Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
(Dover Thrift Editions)

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Marlowe knew how to wind up the groundlings, but he was also addressing a section of his audience that was like himself: intellectual, inquisitive, disaffected. 
-London Review of Books

Synopsis

"Dr. Faustus" is Christopher Marlowe's version of the famous legend of a doctor who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge and power. Originally published in 1600 this drama is based on an earlier anonymous German work (c. 1587) which has influenced many subsequent works including Goethe's more comprehensive "Faust" (c. 1808) and the contemporary "Doktor Faustus" (c. 1947) by Thomas Mann. The legend of Faust, reportedly based on a true person, is the origin of one of the most prevalent themes in literary history, the selling of one's soul to the devil.
 

About Christopher Marlowe

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Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) was born in Canterbury the year of Shakespeare's birth. Like Shakespeare, he was of a prosperous middle-class family, but unlike Shakespeare he went to a university, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he received the bachelor's degree in 1584 and the master's degree in 1587. The terms of his scholarship implied that he was preparing for the clergy but he did not become a clergyman. Shortly before he received his M.A. the University seems to have wished to withhold it, apparently suspecting him of conversion to Roman Catholicism, but the Queen's Privy Council intervened on his behalf, stating that he "had done her majesty good service" and had been employed "in matters touching the benefit of the country." His precise service is unknown. After Cambridge, Marlowe went to London, where he apparently lived a turbulent life (he had two brushes with the law and was said to be disreputable) while pursuing a career as a dramatist. He wrote seven plays--the dates of which are uncertain--before he was yet again in legal difficulties: he was arrested in 1593, accused of atheism. He was not imprisoned, and before his case could be decided he was dead, having been stabbed in a tavern while quarreling over the bill.
 
Published March 30, 2004 by Digireads.com. 82 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, History, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Travel, Children's Books, Horror, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Dr. Faustus
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

BellaOnline

Good
Reviewed by Ije Kanu on Jan 01 2010

The tale that brought us the phrases "Faustian Bargain," "selling your soul to the devil," and "the shoulder angel and devil" convention is still as accessible and poignant today as it was to 16th century Elizabethans.

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London Review of Books

Good
Reviewed by Charles Nicholl on Mar 08 2008

Marlowe knew how to wind up the groundlings, but he was also addressing a section of his audience that was like himself: intellectual, inquisitive, disaffected. 

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Helium

Good
Reviewed by Matt Myster on Jun 05 2010

Dangerous actions are made by persons who believe they are pre-destined, as they act irrationally and as Faustus experienced, these actions are always accompanied by repercussions.

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