Doctor Faustus

This edition of Doctor Faustus features annotated versions, with modernized spelling and punctuation, of the 1604 “A-text” and the 1592 text of Marlowe’s source, the English Faust Book—a translation of the best-selling Historia von Johann Fausten published in Frankfurt in 1587, which recounts the strange story of Doctor John Faustus and his pact with the spirit Mephistopheles.

Play title:  Doctor Faustus

Author (s):  Christopher Marlowe

Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc

Publication Date: 2005

Genre: Drama (Tragedy)

Primary Discipline: Natural Philosophy

Secondary Discipline: Medicine

Scientist (s):

Dr. John Faustus: An alchemist and astrologer who became part of a folk legend decades after his death

Source Texts:  The History of the Damnable Life and Deserved Death of Doctor John Faustus or English Faust Book by John Henry Jones

Character Breakdown:

Chorus, Dr. John Faustus, Wagner, Valdes, Cornelius, Three Scholars, Old Man, The Good Angel, The Evil Angel, Mephastophilis, Lucifer, Belzebub, The Clown, Robin, Rafe, Vinter, Horse-Course, The Pope, Cardinal of Lorraine, The Emperor Charles V, A Knight, Duke of Saxony, Due of Vanholt, Duchess of Vanholt, The Seven Deadly Sins, Alexander the Great, Alexander the Great’s Paramour, Helen of Troy, Attendants, Friars, and Devils

Setting: Varies

Time Period: Varies

Synopsis of Play:

This edition of Doctor Faustus features annotated versions, with modernized spelling and punctuation, of the 1604 “A-text” and the 1592 text of Marlowe’s source, the English Faust Book—a translation of the best-selling Historia von Johann Fausten published in Frankfurt in 1587, which recounts the strange story of Doctor John Faustus and his pact with the spirit Mephistopheles.

David Wootton’s Introduction charts Marlowe’s brief, meteoric career; the delicate social and political climate in which Doctor Faustus was staged and the vexed question of the religious sensibilities to which it may have catered; the interpretive significance of variations between the “A” and “B” texts; and the shrewd and subversive uses to which Marlowe put the English Faust Book in crafting, according to Wootton, “a drama in which orthodox Christian teaching triumphed, but in which Faustus has all the best lines.”  (play text cover blurb, Hackett Publishing Company, Inc)

First Performance Date: Sometime between late 1588 and November 1589, September 30th, 1594

First Producer: Unknown, Rose Theater

Performance History: There are no known records of the first performance of Doctor Faustus and it is the last play on the Elizabethan stage to deal directly with religion.  The first recorded stage performance of Doctor Faustus took place at the Rose Theater on September 30, 1594, under the direction of the Admiral’s Men

Links:

https://dctheatrescene.com/2017/10/30/review-brave-spirits-doctor-faustus/

https://www.newyorktheatreguide.com/reviews/doctor-faustus

https://www.nytimes.com/1988/04/15/theater/review-theater-doctor-faustus-updated.html

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/jun/18/doctor-faustus-review-marlowe-chris-noth

http://www.britishtheatreguide.info/reviews/faustusglobe-rev

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2013/feb/28/doctor-faustus-review

https://variety.com/2016/legit/reviews/doctor-faustus-review-kit-harington-1201760192/

Entered by: Meaghan Yesford

Photo/Visual Research with citation:

                                                

2016, Swan Theatre. Photo: RSC/Helen Maybanks           2016, Royal Shakespeare Company, Photo: Helen May Banks                                                                                                                                              

                                                 

Royal Shakespeare Company, Photo: Helen May Banks                Royal Shakespeare Company, Photo:

                                                                                                                         Helen May Banks                                                                    
                                                 

Royal Shakespeare Company, Photo: Helen May Banks                   Royal Shakespeare Company, Photo:

                                                                                                                        Helen May Banks

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