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The Diary of Samuel Pepys - Case Study Example

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In the paper “The Diary of Samuel Pepys” the author discusses Paul’s Case, a story by Willa Cather, which falls short of being nominated an allegory simply because the reference to Goethe’s Faust is to a hybrid between a play and an extended poem, though epic in scope as a two-part comic tragedy…
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The Diary of Samuel Pepys
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Download file to see previous pages In the past, it was assumed that the comic scenes were additions by other writers. However, most scholars today consider the comedy an integral part of the play, as its tone shows the change in Faust’s ambitions. (Anon) With greater recognition, Faust became a Grand Opera, ending tragically in death. Paul’s death in Cather’s short story, prompting the comparison, transmogrifies a youth’s confused vision of Utopia into a destination attainable only after renouncing life. The story is one extensive allusion, interspersed with multiple cross-references to images or symbols, some of which are complex and require background knowledge of literature from Shakespeare’s era.
Faust or Faustus is noted for his pact with the devil, in the form of Mephistopheles, a servant of Lucifer, the Devil incarnate. He also finds the place in other works dealing with the netherworld. (Soldati, 1980 also Leslie Kay Swigart, 2004). Kennedy’s Faust (p 537) curses life –“would that I was never born,” he says. The similarity to Paul’s bent of mind is striking.
Cordelia was one of three daughters of King Lear, from Shakespeare’s play of the same name. The only unmarried Princess, she fell out of favor with her father and was disowned by him, ultimately dying a horrific death. (JSTOR) The loss of paternal love affected her in its own way, as it did with Paul. Cordelia is, therefore, an allusion. There is a dichotomy here because if she was a person who Paul identified himself with, in the story she symbolizes all that he had grown to despise. This symbol was the embodiment of a dreary street, stretching monotonously with identical houses lining it on both sides. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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