In this brilliant dramatization of the Faust story, a scholar sells his soul to the devil in exchange for limitless knowledge and powerful black magic, yet he remains unfulfilled, serving as a warning to those who would sacrifice everything sacred for mere earthly gain.
But Marlowe's play is also a symbolic analysis of the shift from the late-medieval world, which valued most the theologian's contemplation, to the early-modern world, which favoured the rational analyses of statement and scientists. 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, Marlowe thoughtfully examines faith and enlightenment, nature and science-and the terrible costs of the objects of our desire.
This new edition of Marlowe's classic includes an introduction, a history of the play onstage, and an updated bibliography by the editor, Sylvan Barbet of Tufts University. Also included are generous selections from the historical source of Doctor Faustus and illuminating commentaries by Richard B. Sewall, G. K. Hunter, David Bevington and Eric Rasmussen, and John Russell brown, as well as a new critical essay by Kevin Dunn.