Conversation with Jonathan Sharpe

Here is a 40 minute conversation with writer and thespian Jonathan Sharpe. If you enjoy listening to a fast thinking conversationalist Jonathan’s your man. There are many intelligent people in this world with a mindful of facts and statistics. There are few who can combine, creativity, intellect, humour and personality as well as Jonathan. I am proud to be able to call him friend. The podcast is a conversation on ideas relevant to writing. It is, what it is; a conversation between two friends. The picture of the wash basin, and three mirrors are relevant to a part of the recording. The image clarifies the section where we construct the bare bones of a story.

Jonathan Sharpe
Jonathan Sharpe listens to the recording

This podcast was recorded on 1st June 2016 in Nottingham. I decided not to edit it in any way as the spontaneous aspect of the recording can be felt with the ‘raw’ edged style.

The three mirrors!

Thanks for listening…



  1. A very entertaining podcast, I enjoyed the spontaneity and intellectual conversation going on. However, I have to disagree with a minor point that Jonathan Sharpe made about Christopher Marlowe. He compared him with Shakespeare (fair enough) but said that Marlowe had no psychological insight into human nature whatsoever. I have read and studied Doctor Faustus and I have to say, a central issue in this play is the debate about human nature. Like Lucifer, Faustus is discontent with his present situation; he is a scholar in theology and knows much more about other intellectual matters, but despite his intellect he laments: ‘Thou art but Faustus, and a man’ (Act I Scene I).

    Marlowe explores the human tendency for extreme ambition, overreaching, hubris, defying the Chain of Existence. His understanding of human nature is really reflected in Faustus’ internal conflict over the continuation of his somewhat monotonous, yet safe and heavenly life as a scholar and his hunger for further, forbidden knowledge of necromancy and all things damnable. This can also be seen as an example of psychomachia, the internal struggle of a soul over good and evil, and thus still applicable and relevant with regards the modern mind. As well as this widely seen battle of human nature, Marlowe also includes the natural human tendencies to question our teachings, and I think he encourages an audience to do this. Faustus turns away from God and all things theological that he had devoted his life to, and the demon Mephostophilis argues against Christian doctrine, telling Faustus that hell is a psychological manifestation. Believed to be an atheist, Marlowe had many controversial beliefs, most notably this notion that hell is merely a state of mind. Two major quotes in Faustus spoken by Lucifer’s servant, Mephostophilis: ‘Why this is hell, nor am I out of it’ (Act I Scene III) and ‘Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscrib’d in one self place, for where we are is hell, and where hell is, there must we ever be’ (Act II Scene I) This looks to be a very modern belief, hell is not a physical plane; hell is what we make it. The very respected 20th century playwright Jean Paul Sartre said ‘Hell is other people’, another valid interpretation from four hundred years after Marlowe. He intimated a psychological debate that has been and will always be considered.

    Sorry to have ranted, but I just felt the need to argue this point! Although Shakespeare is significantly more well known than Christopher Marlowe, I would not dismiss his understanding of the human mind. Just from having analysed some themes in one of his plays I have interpreted as much, and I hope that Marlowe is given more credit and his work is more thoroughly appreciated.

    Not to take away anything from the podcast, it was great! I found myself nodding along to a lot of the points made and I appreciated the two of you handling various topics… Very interesting, I just found myself debating a minor point 🙂

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