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dc.contributor.authorMcAdam, R. Ian.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2014-10-21T12:38:28Z
dc.date.available2014-10-21T12:38:28Z
dc.date.issued1991en_US
dc.identifier.otherAAINN71542en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10222/55283
dc.descriptionWhile much of Renaissance literature is concerned with self-fashioning, certain Renaissance writers retain, even as they stress the need for the establishment of individual identity, a belief that the energies of the self remain subordinate to a greater power. One such writer was Marlowe, who was haunted by an intimation that could be called in the broadest sense mystical: the self which must be fashioned so heroically is in a sense illusory. Therefore the playwright, though extremely unorthodox in his religious thought, was deeply influenced by Augustinian theology, particularly as it questions the validity of humanism and a self-sufficient human identity. This religious outlook, however, is radically compromised in the plays by an energetic insistence that, without first establishing a viable human self, an individual can never hope to transcend it.en_US
dc.descriptionThe thesis recognizes Marlow's psychological instability or uncertainty, which in part makes up the "meaning" of his texts. His unresolved psychological conflicts arise both from his peculiar religious temperament and from a difficulty in accepting and dealing with homosexual impulses. The plays are discussed in the order of Dido Queen of Carthage, Tamburlaine Parts One and Two, Doctor Faustus, The Jew of Malta, The Massacre at Paris, and Edward II, in the belief that this at least approximates the actual chronology. With respect to sexual conflicts, the last two plays reveal a greater acceptance of homosexual desire, which in earlier plays is resisted or evaded in various ways. With respect to religious conflicts, Doctor Faustus is a crucial play, in which Marlowe attempts to free himself from the religious dependency which is expressed, somewhat reluctantly, in Tamburlaine. In the later plays the characters must struggle more independently to fashion an identity, yet these works remain haunted by the Augustinian suggestion that humankind's ultimate permanent identity can only be a spiritual one.en_US
dc.descriptionSince human identity is seen in essence as an imaginative construct, the plays develop a parallel between self-fashioning and artistic creation. A misuse of imagination and a difficulty in balancing assertive and passive impulses lead Marlowe's protagonists to a failure of self-fashioning. The tragic sense of this failure is intensified by the suggestion that for some individuals, because of their variance from social norms, self-fashioning becomes more difficult than for others. There is, however, also a larger, more disturbing implication that human beings, in relation to their creator, must play at a game they cannot win.en_US
dc.descriptionThesis (Ph.D.)--Dalhousie University (Canada), 1991.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherDalhousie Universityen_US
dc.publisheren_US
dc.subjectLiterature, English.en_US
dc.titleThe irony of identity: Self and imagination in the drama of Christopher Marlowe.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.contributor.degreePh.D.en_US
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