In what ways does Marlowe deviate from the three unities of drama in Doctor Faustus? Was he the first ever to do so?

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In Doctor Faustus, Marlowe also departs from the unity of place, and he certainly wasn't the first to do this. According to Aristotle's theories, the action in a drama should enfold in one place, such as the royal palace at Thebes in Oedipus Rex. Yet in Marlowe's play the action takes place all over the world as the restless Doctor Faustus travels across the globe in search of fame and wide renown, showing off the remarkable powers he has acquired through his diabolical pact with Lucifer.

Marlowe's departure from this particular unity is essential as he needs to show just how restless Faustus is, how unsatisfied he is with his present life, and how he feels compelled to venture out into the big wide world to stake his claim. Faustus has a very high opinion of himself; as far as he's concerned, he should be rubbing shoulders with the great and the good, whether it involves boxing the ears of the Pope or performing magic tricks before the Holy Roman Emperor. And he simply can't do any of this in just one place. Aristotle's dramatic unities, especially his unity of place, are simply too restrictive, too constraining for a character like Faustus.

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One of the Unities that Marlowe departed from inDoctor Faustus, is the Unity of Time. Aristotle required Unity of Time and Unity of Action for drama. According to P. Nunziato, Ph.D., the Unity of Place was added later by European translators of Aristotle'sPoetics. Time is violated because, according to Aristotle, action should occur within a 24 hour time span, and Time in Faustuscovers more than two decades.                                                                              

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