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Tragical History of Dr. Faustus Audio Cassette – Nov 2001

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC Audio) (November 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0660185261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0660185262
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 11.8 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 127 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,535,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"This edition is absolutely essential for any serious student or teacher of this perpetually intriguing and vexing play." (Peter G. Platt Studies in English Literature 48.2 (Spring 2008))

"Michael Keefer's revised edition of Marlowe's Doctor Faustus is now all the more an indispensable text for students, teachers, and scholars of early modern English drama. It combines immense learning with perfect clarity and accessibility. It gives us a solidly reconceived text and also a brilliant historical introduction that fills each line of this strange and moving play with the sounds of a world in intellectual and religious crisis." (Paul Yachnin) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

This is a full cast production with sound effects and original music produced at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre.

Length is approximately 2 hours.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on Feb. 9 2006
Format: Paperback
'Was this the face that launched a thousand ships...' There are so many great lines in this play! The greatness of Marlowe was recognised in his own time (a gentle modern reminder of this came in the film 'Shakespeare in Love', when almost every actor auditioning chose a bit from Marlowe, and all of those defaulted to this play).
It is somewhat ironic that if Shakespeare and Marlowe were writing today, they should most like be charged with plagiarism and copyright infringement; 'The Tragedy of Doctor Faustus' is likewise not an entirely original construct of Marlowe's, but rather derives from an anonymously penned German poem translated into English shortly before Marlowe recast it for his play. The German poet Goethe was influenced by the same anonymous source, and perhaps knew of Marlowe's play during his writing.
Dr. Faustus may have been based on a brilliant professor in Germany a generation or two prior to Marlowe. In any event, the idea of the seduction of the power of knowledge was (and continues to be) inspiring. The idea of selling one's soul to get the object of one's desire is also not a unique concept. Knowledge in the ancient world often always involved the spiritual realm, which had both its light and dark sides (one has but to think of the Star Wars saga to see how such concepts remain firmly rooted in our own time). Faustus becomes a conjurer, and strikes a deal with Lucifer to maintain power and knowledge in return for his soul after 24 years.
Despite the temptations to repent, Faustus in Marlowe's text never manages to break free of the temptations. 'My heart's so hardened I cannot repent. / Scare can I name salvation, faith, or heaven, / But fearful echoes thunder in mine ears: / "Faustus, thou art damned.
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Format: Paperback
At age 29 Christopher Marlowe was apparently stabbed and killed in an argument over a tavern bill. In his short life he left a remarkable legacy of four great plays and exerted considerable influence on another young playwright, William Shakespeare.
The Tragicall History of Dr. Faustus, or simply Dr. Faustus, is the story of a brilliant scholar whose thirst for knowledge and power leads him to trade his soul to Lucifer.
As we first encounter Faustus, he is systematically dismissing further study of Aristotlean logic, Galen's teachings on medicine, Justinian's works on law, and the study of divinity; Faustus is already the acknowledged master of these subjects. Only the study of necromancy can offer him greater profit, delight, and power.
Faustus through incantations summons Mephistophilis, servant of Lucifer, to negotiate a trade for his soul. Mephistophilis urges Faustus to reconsider, but Faustus is adamant: "Had I had as many souls as there be stars, I'd give them all for Mephistophilis."
Faustus recklessly forges his agreement with Lucifer, his body and soul to be forfeit after 24 years of service from Mephistophilis.
Again and again Faustus calls upon Mephistophilis for delights and power and hidden knowledge. Mephistophilis obliges, and Faustus increasingly distances himself from God. Occasionally Faustus has misgivings and considers repentance, but fails to act, due partly to persuasion and threats from Mephistophilis - if thou repents, devils shall tear thee in pieces.
The intensity builds as Faustus repeatedly rejects God's offer of mercy and forgiveness, and we are never quite certain whether he will repent or not.
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Format: Paperback
"Dr. Faustus," the play by 16th century writer Christopher Marlowe, has been published as part of the Dover Thrift Edition series. The brief introduction to this version notes that the play was first published in 1604, and also discusses its relationship to a German text from 1587 known as the "Faustbuch." In his play Marlowe tells the story of the title character, a scholar who is "swollen with cunning." Faust dabbles in the dark arts of "magicians / And necromantic books," and literally makes a deal with the devil. These actions drive the tragedy forward.
This play is a curious mixture of Christian theology, tragedy, slapstick comedy, and colorful pageantry. It moves along fast, and contains some really beautiful and stately language.
"Dr. Faustus" is ultimately a cautionary tale about human pride and ambition. I must admit that in the end I find it less satisfying than some of the other great tragedies of the Elizabethan era, perhaps because this play relies less on universal human issues than on a culturally-bound theological contrivance. Still, it's a noteworthy play that, I believe, still holds relevance for contemporary audiences. ...
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Format: Paperback
Not everybody knows Faust(us). But a lot do. Most readers know this tragic personnage who allied himself with the devil and finally paid the price for his betrayal of God from a famous play written by J.W. Goethe. It was him who wrote the most famous version of Faust's history. (If you want to know more about Goethe's work, please visit my reviewer page.) But he wasn't the only dramatist who considered this lost magician worth a tragedy. Exactly 2 centuries and 1 year before Goethe published his work, a play by the Englishman Christopher Marlowe saw the light of the world.
Marlowe and Goethe are different personalities living in completely different times so that it's no wonder their plays vary in character. Goethe lived in prosperity and had all his life to think about subjects like human nature, social relationships, history and its influence on the present, love, religion and much more. He was a philosoph, and that's the reason why Goethe's "Faust" is sometimes difficult to understand because you have to dive under the surface of things to understand their true nature. Marlowe's work is different: This man was certainly very intelligent and knew a lot about the forces that moved the world, but, unlike Goethe, he didn't have a lifetime to think about one single play. You can imagine that Marlowe's "Faust" became more shallow, but still not shallow enough to be ignored by this imaginary institution we call World Literature. As a compensation, Marlowe's work contains more life and action in it, something I can't say about Goethe's. Both men were geniuses. In this review, I'd like to pay my tribute to the Englishman.
As stated above, the play tells the story of a medieval scientist who allies himself with the devil.
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