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Doctor Faustus
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Doctor Faustus

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  32,080 ratings  ·  709 reviews
This edition provides newly edited texts of both the 1604 (A-Text) and 1616 (B-Text) versions of the play, each with detailed explanatory annotations. "Sources and Contexts" includes a generous selection from Marlowe s main source, The Damnable Life and Deserved Death of Dr. John Faustus, along with contemporary writings on magic and religion (including texts by Agrippa, C ...more
Paperback, 430 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1604)
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Manny
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
...more
Kalliope



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,
That
...more
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
Forrest
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
Bookworm Sean
Doctor Faustus is a tragic figure: a confused man bursting with ambition and a thirst for knowledge but at the same time conflicted in his morals. Faustus is a genius: he has studied Aristotle’s teachings but finds them beneath him and craves something more suited to his superior intellect, they are his words not mine. He decides to study the dark art: Necromancy. Through this he summons the devil; and he quickly sells his soul, for more power.

I have not included a spoiler warning as it is appa
...more
Bruce
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
Amber Tucker
Dec 27, 2010 Amber Tucker rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Danya
Well, well, what do you know? Selling
your soul to the devil isn't a good idea after all! Who would've guessed it? All kidding aside, I love Marlowe and I think he's an amazing playwright. The combination of high and low art in Doctor Faustus is genius. Even a play about greed, hubris, and damnation needs a few dick jokes, amirite?
Katy
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
...more
Aubrey
Eh. Reading this mades me want to reread Hamlet. As well as read Goeth's Faust. I feel I'll get more out of them than I did with this play. At least, in terms of appreciating plays and Faust's story. Most of it was pretty weird. And not much meaning behind it besides falling prey to temptation and the devil. Maybe I'm not a play person. Or maybe I need to read it in a group setting that facilitates proper discussion and analysis. Maybe the next plays will be better.
Thomas
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.
Rob
Every time someone trots out the idea that Marlowe write Shakespeare, I think of this, and shake my head. It's a great concept, but Marlowe's hero is hardly the romantic figure we might expect. Instead Dr. Faustus, at many times seems, ah, rather less than decisive or intellectually gifted

Of course, the real reason for Faustus's indecisiveness and bumbling is that this work is the child of morality plays, and has the same problem that DC comics did when they decided to give the Joker his own com
...more
Knjigoholičarka
"He that loves pleasure must for pleasure fall."

I nakon 500 godina, tragična sudbina doktora Fausta snažno odjekuje svetom književnosti. Lepi, strastveni jezik Kristofera Marloua, predivni stihovi, crni humor, čak i elementi slapstick komedije u pojedinim trenucima, čine ovo delo neprevaziđenom, košmarnom pričom o prekasnom pokajanju.

Nema šale za gazda-Luciferom.
David
David Bevington and Eric Rasmussen’s Revels Plays edition of Dr Faustus has been the go-to critical edition of the play for twenty years, so it is good to see it finally making an appearance in a student edition. Most welcome is the fact that it contains both the A- and B-texts, as all the student editions available so far feature only one. Unlike the critical edition on which it is based, the two texts are presented side by side, which makes it easy to compare the versions.

The editors have prov
...more
Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
Something more than 5 stars..?! Well.. There are things beyond mere rating,you see.. The matter with classics is that you get to hear and read more about them before you really attempt to read them. They are like your friend's friend. You might not have met him. But you know almost everything about him.

Speaking personally..

I had been wanting to read this book ever since I started reading about Shakespeare,and that was during my schooldays. But I was forced into reading this book because of anot
...more
John
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
Michael
I have a strange fascination with stories involving Satan, Hell, and the like. I love seeing authors' different spins on the underworld. Dante's Inferno presents a more traditional view, No Exit shows it from an existential perspective, and so on. Dr. Faustus, however, mostly lets the reader make what he or she will given the minimal stage directions and descriptions. Whenever the Seven Deadly Sins or Lucifer ventured onto the stage, they weren't explicitly described, and that was probably my fa ...more
Hannah Taylor
I saw an adaptation of this play yesterday; they retained the original beginning and end, but modernized the middle section, resulting in a very bizarre, somewhat disjointed narrative that detracted from Marlowe's powerful messages. I am exceptionally glad I read the original afterwards - it was actually a highly enjoyable read, though the language itself is not particularly dazzling. Dr. Faustus is more than a man's wager with the devil, or an individual struggling with eternal damnation after ...more
Aarohi Sudan
Clearly this novel is famed for it's speculative nature of the 'Evil' or 'Dark" magic.The novel manages to empower the heroic aspiration of 'Renaissance man" if that's what Marlowe was out to do.

The storyline is pretty attractive for those who are Big time Harry Potter and The Secret Circle readers.Sure it is but then the play brings out some twists.

"Selling his soul to the devil for ruthless power?!"

According to me,we should try to see how many morality conventions Marlowe debunks and how Docto
...more
Adam Floridia
Upon re-reading, I was right: I really did like this. And I'm kind of not sure why. Random characters come in and out, there is little unity of action, and it's just very choppy overall. However, that's when I compare it to something by one of Marlowe's contemporaries, you know, a complexly woven Shakespeare play with developed characters and relevant subplots. But when I take this for what it is (or what I think it is, at least)--a simple morality tale--its' really good, and that's all because ...more
Alex
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
...more
Lada
Le livre est absolument un des chefs-d'oeuvre de la Renaissance, ecrit par Christopher Marlowe , ecrivain a une carriere fulgurante mort a a 29 ans. C'est une tragedie qui inaugure un des grands mythes de l'ere moderne, repris par Goethe, Mann ou d'autres. A l'origine de l'histoire se trouve un desir-crainte de l'homme de se mesurer au diable et en fin du compte a la mort. C'est une histoire populaire atteste au moyen age au Xllle siecle et parle Theophile qui a vaincu diable. Cette histoire qui ...more
Juan
"Choke thyself, glutton!"
Yomna hosny
I remember the first time I tried to read old English, it sounded like an alien language. But the more exposure you get to something, the more familiar it becomes. so that shouldn't discourage you from reading things like this.

You can always pick up a copy with footnotes and translations if you'd like but in my personal opinion, this book isn't hard to understand at all.

You can do what I do whenever I read plays or poetry.
Just go on to Librivox.com, find a reading of this book and listen to it
...more
J. Aleksandr Wootton
The importance of this work - as a forerunner of Shakespearean tragedy, Milton's Paradise Lost, and Gothic novels like The Monk - is pretty obvious, but for me Dr. Faustus pales in comparison to its descendants. I was expecting more.

Specifically I was expecting some fulfillment of Faustus' stated ambitions. A bored learned genius, he elects to try sorcery, imagining that a demon familiar can deliver him wealth and empire. Faustus' bargain with Lucifer is predicated on Mephistophilis' assurances
...more
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!
Matt
Everybody knows the gist of this one, but it's interesting to read it in whole. The most surprising feature is the comedy of the play, as when Faustus-who has the power to do anything he wishes-uses that power to travel to Rome, make himself invisible, and play pranks on the Pope...
Daniel
This is one of those classic works that might be more interesting to read about with excerpts rather than reading as a whole. Compared to even some of the minor works of Shakespeare, a contemporary of Marlowe, this play is simply just not as complex or engaging. It is a fairly straight-forward take on the Faust story, and I imagine it has his own unique details and emphases, but lacking any other experience with either Faust or Marlowe, I can't say.

The first half of the play is by far superior,
...more
Assala Mihoubi
Ohhh! that feeling I felt when I finished it. I was astonished by the fact that we sometimes feel that we need to enjoy secular pleasures provided to us in life, we need to enjoy ourselves and feel the power no matter what form it is, but wait! there are rules for that pleasure, there are limits for the rebellion of our souls,but no,Dr. Faustus gave up to his demons, to his lusts;therefore, the price he paid was the internal damnation in the dark side of the existence, but rather before his cloc ...more
Dfordoom
The tale of Faust has been told many times, but Kit Marlowe's 1589 version is still the most fun.
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Christopher "Kit" Marlowe (baptised 26 February 1564 – 30 May 1593) 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.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christop...
More about Christopher Marlowe...
The Complete Plays Edward II The Jew of Malta Tamburlaine Doctor Faustus and Other Plays, Parts 1-2

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“Hell is just a frame of mind.” 162 likes
“He that loves pleasure must for pleasure fall.” 102 likes
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