Overview

'...make me immortal with a kiss'


Doctor Faustus is a play about desire: for the best in life, for knowledge, power, material comfort, and influence. Faustus sells his soul to the devil hoping to learn the secrets of the universe, but is fobbed off with explanations which he knows to be inadequate. He is obsessed with fame, but his achievement as a devil-assisted celebrity magician is less substantial than it was previously as a scholar.


Marlowe's most famous play is a ...

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Doctor Faustus

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Overview

'...make me immortal with a kiss'


Doctor Faustus is a play about desire: for the best in life, for knowledge, power, material comfort, and influence. Faustus sells his soul to the devil hoping to learn the secrets of the universe, but is fobbed off with explanations which he knows to be inadequate. He is obsessed with fame, but his achievement as a devil-assisted celebrity magician is less substantial than it was previously as a scholar.


Marlowe's most famous play is a tragedy, but also extremely funny. It involves hideous representations of the Seven Deadly Sins, and of Helen of Troy, the world's most beautiful woman. With its fireworks and special effects, it was one of the most spectacular and popular on the Elizabethan stage. Yet, ever since Marlowe's death, it has been regularly rewritten. Its mix of fantastical story, slapstick, and raw human emotion still arouses conflicting interpretations, and presents us with endlessly fascinating problems.


This student edition is based on the earlier so-called A-text of the play, with the B-text scenes included in an appendix. It contains a lengthy Introduction with interpretation of the play in its historical and cultural context, stage history, discussion of the complex textual problems, and background on the author, date and sources.

A guide to reading "Doctor Faustus" with a critical and appreciative mind. Includes background on the author's life and times, sample tests, term paper suggestions, and a reading list.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This combines annotated and modernized versions of Marlowe's 1604 text, plus the 1592 English translation of an earlier German text on which Marlowe based his play. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"There is a wonderful sense that evil lurks in every corner." - Guardian

"A thing of beauty to watch." - Independent

"Faithful and clever." - Herald Scotland

"Catches well the hellish claustrophobia of our restless urges." - Telegraph

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781408144701
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 3/24/2014
  • Series: New Mermaids
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 446,610
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Christopher Marlowe (1564-93) was an English playwright and poet, who through his establishment of blank verse as a medium for drama did much to free the Elizabethan theatre from the constraints of the medieval and Tudor dramatic tradition. His first play Tamburlaine the Great, was performed that same year, probably by the Admiral's Men with Edward Alleyn in the lead. With its swaggering power-hungry title character and gorgeous verse the play proved to be enormously popular; Marlowe quickly wrote a second part, which may have been produced later that year. Marlowe's most famous play, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, based on the medieval German legend of the scholar who sold his soul to the devil, was probably written and produced by 1590, although it was not published until 1604. Historically the play is important for utilizing the soliloquy as an aid to character analysis and development. The Jew of Malta (c. 1590) has another unscrupulous aspiring character at its centre in the Machiavellian Barabas. Edward II (c. 1592), which may have influenced Shakespeare's Richard II, was highly innovatory in its treatment of a historical character and formed an important break with the more simplistic chronicle plays that had preceded it. Marlowe also wrote two lesser plays, Dido, Queen of Carthage (date unknown) and The Massacre at Paris (1593), based on contemporary events in France. Marlowe was killed in a London tavern in May 1593. Although Marlowe's writing career lasted for only six years, his four major plays make him easily the most important predecessor of Shakespeare.
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Table of Contents

Introduction

About the Play

Summary of the Plot

The Play

Faustus and Salvation

The Vision of Helen

Early Performances

Recent Stage History

Date and Sources

The Author

Dr Faustus 1

Dramatis Personae 2

The Text 4

Appendix 83

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2012

    This version locks up my nook and my computer.

    This version locks up my nook and my computer.

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