You may wonder when reading these reviews to which exact edition they relate and what the contents are.
The Penguin Christopher Marlowe complete plays contains:
Dido, Queen of Carthage
Tamburlaine the Great, Part One
Tamburlaine the Great, Part 2.
The Jew of Malta
The Massacre at Paris
This is all the known Marlowe plays.
At the back of the book are notes on each play explaining meanings of various lines, in lieu of page by page annotations, an 11 page word glossary, and a 14 page list of mythological, historical and geographical names. At the front of the book you will find a 35 page introduction, and several pages of recommended further reading.
The Dr Faustus text apparently is from 1604 version aka the 'A' Text. The 1616 or 'B' text is not included. From my research the B text was substantially altered from the A text adding about 600 lines. If you want to get all the Marlowe including the poems for a modest price, I recommend you get the Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe (Illustrated) edition on Kindle which includes both versions. If you don't have Kindle you can download the app from Amazon. This also includes an apocryphal play Lust's Dominion attributed by some experts to Marlowe.
As an alterantive to Penguin, I recommend you consider Doctor Faustus and Other Plays (Oxford World's Classics) (Parts I and II). This has both versions of Faust but does not include Dido. I don't own this exact version but but I do own the two version of Faust by the same editor Bevington, whose scholarship on this subject is amazing.
If this edition included both Faust texts, I would have given it five stars.
Scholars say that Marlowe influenced Shakespeare. Certainly from my own readership of both Marlowe and Shakespeare there is a conscious intention of the writer of Shakespeare to link those plays to Marlowe. For example, a recent book I read lists over 100 parallel sayings between Hamlet and various Marlowe works.
Today reading the Arden edition of Hamlet, the scene in Act 2 where Hamlet asks the visiting player to give a speech, he quotes 70 lines from a scene in Dido. Faustus is a scholar from Wittenberg. Hamlet, the Danish prince discusses returning to University in Wittenberg. Perhaps he would stay at Dr Faust's house.
Although, some attempt to pigeonhole Marlowe, as only a great tragedian, or say that he is bombastic based on Tamburlaine, sometimes he leverages tragedy to the point of absurdity, and Edward the 2nd, for example is a remarkably sensitive play, and the opening scene of Dido is quite humorous, and Jew of Malta, is best understood as a machiavellian tragedy with irony and farcical elements. Even with Faustus, Mephistopheles is not an obvious villain, but a reluctant fallen angel.
"Bid On Kai me on farewell Faust 1.1.12;" means Bid being and nonbeing farewell.
Marlowe is an absolutely outstanding playwright and poet. His use of blank (unrhymed) verse was imitated by everyone including Shakespeare. While this edition does include all the known plays, it onlyincludes one of the two versions of Faust. The B text published in 1616 adds about 600 line interested in reading both versions I recommend Doctor Faustus
If you're like me, when you read Marlowe, you never know when you're going to be hit by an amazing line. I find inspiration in his work every day.
I think you will love it and I hope this was helpful.