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The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  43,800 Ratings  ·  1,090 Reviews
One of the glories of Elizabethan drama: Marlowe's powerful retelling of the story of the learned German doctor who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge and power. Footnotes.
Kindle Edition, From the Quarto of 1604, 132 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1592)
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Daniel (Assuming you mean when Faustus' blood congeals.)

His blood clotting is supposed to be an example of nature - or god - trying to stop Faustus from…more
(Assuming you mean when Faustus' blood congeals.)

His blood clotting is supposed to be an example of nature - or god - trying to stop Faustus from selling his soul. It may also indicate that God does little whilst temptation (that being Mephistopheles) will out do Gods efforts. (less)

Community Reviews

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Dec 05, 2008 Manny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Selling Your Soul: A Short PowerPoint Presentation

Good morning. I recall reading an article about Tony Blair

Tony Blair

where the columnist said that one of the surprising things about selling your soul is that the price usually turns out to be so low. There is, indeed, a tendency to think that it's a question of getting an advantageous deal. Here, Faust has landed himself a terrific package, even better than the one Keanu Reaves gets in The Devil's Advocate.

The Devil's Advocate

The top item is Sex With Helen Of Troy. Let me q
Bill  Kerwin
May 22, 2007 Bill Kerwin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The history of Dr. Faustus, both in performance and composition, is obscured by legend and shrouded in surmise. We know it was wildly popular, but not when it was written or first performed: perhaps as early as 1588, when Marlowe was twenty-four, or perhaps as late in 1593, the year Marlowe died. At any rate, it so captured the public imagination that people told stories about it. The most vivid of the legends tells us that real devils were once conjured during a performance, that actors were co ...more

I keep thinking of Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) as if he had been his own Faustus, but he must have been tricked because he did not get his twenty-four years of devilish powers. Just a few, very few in fact.

He was a writer of sharp wits who could flex his Disputatio abilities better than a dagger, and had an impeccable formal education of a solidity that even his more famous contemporary would have wished for himself.

So soon he profits in divinity,
The fruitful plot of scholarism graced,
Bookdragon Sean
Doctor Faustus is a tragic figure. He is a confused man bursting with ambition and a thirst for knowledge, but at the same time conflicted in his morals. Faustus is also a genius; he has studied Aristotle’s teachings but finds them beneath him and craves something more suited to his superior intellect. He decides to study the dark art of Necromancy. Through this he summons the devil and he quickly sells his soul for more power; thus, this could only end one way.

A Tragic fall from grace

“His waxe
Roy Lotz
Dec 08, 2013 Roy Lotz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
How to Become a Successful Elizabethan Playwright in 7 Easy Steps

1. Consider visiting Elizabethan England. When you're there, take careful notes. The first thing you'll notice is that most people talk in blank verse. Spend enough time there, and you might start speaking like that too!

2. Set a routine! Successful writers abide by a careful schedule, allowing them to keep their work on track. Most Elizabethan playwrights prefer to write in the morning, setting aside the evening for brothels, bar
Andrew Breslin
I don't know about you, but my idea of a good time is to sneak into a gathering of Elizabethan literary scholars and just provoke the living shit out of them. I like to get them feuding about whether Shakespeare was a genius of surpassing magnitude, standing well above Marlowe and the rest in raw poetic brilliance, or simply the only one among the group who attended a marketing class. It's fun to re-open the perpetual debate on Edward de Vere's alleged authorship of the Bard's plays, then sit ba ...more
This work came at an odd time for me. The English class I read it for gave a quiz on it today, while my other English class went over Wordsworth's 'Tintern Abbey' in great detail, a poem that is heavily concerned with coming back to a familiar setting after five years gone and rhapsodizing upon the findings. The first time I read this work, it was fall quarter of Junior year of my UCLA Bioengineering degree and I was keeping my head afloat the equational sea with classical literature in my spare ...more
سوژه ى داستان بسيار عالى و جذابه:
دكتر فاستوس، دانشمندى دينى، كه همه ى علوم زمانه ى خود را به كمال آموخته و در راه تحصيل و تدريس پير شده است، شبى پى مى برد كه تمام تلاش يك عمرش بيهوده بوده و هيچ طرفى از تحصيل اين علوم بر نبسته است.
در نتيجه، طى معامله اى با شيطان، حاضر مى شود كه روح خود را بدو بفروشد و در مقابل، بيست سال در آسايش و تنعم تمام و با قدرت و دانشى بى نهايت زندگى كند. قرار داد را با خون خويش نوشته، امضا مى كند و بدين ترتيب، برده ى حلقه به گوش شيطان مى گردد.
پتانسيل سرشارى داره اين سوژه و
Jan 22, 2013 Forrest rated it really liked it
While I tease my daughter incessantly about the true identity of Shakespeare, I have to admit that while a lot of evidence points towards Christopher Marlowe and Shakespeare being the same person, I can't, in all honesty, hold up the play The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus as a Shakespeare-worthy text. Yes, the magical element present in so much of Shakespeare's work is here, yes, there is a good dose of humor, and, yes, the writing itself is, well, Shakespearean. But Doctor Faustus' humor i ...more
Andrei Tamaş
Mar 13, 2016 Andrei Tamaş rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tragica poveste a Doctorului Faustus are în centru setea de cunoaştere, dorinţa de a trece peste anumite etape ale cunoaşterii pentru a atinge cunoaşterea absolută, ceea ce atrage după sine falsificarea eticii de baza a omului. Setea de cunoaştere a stăpânit întotdeauna spiritele iniţiate, ştiinţa fiind ca un drog, iar sevrajul -ca în opera- atrage după sine "soluţia finală": pactul cu ideaticele forţe ale răului.
Redată într-un univers alegoric, opera nu fixează o acţiune anume, ci, la nivel id
Oct 20, 2013 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marlowe has written this excellent play in skillful blank verse. Faustus’s learning and ambition are boundless, rooted in a dissatisfaction with human achievement and ultimately based on the realization that death ends all, making any achievement seem finally futile. Many Latin quotations are included in the play, all translated in the text or the end notes, each reinforcing Faustus’s learning. He turns finally to the occult, to necromancy, in order to move beyond mere human power. Is this one o ...more
Sep 29, 2015 Liam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As dark and twisted as this was, it was actually really great!!

The start was a little slow but when it gets going I really started to enjoy it. The story is very weird and messed up but it made it that bit more entertaining!
David Sarkies
Jan 20, 2014 David Sarkies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Tragedy
Recommended to David by: Originally my English Teacher (though not this play specifically)
Shelves: tragedy
To Dance with the Devil
24 January 2014

Well it looks like my commentary is going to disappear among the hundred or so other commentaries that have appeared on Goodreads in relation to this magnificent play. Okay, poor old Marlowe has unfortunately not just been overshadowed by Shakespeare within the theatre circuit of Elizabethan England (that is if he wasn't Shakespeare in the first place – gee that's just opened up a huge can of worms) …

Anyway, as I was saying, it wasn't enough that as a play
Emad Attili
Apr 10, 2015 Emad Attili rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Hell is just a frame of mind”

When you finish reading Doctor Faustus, you become extremely confused and you keep asking yourself a crucial philosophical question: Are we born good or evil? And that leads you to another question: What is the purpose of existence? Then, you find yourself obligated to answer an overwhelming question: Do we understand God correctly?


When we go back in time to Adam and Eve, we know that their first sin, which resulted in their banishment from Heaven, was the hunger
Jan 26, 2017 Kaethe rated it it was ok
The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus From the Quarto of 1604 - Christopher Marlowe I was bored. There wasn't any good reason for the devils to be doing anything for Faustus, and this business of signing up souls? What the hell is that? Assuming the soul is a real, discrete, item that can be separated from a body, why would you want one? And if serving the whims of humans gets you out of hell for a while, why wouldn't you devote yourself to your human with slavish devotion? Also what does Helen ...more
Doktor Faustus'u benim için bu kadar önemli kılan şey Goethe'nin eserine esin kaynağı olmuş olmasıydı. Uzun zamandır okumak istiyordum... İngiliz Edebiyatı klasigi olmasının yanında cehennem ve şeytan göndermeleri de çok ilgi çekiciydi diye başlamış olayım.

Başka yayın evlerinden okuma şansım olduğu halde Sıla Kültür'ün sınırlı sayıda bastığı eseri tercih ettim. Çevirmeni sevgili İsmail Cengar'la da tanışınca doğru kararı verdiğimi anladım. İnsanın bir kitabın çeviri sürecine, bu süreçte yaşanan
Negar Bolboli
What's up with the epilogue? I should think it's rather hastily wraped up in a moralistic "don't-do-it-guys" sorta way!
Hasret Okyanus Sarı
Jan 12, 2017 Hasret Okyanus Sarı rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play, drama
Burn all the books
Amber Tucker
Dec 13, 2010 Amber Tucker rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elizabethan lit students
Recommended to Amber by: Dr. Nichols, Drama 1701
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 31, 2016 Ümit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruhunu şeytana satmak da yetmiyor; o zaman da, ömür boyu vicdan azabı ve tereddüt yaşıyorsun. Son ana geldiğinde de kesinkes pişman oluyorsun ama değmiyor.

"Cehennem, sonsuza kadar acı çektiğimiz, sonsuza kadar kaldığımız yerde... öğelerin ta derinlikerinde... Cehennemin sınırı yoktur, Faustus; yalnızca bir yerde de değildir. Biz neredeysek cehennem oradadır, cehennem neredeyse biz de hep orada olmalıyız. Şunu da söyleyeyim; bütün dünya eriyip bitince, her yaratık ârafta temize çıkınca, cennet ol
Chelsea Rae
Sep 15, 2016 Chelsea Rae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"o soul, be changed into little water drops, / and fall into the ocean, ne'er be found!"

to absolutely nobody's surprise, i loved this play. particularly faustus's countdown soliloquy; i, too, want to be drawn up "like a foggy mist into the entrails of yon laboring cloud." when will my soul dissolve into elements?? not soon enough.

the footnotes in this edition feel a little wacky and the intro is pretty tongue-in-cheek (about what you'd expect from the '80s) but it does include the B-text in the
Mar 12, 2017 zilver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uni, on-my-shelf
ngl this was really fun (& thinking about costa mcclure saying "it's VERY intense, VERY homo-erotic" in lolilo made it even more fun)

a list of fun times with faustus: (lowkey spoilers below)
• when faustus conjures up a devil and immediately sends him away because the devil is too ugly
• faustus contemplating how one words the handing over of one's soul to the devil
• when he asks mephastophiles where hell is and just. does not believe anything he says.
• mephastophiles: but faustus. i'm lit
Jun 07, 2011 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, on-hold
Book Info: Genre: Play/Classical works
Reading Level: Adults
Recommended for: all
Trigger Warnings: IT BE OF THE DIVVEL!! (well, not really, but you know... it does express some views that might upset religious people. Details below)

Disclosure: This was my “random read” for November; unfortunately I could not manage it until now. I actually have two copies of this, both of which I picked up free: one from The Internet Archive and one from Project Gutenberg. I’ve chosen the Gutenberg edition to read
Nov 23, 2015 Epiero rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Luego de buscar algún comentario al respecto del libro Inferno encontré un blog cuyo comentario me detuvo a leerlo, pero más que su desarrollo lo que me llamó la atención fue la cita previa.

FAUSTO.— Primero te preguntaré acerca del infierno. Dime, ¿dónde está ese
lugar que los hombres llaman infierno?
MEFISTÓFELES.- Bajo los cielos.
FAUSTO.- Sí, pero ¿dónde?
MEFISTÓFELES. — Dentro de las entrañas de los elementos, y en él somos torturados y permanecemos eternamente. No tiene límites, ni está circun
There are two texts for Marlowe's definitive treatment of the Faust myth, and no real consensus on which is more authoritative. The A text is shorter and punchier, but the B text includes some good stuff too. The arguments, briefly:

- Marlowe expanded his hit play into the B text, which is therefore authoritative;
- Someone else added some shit in later, so the A text is authoritative.

Don't believe the Wikipedia page, btw, it's a mess.

I prefer the A text. The B text is quite a bit longer, and whil
No sé si influyó el hecho de haber leído otras obras de Marlowe previamente como "Dido, reina de Cartago" o "La masacre de París" cuyos temas me gustan más que el tema de Fausto. Y de seguro también el saber su leyenda por la obra de Goethe influyó para que no me guste tanto pues hay un personaje importante que falta!, como digo considerando la obra de Goethe.
La historia narra la desventura del Dr. Faustus, quien en su deseo de alcanzar conocimientos prohibidos y más allá de lo que él sabía por
Oct 20, 2015 Linah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had to read this as part of my course, can't say I understood everything crystal clear- but nevertheless what I did understand I enjoyed. I knew from reading a short description it'd be right up my street! I'm a sucker for that type of history ( Angels/ demons) and of course lucifer so as you can imagine I was very pleased and excited to read it.
Having taken drama as a gcse I understood a lot of the structure and language used, so it didn't make me long to get into it- and when I did, the story
May 22, 2011 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Though Marlow was born the same year as Shakespeare, he really can't be considered in the same league as The Bard. Doctor Faustus is not a good play, but it is a gutsy one (for the time), and probably a lot more interesting to study than to read. I've never seen a play attempt to be this scary before, but it's far too cheesy and the writing too weak (though there are a couple of great passages) to continue to produce its intended effect in this day and age. Faustus himself is one of the most unl ...more
Jan 10, 2016 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started Goethe’s Faust, then decided I needed to research editions and take a look at at least one earlier version of the story. This New Mermaid edition of Marlowe’s play is the earlier, A text, so it is shorter and tighter and more surely Marlowe than the later, ‘improved’ B edition published many years after his murder (if he did die, but this is not a history review). Definitely Renaissance, and I felt Marlowe speaking through Faustus. He wants to know things, wants power and gold, but mos ...more
A short, entertaining play about a German doctor who sells his soul to the devil. It contains elements of humor and causes one to reflect on the nature of power, sin, and forgiveness. The atypical nature of certain aspects of the story - like the jocular nature of the Seven Deadly Sins and the utilization of Satanic powers to play pranks - made this work stand out and fun to discuss. Recommended for those who have any interest in plays, horror, fantasy, heaven and hell, and Marlowe.
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Christopher "Kit" Marlowe (baptised 26 February 1564) was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. The foremost Elizabethan tragedian next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his magnificent blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his own mysterious and untimely death.

The author's Wikipedia page.
More about Christopher Marlowe...

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“Hell is just a frame of mind.” 243 likes
“He that loves pleasure must for pleasure fall.” 148 likes
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