Doctor Faustus Study Guide

Doctor Faustus Study Guide

Original title:
Doktor Faustus: Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkühn, erzählt von einem Freunde

“The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus” or simply “Doctor Faustus” is a tragedy written by Christopher Marlowe. Mr. Marlowe lived in the same period as William Shakespeare and it’s hard to compete with the fame of the latter. But he was very famous in the circles of Queen Elizabeth and his works were widely popular.

The idea of a person selling the soul to the devil for something that this person values more is as old as Christianity. But the fact that Faustus sold his soul for knowledge is a novelty of this book and is probably linked to the fact that the author went to Cambridge and received a high-quality education for that time.

Faustus is a scholar of diverse interests: he studies medicine, astronomy, theology and even legal matters. But he is deeply unsatisfied with his results. He decides to try something beyond science and turns to magic. He summons the spiritual Lords of Magic and gets some insights from them on how to start experimenting on his own.

Throughout his experiments, he is visited by Mephistophilis, Good and Bad Angels, Lucifer, and many other thoughts and creatures. Finally, the Doctor can’t resist the temptation to have unlimited access to whatever place, knowledge and person he wants and gives up his soul for it.

The tricks that are used to convince the Doctor, the journeys he has taken to German courts, Pope’s quarters in Rome and many other places represent an unbelievable adventure. The book is rich in hints, allusions, entertaining thoughts and interesting characters.

Christopher Marlowe had a very exciting life and it was just as full of mysteries and speculations as Shakespeare's life. He might have served hidden purposes for the pleasure of the royal court, he might have gained a lot of material for his works from previous texts, but it doesn’t make his books any less fascinating and worthy to read.

New Essays

Character of Dr.Faustus

Introduction : Aritstotle approved a great importance to Dr. Faustus and approved as a hero. This excellent Faustus damned by accident or decided by God. He is frightened by the devil and has been ordered not to repent. When he really repented Faustus is an individual. He, the young extremist...

Faustus Comparison

British Literature Christopher Marlowe focused his play on an English translation by P. F. which appeared under the title The History of the Damnable Life and Deserved Death of Doctor John Faustus (NAEL). Richard Burton directed a movie based on Marlowe’s play in 1967. Both artistic works...

Doctor Faustus

Ques- Discuss Doctor Faustus as a tragedy relevant to all times Ans- Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe is a Tragedy Relevant To All Times. Pity and fear are the emotions that, according to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, are aroused by the experience of watching a tragedy. Doctor Faustus is a...

The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus

Mephistopheles is a striking central character in the play ‘Doctor Faustus’, written by Christopher Marlowe in the late sixteenth century. His role in this tragic play is ultimately to aid Faustus’ downfall from a renowned scholar to foolhardy prey of Lucifer. However...

See all essays