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Doctor Faustus
     

Doctor Faustus

3.7 13
by Christopher Marlowe
 

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'...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

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.

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

"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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781408144701
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
03/24/2014
Series:
New Mermaids
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
File size:
3 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Ros King is Professor of English at the University of Southampton, and Director of the Centre of Medieval and Renaissance Culture. She is author of several books including The Winter's Tale, for Palgrave's Shakespeare Handbook Series and editor of Comedy of Errors for Cambridge's New Shakespeare Series.
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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Doctor Faustus 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was left with this book for an literature project, and I groaned about without even giving the book a chance. Then finally I was running out of time to read it and write an essay, but as I started it, I couldn't put it down. I am not a major in old english, but it didn't take me long to understand it. I absolutely loved this book/play, it was amazing and it wasn't hard at all to write an essay on it! I give it many, many, many stars.
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animus_of_procer_universi More than 1 year ago
This is a very intiresting and amazing play. Second only to Shakespeare in my opinion, Christopher Marlowe shares Shakespeares poetic writing style. I've always believed what makes a book is what it is trying to prove. Dr. Faustus asks amazing and philisophical questions. What is more important, the quest for knowledge, or the faith in belief? Would you give up your soul and body for an enlightened mind? These questions were beginning to be asked in Marlowe's time period, in the Renaissance, when society began to become secular. Faustus is one of the most interesting and confusing character, second to perhaps only Hamlet. He desires to do all these amazing things, and then he just plays pranks on a bunch of fools. He refuses to repent being to proud, yet it also seems he won't repent because he's ashamed, because it is too late. These many contradictions in character make this book amazing.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This play is wonderful -- thrilling like a roller coaster, it is lyrically written, humorous and tragic at the same given moment. Marlowe's genius for combining entertainment for the groundlings and brilliance for posterity is showcased here!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent read; however, it is also a very difficult one. Once I started reading this book, which I must admit I wasn't expecting much from, I had to read it through to the end. With an very interesting plot, stunningly imaginative imagery dealing with hell and damnation, and intelligent questions regarding Calvinism and Catholicism, this wonderful book hits you with so many different and interesting levels of meaning. Unless you are very familiar with Middle English, though, I'd recommend you stay away from it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This version locks up my nook and my computer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was good!