Doctor Faustus (New Mermaids)

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9780713667905: Doctor Faustus (New Mermaids)
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This edition is based on the earlier version of this hugely successful
Renaissance tragedy, the A-text published in 1604 which, it is
generally agreed, preserves much of Marlowe's original version. In
addition, it separately includes the scenes that were adapted or added
in the B-text of 1616. Marlowe joined the form of the late medieval
morality play to the historical material found in the German tale of
Johann Faust, who sells his soul to the devil in return of infinite
power and knowledge. Ironically undercutting the aspirations of
Renaissance Man, the play presents a devil who fails to impress the
sinner with the realities of hell - 'I think hell's a fable,' Faustus
shrugs - and calls into question the medium of theatre, which time and
again serves the devil to distract Faustus when the pious promptings of
his heart threaten to lead him to repentance.

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From the Publisher:

The Broadview Literary Texts series is an effort to represent the ever-changing canon of literature in English by bringing together texts long regarded as classics with valuable, though lesser-known literature.

About the Author:

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."

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