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Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1616 version)

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By: (1564-1593)

The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe's death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play. "No Elizabethan play outside the Shakespeare canon has raised more controversy than Doctor Faustus. There is no agreement concerning the nature of the text and the date of composition... and the centrality of the Faust legend in the history of the Western world precludes any definitive agreement on the interpretation of the play. This recording uses the 1616 quarto, published by John Wright, which contains significant alterations from and additions to the quarto of 1604.

First Page:


By Christopher Marlowe

From The Quarto Of 1616.

Edited By The Rev. Alexander Dyce.

Comments on the preparation of the E Text:

SQUARE BRACKETS: The square brackets, i.e. are copied from the printed book, without change, except that the stage directions usually do not have closing brackets. These have been added.

FOOTNOTES: For this E Text version of the book, the footnotes have been consolidated at the end of the play.

Numbering of the footnotes has been changed, and each footnote is given a unique identity.

CHANGES TO THE TEXT: Character names were expanded. For Example, FAUSTUS was FAUST; SECOND SCHOLAR was SEC. SCHOL.

OTHER COMMENTS: This E Text of Doctor Faustus is taken from a volume of The Works of Christopher Marlowe . That volume also contains an earlier version of the play, based on the text of 1604, which is available as an E Text. Some of the notes to the earlier version are applicable to, and help explain, this version.

Gary R. Young

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