in its ending; it is a comedy in its unfolding." How far do you agree with this view of the play? (Essay plan?) I know this is a heavy question. I have a few points that I am going to discuss but does anybody have any interesting pointers on what they would write?

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If we look at the broad definitions of comedy and tragedy, we understand that a comedy is a play in which nobody dies, even if bad things do happen. A tragedy is a play in which the stage is littered with dead bodies at the end—or in which at least one person dies.

So in the broadest sense, Faustus is a comedy until the end, because nobody dies. Also, unlike in Greek tragedy, there is no tragic inevitability in Faustus's unrepentant death. He is not destined to go to hell, despite what he has been told: up until the very end, he has every opportunity to beg God for forgiveness and save himself from the devil's grasp. Thus it, is only at the finale, as he is being dragged off to hell, that the play turns tragic.

The play is comic as well because it is often a burlesque. It makes a mockery of Faustus's demonic powers, which are, at best, limited. He can bring forth some out-of-season grapes, become invisible, conjure up some...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 494 words.)

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