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Doctor Faustus (Signet Classics) [Paperback]

By Christopher Marlowe (Author)
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Item Number 424136  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.7" Width: 4.2" Height: 0.7"
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2001
Publisher   Penguin Group USA
ISBN  0451527798  
EAN  9780451527790  


Availability  0 units.


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Item Description...
Overview
Faustus, a brilliant scholar, sells his soul to the devil in exchange for limitless knowledge and powerful black magic, yet remains unfulfilled. He considers repenting, but remains too proud to ask God for forgiveness. His indecision ultimately seals his fate. Faustus's story serves as a warning to those who would sacrifice righteous living for earthly gain. But Marlowe's play is also a deeply symbolic analysis of the shift from the late medieval world to the early modern world--a time when the medieval view that the highest wisdom lay in the theologian's contemplation of God was yielding to the Renaissance view that the highest wisdom lay in the scientist's and statesman's rational analysis of the world around them. Caught between these ideals, Faustus is both a tragic fool destroyed by his own ambition, and a hero at the forefront of a changing society. In Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlowe thoughtfully examines faith and enlightenment, nature and science--and the terrible cost of the objects of our desire. This new edition of Marlowe's classic includes a revised introduction, a history of the play on stage, and an updated bibliography by the editor, Sylvan Barnet of Tufts University. Also included are generous selections from the historic source of Doctor Faustus and illuminating commentaries by Richard B. Sewall, G.K. Hunter, David Bevington and Eric Rasmussen, and John Russell Brown.

Buy Doctor Faustus (Signet Classics) by Christopher Marlowe from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780451527790 & 0451527798

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More About Christopher Marlowe

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! 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.

Christopher Marlowe was born in 1564 and died in 1593.

Christopher Marlowe has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Dover Thrift Editions
  2. Focus on Performance
  3. New Mermaids
  4. Oxford World's Classics (Paperback)
  5. Signet Classics


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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Uhhhh  Mar 23, 2010
The book is awesome however you guys suck at sending stuff out when it is needed. I did not recieve my book until the notecards for my project were do. I am appauled at how long it took you to ship out my order. Like I said the book was good but the shipping and the company SUCKED!
_Disgruntled at how bad your shipping department is,
Adam Philemon
 
Ah, good and bad  Feb 1, 2009
I loved the book, really. The Faustian debacle is indeed very alluring and the quasi love story involved is well played out. That being said, the play finishes very awkwardl and the love affliction isn't fleshed out well, making for an even more awkward ending. Perhaps it is different when acted out.
 
Enjoyable and a must read!  Jul 26, 2007
By his untimely death at 29 Christopher Marlowe had written this and other plays (including The Jew of Malta) which inspired a beginning William Shakespeare to sharpen his craft.

Though the version we have was not recorded until about a decade after Marlowe's death (and therefore shows signs of later adulterations by other writers) you can still observe the genius of Marlowe at work.

The plot of this play is about a well-learnt man, Dr. Faustus, who believing that he has attained all the knowledge there is to learn (knowledge beyond the point of 'this far and no further'), turns to magic.

During one of his rituals he calls upon the underworld to aid him - Mephistopheles duly comes to Faustus' beckoning as any good demon would in their relentless search for souls; however Faustus, in his naive pride, believes that Mephistopheles is there as a result of his conjuring - demons are at his beck and call!

Mephistopheles plays it whatever way Faustus wants it, to ensure capturing his soul. They strike a pact - 24 glorious years of fame and fortune for Faustus, with Mephistopheles as his servant, after which his soul belongs to Lucifer. To make the contract binding Faustus writes out the pact and signs in blood. However, Mephistopheles is portrayed as a figure of sorrow and tries to warn Faustus about what he is getting himself into. But Faustus is unreceptive to the truth and ignores Mephistopheles' warning.

There is the good and bad angel that appear to Dr. Faustus several times. The good angel repeats over and over to Dr. Faustus that he can repent at any time and come back into good graces, while the bad angel keeps on telling him it's too late. The bad angel prevails.

A number of scenes are depicted - the main one being at the Vatican. Faustus is invisible and steals food and wine from under the Pope's nose, followed by putting to sleep a couple of Cardinals and stealing their clothes, and he frees Bruno who is to be put to death for impersonating the pope.

So the story develops - Faustus is the guest at the tables of the figureheads of Europe where he further increases his reputation by bringing to life such people as Helen of Troy. He is introduced to the Seven Deadly sins - Pride, Covetousness, Envy, Wrath, Gluttony, Sloth and Lechery.

After twenty four years of fame Faustus' time is drawing to a close and he cannot postpone the inevitable. Mephistopheles, Lucifer and Beelzebub appear to collect their payment - the soul of Faustus. At the midnight hour they open the gates of hell. Faustus tries to repent but it's too late and his implorations to God are halfhearted. The devils rip his body apart before casting it aside - it has no use for them - their only currency is the soul.

In the 3rd and 4th acts, Faustus seems to let go of his quest for knowledge (for the most part) and indulges in practical jokes of an evil nature. There are some who feel that the 3rd and 4th acts are way too silly and that they drag the play down.

The 5th act begins, and Faustus has one final chance to avoid his fate, but he resigns himself to damnation if he can 'enjoy' Helen of Troy. The devil always tempts us with sexual fantasies, mankind's ultimate weakness!

The final scene where Faustus realizes that it is too late and hell awaits, is a scene of pure terror almost unparalleled in literature. He moves from requests that cannot be granted to the most imaginative escapes. The play ends with an appropriate warning to stay behind the line of 'this far and no further.'

Christopher Marlow's life is a bit of a mystery. Some historians believe that he might have been a spy. Not surprisingly, one of the groups of people who Marlowe is rumored to have spied on were Catholics intent on overthrowing what they saw as England's Protestant government. The first thing Dr. Faustus does when he makes his famous bargain is to play a practical joke on the Pope.

Marlowe was killed in a bar fight over an unpaid bill, but it seems highly likely that he was murdered because he was a spy.
 
Read the man who inspired William Shakespeare  Nov 24, 2006
By his untimely death at 29 Christopher Marlowe had written this and other plays (including The Jew of Malta) which inspired a beginning William Shakespeare to sharpen his craft.

As regards this play, Marlowe was sort of the Pete Best of the era doing his version of the Hey Joe of the era. To continue musical metaphors he didn't invent but merely sampled the Faustus tale and in so doing gave it his own unique spin.

Though the version we have was not recorded until about a decade after Marlowe's death (and therefore shows signs of later adulterations by other writers) you can still observe the genuis of Marlowe at work. By likening his character to the Greek methological story of Dedalus, Marlowe imparts that sense of doom so connected with the potential arrogance of human ambition. As a reminder, Dedalus was affixed wings with wax by his father Icarus only to lose them and fall when Dedalus flew too high and had them melted by the light of the sun.

Similarly Faustus is -- in almost Christmas Carol type fashion -- visited by the personified seven deadly sins and Lucifer himself...itself then a unique device uniquely and effectively executed.

Throughout Marlowe makes us witness to Faustus' growing sense of doom at the irrevocability of his contract with Lucifer.

Sadly, to the modern reader much of the horror of his Faustian bargain is lost to us. For the most part, we moderns don't have the immediate fear of Lucifer that our forebears had. For us today, evil does not lurk in the shadows but is rather all too much before us as we proceed through our days and take note of current events.

Still the same the play was a landmark piece and an inspiration to Shakespeare who had before him an example of the genuis he had to compete with and the standard he had to maintain.

 
The Price of Fame....  Sep 29, 2006
Tells the tale of the unfortunate Doctor John Faustus - who in return for 24 years of fame and fortune sells his soul to Lucifer. Faustus is a learned gentleman, his pride tells him that he can learn no more from books and the limit of knowledge that they contain. He needs to escape the bounds of the known world and so turns to the world of magic.

During one of his rituals he calls upon the underworld to aid him - Mephistopheles duly comes to Faustus' beckoning as any good demon would in their relentless search for souls (Europe happens to be Mephistopheles stomping ground); however Faustus, in his naive pride, believes that Mephistopheles is there as a result of his conjuering - demons are at his beck and call! Mephistopheles plays it whatever way Fautus wants it, to ensure capturing his soul. They strike a pact - 24 glorious years of fame and fortune for Faustus, with Mephisto as his servent, after which his soul belongs to Lucifer. To make the contract binding Faustus writes out the pact and signs in blood - Mephisto isn't taking any chances.

A number of scenes are depicted - the main one being at the Vatican. Faustus is invisible and steals food and wine from under the Pope's nose, followed by putting to sleep a couple of Cardinals and stealing their clothes, he frees Bruno who is to be put to death for impersonating the pope.

So the story develops - Faustus is the guest at the tables of the figureheads of Europe where he further increases his reputation by bringing to life such people as Helen of Troy. He is introduced to the Seven Deadly sins - Pride, Covetousness, Envy, Wrath, Gluttony, Sloth & Lechery.

After Twenty and Four years of fame Faustus' time is drawing to a close and he cannot postpone the inevitable. Mephisto, Lucifer and Belzebub appear to collect their payment - the soul of Faustus. At the midnight hour they crack back the gates of hell to reveal his destiny - bodies on endless treadmills, unfortunates being thrown around on pitch forks, souls damned for eternity. Faustus tries to repent but it's too late and his implorations to God are halfhearted. The devils rip his body apart before casting it aside - it has no use for them - their only currency is the soul.

Recommended
 

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