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Doctor Faustus (Dover Thrift Editions) [Paperback]

Christopher Marlowe , William Allan Neilson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jan 1995 Dover Thrift Editions
One of Western culture's most enduring myths recounts a learned German doctor's sale of his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge and power. Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe transformed the Faust legend into the English language's first epic tragedy, a vivid drama that abounds in psychological insights and poetic grandeur.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; New edition edition (1 Jan 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486282082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486282084
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.2 x 0.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Michael Keefer's revised edition of Marlowe's Doctor Faustus is now all the more an indispensable text for students, teachers, and scholars of early modern English drama. It combines immense learning with perfect clarity and accessibility. It gives us a solidly reconceived text and also a brilliant historical introduction that fills each line of this strange and moving play with the sounds of a world in intellectual and religious crisis."--Paul Yachnin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A modern retelling of Marlowe's play --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had not been introduced to Marlowe's work (or, indeed, heard of the legendary playwright at all) until after taking the mammoth decision to start an Open University module. This was a Level 1 module for 60 credits; AA100 `The Arts Past and Present'. During the second week, we had the task of reading the play from this suggested A-Text version, alongside an audio track provided by the university. Having not studied for the past 4-5 years, I found the play initially hard to go by. But, of course, this is expected for a higher education student who has been away from academia for quite some time. My fellow students and I found this text to be a surprising read, and, reading from the perspective of an observer of the production, rather than the reader of a novel (or stage-play) helped to put the play into context.
Having not studied much Shakespearean literature, I found `Doctor Faustus' the perfect play to be introduced into the discipline of Renaissance English Literature, with its vastly complex and visionary characterisation. The character of Faustus, for me, is a living representation of the dangers pertaining to seeking knowledge beyond one's physical (and spiritual) capabilities. The Christian message is embedded throughout the play, as was suitably the norm during Marlowe's lifetime, of repentance, forgiveness and God's ultimate will.
The Pearson Longman edition is especially useful for the Open University student, as this is indeed the first set book for the aforementioned module for the humanities. It provides extensive details on the text and footnotes detailing the many idioms and contemporary translations of early-modern English.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The devil made me read it... 4 Jan 2006
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
'Was this the face that launched a thousand ships...' There are so many great lines in this play! The greatness of Marlowe was recognised in his own time (a gentle modern reminder of this came in the film 'Shakespeare in Love', when almost every actor auditioning chose a bit from Marlowe, and all of those defaulted to this play).
It is somewhat ironic that if Shakespeare and Marlowe were writing today, they should most like be charged with plagiarism and copyright infringement; 'The Tragedy of Doctor Faustus' is likewise not an entirely original construct of Marlowe's, but rather derives from an anonymously penned German poem translated into English shortly before Marlowe recast it for his play. The German poet Goethe was influenced by the same anonymous source, and perhaps knew of Marlowe's play during his writing.
Dr. Faustus may have been based on a brilliant professor in Germany a generation or two prior to Marlowe. In any event, the idea of the seduction of the power of knowledge was (and continues to be) inspiring. The idea of selling one's soul to get the object of one's desire is also not a unique concept. Knowledge in the ancient world often always involved the spiritual realm, which had both its light and dark sides (one has but to think of the Star Wars saga to see how such concepts remain firmly rooted in our own time). Faustus becomes a conjurer, and strikes a deal with Lucifer to maintain power and knowledge in return for his soul after 24 years.
Despite the temptations to repent, Faustus in Marlowe's text never manages to break free of the temptations. 'My heart's so hardened I cannot repent. / Scare can I name salvation, faith, or heaven, / But fearful echoes thunder in mine ears: / "Faustus, thou art damned.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A by-chance read 5 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have never read a play before and the only reason I opened this one up was because I needed to buy it for my Open University course and I was surprised to find I enjoyed it. The book is split with the play on the right hand side with explanations on the left making it easy for you to understand what is being said.

There is also a description in the back about the life of Marlowe, which was interesting as he had lived quite an amazing life, not only this, he had been writing plays while Shakespere was still working on his. Marlowe's death has been shroded in secrecy with many ideas on why he died and I think that helps makes his plays even more interesting.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I have read and reread all of Marlowe's plays, and this one, written when he was 24, is still my favorite. It dramatizes the fall from grace of Dr. John Faustus, a physician in 15th century Germany. Faustus is unsatisfied with the laurels of earthly fame, so to extend his knowledge and his power he sells his soul to the devil. The tragedy is that he doesn't get nearly what he thought he would, and in the end he descends to using his powers to play sophomoric tricks on country bumpkins. The final scene, in which Faustus realizes it is too late, and he is damned to hell forever, is one of the most terrifying, powerful and moving in English literature.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marlowe's Faustus 2 Oct 2009
I vagueley remembered studying this at school, but this text seems to be so much more than I remember!
The study notes and helpful hints are invaluable!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this! 19 May 2009
Like the above review I had to read this book for an OU course. It took a couple of scenes for me to get into the language. At first I found myself checking the notes every couple of lines because I was unfamiliar with some of the terminology but once I got into it I was hooked. I ended up reading it in one go and really enjoyed it. The sections after the play are very useful aswell as they provide a lot of background information and put the play in context. Whether you are reading this play for fun or for a course its definately worth a read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars I don't like it
There are several text mistakes and format layout errors in this kindle other kindle versions
Published 3 hours ago by Stephen Plews
5.0 out of 5 stars very informative
Has really been helping me with my course work. Very informative.
Published 23 hours ago by Jack & Ruby's Mum
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Required reading for OU history excellent.
Published 7 days ago by Mr. Michael Heath
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As required
Published 27 days ago by rawrees
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great product
Published 27 days ago by Leyna51
5.0 out of 5 stars Beata ;)
Brilliant book i a beautiful condition thanks so much ;))) xx
Published 29 days ago by Beatrice
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book with useful notes
Great for my English Lit course and had plenty of background information in the notes under the script. Good buy.
Published 2 months ago by Joe Owen
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine
I was happy with this purchase as I was able to save a couple of pounds...which is always a good thing
Published 5 months ago by Mishelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Another essential Read for some courses
Bought for an Open University course that I was doing, it was listed as essential reading for the OU AA100 'The Arts Past and Present'
course. Read more
Published 6 months ago by MR P J FAIRWEATHER
5.0 out of 5 stars New to me
This was the first of Marlowe's plays that I have read and I will be looking at more.

The man himself deserves his own story telling! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Andrew T. Dollery
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