Time and Drama – the Last Soliloquy in Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus
Jadwiga Uchman, University of Łódź, Poland
The aim of the paper is to analyze chosen aspects of time as discussed in connection with drama and theatre production. The focus is centered on the dual nature of time in theatre, that is on-stage time (time experienced by the spectator when faced with the theatre event) and dramatic time (time of the fiction). The other issue tackled in the paper concerns Marlowe’s artistic rendering of both physical time covered by the soliloquy and psychological time (time as it is perceived by the protagonist, his subjective perception of time). Even though it is stated in the text of the monologue that it lasts an hour (dramatic time), the monologue lasts only a few minutes (stage time). Furthermore, the first half hour is, as it were, longer than the second. This is due to the fact that Marlowe succeeds in skillfully demonstrating that, fearing his coming death and eternal damnation, Faustus tries to stop the passage of time, which – to him – seems to be speeding up. The paper also analyses various techniques of the treatment of time used by Faustus in his soliloquy, for instance gradation – expanding or shortening time periods, all of which create the specific quality of the speech. The paper tries to prove that Marlowe’s artistic achievement, his creation of a highly dramatic ending of the drama, owes a lot to a specific treatment of time.