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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $15.50
  • February 2005
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-97754-7
  • 448 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

Doctor Faustus

Norton Critical Editions


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Christopher Marlowe (Author), David Scott Kastan (Editor, Columbia University)


Renaissance England’s great tragedy of intellectual overreaching is as relevant and unsettling today as it was when first performed at the end of the sixteenth century.

This edition provides newly edited texts of both the 1604 (A-Text) and 1616 (B-Text) versions of the play, each with detailed explanatory annotations. "Sources and Contexts" includes a generous selection from Marlowe’s main source, The Damnable Life and Deserved Death of Dr. John Faustus, along with contemporary writings on magic and religion (including texts by Agrippa, Calvin, and Perkins) that establish the play’s intellectual background. This volume also reprints early documents relating to the writing and publication of the play and to its first performances, along with contemporary comments on Marlowe’s scandalous reputation. Twenty-five carefully chosen interpretations—written from the eighteenth century to the present—allow students to enrich their critical understanding of the play. These diverse critical essays include classic analyses by Charles Lamb, William Hazlitt, and A. C. Swinburne, among others, and recent criticism from, among others, Michael Neill, Katharine Eisaman Maus, Alison Findlay, Stephen Orgel, and David Bevington. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.



    Editorial Procedures and Textual Notes

    The Texts of Doctor Faustus

    1. The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (A-Text, 1604)
    2. The Tragedy of Doctor Faustus (B-Text, 1616)

    Sources and Contexts


    1. “Baines Letter”
    2. Thomas Beard
    3. William Vaughan
    4. Anthony Wood
    5. David Riggs, Marlowe’s Quarrel with God


    1. Documents
    2. Michael Warren, Doctor Faustus: The Old Man and the Text
    3. Leah Marcus, Textual Instability and Ideological Difference: The Case of Doctor Faustus
    4. Eric Rasmussen, The Nature of the B-Text


    1. Documents
    2. Thomas Middleton
    3. Anonymous Manuscript Note
    4. John Melton
    5. William Prynne


    1. Excerpts from The History of the Damnable Life and Deserved Death of Doctor John Faustus (1592, translated by P.F.)
    2. Sara Deats, Doctor Faustus: From Chapbook to Tragedy


    1. Henricus Cornelius Agrippa, From Three Books of Occult Philosophy
    2. Keith Thomas, Conjuring and the Magical Tradition


    1. Jean Calvin, From The Institution of the Christian Religion (1561, translated by Thomas Norton)
    2. The Thirty-Nine Articles (1563)
    3. William Perkins, From The Golden Chaine (1591)
    4. John D. Cox, The Devils of Dr. Faustus



    1. Thomas Warton (1781)
    2. Sir Walter Scott (1797)
    3. Charles Lamb (1808)
    4. William Hazlitt (1820)
    5. George Henry Lewes (1855)
    6. Anonymous (1879)
    7. A.C. Bradley (1880)
    8. A.C. Swinburne (1896)
    9. George Santayana, From Three Philosophical Poets (1910)


    1. Structure and Genre
      1. Cleanth Brooks, The Unity of Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus
      2. G. K. Hunter, Five-Act Structure in Doctor Faustus
      3. Douglas Cole, Doctor Faustus and the Morality Tradition
      4. Susan Snyder, Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus as a Inverted Saint’s Life
      5. Jonathan Dollimore, Dr. Faustus: Subversion Through Transgression
      6. Michael Neill, Anxieties of Ending
      7. Roma Gill, “Such Conceits as Clownage Keeps in Pay”: Comedy and Doctor Faustus
    2. Ideas and Ideologies
      1. Harry Levin, Science Without Conscience
      2. Alan Sinfield, Reading Faustus’s God
      3. Marjorie Garber, [Writing and Unwriting in Doctor Faustus]
      4. Katharine Eisaman Maus, [Marlowe and the Heretical Conscience]
      5. Alison Findlay, Heavenly Matters of Theology: A Feminist Perspective
      6. Stephen Orgel, Magic and Power in Doctor Faustus
    3. Performance
      1. David Bevington, Staging the A- and B-Texts of Doctor Faustus
      2. George Bernard Shaw, Review of Doctor Faustus, July 2, 1896, Acted by Members of The Shakespeare Reading Society
      3. William Tydeman, Doctor Faustus on the Stage

    Christopher Marlowe: A Chronology

    Selected Bibliography