The Renaissance, "Dr Faustus" and "Richard III" Term Paper by Kafkascat

The Renaissance, "Dr Faustus" and "Richard III"
This paper examines Shakespeare's "Richard III" and Christopher Marlowe's "Dr Faustus" in light of a definition of the term "Renaissance".
# 100725 | 2,343 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2005 | GB

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The paper presents an understanding of the term "Renaissance" that shows both Marlowe's "Dr Faustus" and Shakespeare's "Richard III" as indicative of an era concerned with the questioning of fundamental ideas and immense exploration. The paper also explains the term "Renaissance" as indicative of moral turmoil as we see morality playing a major role in both works. The paper interprets the literature as making us consider what are essentially universal human problems, this being a major preoccupation of that era known as the "Renaissance".

From the Paper:

"The term 'Renaissance' literally means rebirth. There are many views as to the exact dates of the Renaissance period in history, and indeed the essential characteristics of this 'rebirth'. For this essay, I will take the term to indicate the period in history between the early fourteenth century and the late sixteenth century, a time of exploration and 'a time of intellectual ferment that laid the foundations for the thinkers and scientists of the 17th Century.' This human endeavour inevitably lead to a renewed questioning of old ideas and was aided by the invention of the printing press, which made ancient works including Greek and Latin classics and the Bible available to the public for critical reading. This in turn lead to a new approach to religion in general, which can be seen in the later reform of the church from Catholic to Protestant. This change in the church is today known as the Reformation, and can be defined as a secularisation of the church which ended the ecclesiastical supremacy of the Pope and placed a new emphasis on the relationship of the individual to God."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Castiglione, Count Baldasarre, 'From Castiglione's The Courtier Book 4 [THE LADDER OF LOVE] ' (trans. Sir Thomas Hoby) in The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1, 6th Edition, ed. by M. H. Abrams (London: W.W. Norton & Company, 1993) pp.973-998
  • Coles, Chris, How to Study a Renaissance Play, ed. by John Peck and Martin Cole (Basingstoke: Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1988)
  • Cuddon, J. A., Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, third edition (London: Penguin Books Limited, 1992)
  • Marlowe, Christopher, Dr Faustus, ed. by Brian Gibbons (London: A & C Black Limited, 1989)
  • Shakespeare, William, Richard III, ed. by E. A. J. Honigmann (London: Penguin Books Limited, 1995)

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The Renaissance, "Dr Faustus" and "Richard III" (2008, January 27) Retrieved June 02, 2020, from

MLA Format

"The Renaissance, "Dr Faustus" and "Richard III"" 27 January 2008. Web. 02 June. 2020. <>