What is the function of the "low" comedy scenes in Doctor Faustus?

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It has been argued by a number of scholars that Marlowe didn't actually write the comedy scenes in Doctor Faustus. The main reason for this, so the argument runs, is that Marlowe himself, in his prologue to Tamburlaine, strongly deprecated the use of such scenes as he argued they were wholly inappropriate to the dignity of tragic drama.

Whatever the truth of the matter, there's no doubt that the comedy scenes in Doctor Faustus do nonetheless serve a very useful dramatic purpose. For one thing, they are used to highlight Faustus's moral and intellectual degeneracy. This can be observed in Act I Scene ii when Wagner, asked by the scholars as to Faustus's whereabouts, replies "God in heaven knows where Faustus is." Indeed he does, but not in the way that the expression is usually taken to mean.

A further example comes in Act I Scene iv where the clown tells...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 453 words.)

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