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Doctor Faustus (Norton Critical Editions) New Ed Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Marlowe and Goethe are different personalities living in completely different times so that it's no wonder their plays vary in character. Goethe lived in prosperity and had all his life to think about subjects like human nature, social relationships, history and its influence on the present, love, religion and much more. He was a philosoph, and that's the reason why Goethe's "Faust" is sometimes difficult to understand because you have to dive under the surface of things to understand their true nature. Marlowe's work is different: This man was certainly very intelligent and knew a lot about the forces that moved the world, but, unlike Goethe, he didn't have a lifetime to think about one single play. You can imagine that Marlowe's "Faust" became more shallow, but still not shallow enough to be ignored by this imaginary institution we call World Literature. As a compensation, Marlowe's work contains more life and action in it, something I can't say about Goethe's. Both men were geniuses. In this review, I'd like to pay my tribute to the Englishman.
As stated above, the play tells the story of a medieval scientist who allies himself with the devil.Read more ›
The most prominent influence on Marlowe's version of the Faust legend was the social upheaval during the time period in which it was written. Doctor Faustus was probably first performed in 1594, a time of tremendous change in Europe. The Medieval times were over and the Renaissance was beginning, however, influences of both times can be found in the play. Doctor Faustus is a transitional play where beliefs from both time periods intermingle, sometimes with disastrous results.
Doctor Faustus, himself, is a man torn between two traditions. He is a man with medieval beliefs, but renaissance aspirations. When he first attempts to conjure Mephistopheles, Faustus believe that Mephistopheles was forced to come by his (Faustus's) words. In response, Mephistopheles says, "for when we hear one rack the name of God, abjure the Scriptures and his savior Christ, we fly in hope to get his glorious soul." Mephistopheles has, of course, come of his own accord, because he feels that there is a soul to be had. He states this blatantly, yet Faustus is clouded by his old beliefs and also by his desires.
From a medieval point of view, Doctor Faustus can be looked upon as a morality play; a play about one man who aspires beyond his God-given place in the world. On the other hand, from a renaissance perspective, this play is a tragedy. The Renaissance was a time of individuality unlike the Middle Ages where a man was trapped in whatever social class into which he was born.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Two reason I got this book, saw a documentary that claimed he wrote Shakespeare plays and I wanted to read one of the original "Dr. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Heulwen Foulkes
Because this was reproduced printing from an earlier source, I expected the layout and maybe smallness of the text to be a problem. I was very suprised. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Eric Taylor
I thought it as a great play. Of course the story has been done by many. I was familiar with the story. Like this one the best.Published 1 month ago by happy buyer
One of my favorite books, currently using it for a paper. A short play that everyone should take the time to read and learn something about human nature.Published 2 months ago by Matt D
Dr. Faustus is a great story of hubris, temptation, and regret. It has also been told in so many forms over the centuries that it has had a lasting artistic impact on Western... Read morePublished 2 months ago by John H.
The copy itself is of pretty good quality for a paperback. As for the content of the play, it has great themes and is only about 60 pages long, however it's also something you... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amin Malekpour
I read this for a college class and at first I was a bit put off by the style, but once I got used to it, this was an enjoyable play. I find it interesting how Dr. Read morePublished 3 months ago by C. E. Banks
I bought this edition primarily to read "Doctor Faustus" which I thought was rather flat and clichéd and without a lot of deep character development. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Django Rienhardt