Introduction Timeline Pictures Author(s) -Marlowe, Christopher --Canterbury, family background and King's School --Marlowe and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge --Marlowe in London: the working playwright --New contacts and 'the School of Night' --Fighting, blaspheming and spying: 1590-93 --Marlowe's death in Deptford, 30 May 1593 The context of Doctor Faustus -The Faust figure in European culture -Social / political context --The Catholic heritage ---More on the power of the Church --The Tudor monarchy --The grounds for divorce ---More on the role of cardinals --Separating from the Catholic Church --Protestant versus Catholic --The situation in Marlowe's day -Religious / philosophical context --The Renaissance --The Reformation ---More on Protestant views -The theatrical context --Mystery and morality plays --Permanent theatres --Design of theatres Doctor Faustus - Synopses and commentary -The texts of Doctor Faustus -Prologue: Chorus one --More on magic and miracles -Scene one --More on explaining ideas for the audience -Scene two -Scene three --More on Lucifer and Satan -Scene four -Scene five --More on angels and demons -Chorus two -Scene six -Scene six, version B -Scene seven -Scene seven, version B -Chorus three --More on the Holy Roman Empire and Charles V -Scene eight -Scene eight, version B -Scene nine --More on the Holy Roman Empire and Charles V --More on the imagery of time passing -Scene nine, version B -Scene ten -Scene eleven -Chorus four -Scene twelve --More on the significance of blood -Scene thirteen --More on the significance of blood -Epilogue Structure of Doctor Faustus -Structure by act and scene -The role of the chorus -Structure by time -Structure by theme and imagery -Faustus' journey Characterisation in Doctor Faustus -Characters: individual and representative -Faustus -Mephastophilis -Valdes and Cornelius and the Three Scholars -Good and Evil Angels and the Old Man -Pope, Emperor, the Duke and Duchess, and their courts -Wagner -Comic characters: Robin, Rafe and Vintner The themes of Doctor Faustus -The handling of themes in Doctor Faustus -Political and social themes -Religious and theological themes -Human and psychological themes Imagery and symbolism in Doctor Faustus -Patterns of imagery and play -Flight and falling -Appetite -Universal and cosmic -Power -Blood: damnation and grace -Helen: transcendence and immortality -Imagery in the final scene Critical approaches to Doctor Faustus -The contemporary critical reception of Doctor Faustus -The Romantics and Doctor Faustus -Critical approaches: the last hundred years -Analysing a passage Doctor Faustus: approaching essays and exams -Engaging with the text -How to plan an essay -Sample questions on Doctor Faustus -What makes a good English exam answer? Doctor Faustus resources -Booklist -Other resources -Worksheet downloads
Doctor Faustus Christopher Marlowe's
Doctor Faustus text guide
The character of Faust or Faustus has been one of the most enduring and significant figures in European culture for almost five hundred years. Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, while being a key part of this tradition, brings something unique to the story and is heavily influenced by Marlowe himself and the world he lived in.
This text guide will help you explore this excellent take on Doctor Faustus' story, as well as the influence Marlowe's world had on his work.
A contemporary of William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe (1564 – 1593) was an English poet and dramatist. Born in Canterbury, a centre of political and religious tension, his creative and eventful - if quite short - life included a stint working as a spy. Read more . . .
Marlowe was born just after the middle of the sixteenth century, an era which, in England, was fraught with extraordinary events. It was marked by discord, violence and change, particularly affecting the monarchy and the practice of the Christian religion in England. Many of these events lie in the background of the action of Doctor Faustus. Read more . . . Dive in to the
Doctor Faustus text guide
Synopses and commentary - Scene by scene synopsis, commentary and analysis of the entire piece.
Characters in the play - Detailed analysis of all the important protagonists in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus.
- Helpfully puts history, literary events and Marlowe's life side by side so you can make sense of events. Doctor Faustus Timeline
Themes and significant ideas - Research themes and significant ideas that feature in Doctor Faustus.
How to do well in your essays
Decide what the
key words of the question are, and underline them.
If you are asked to analyse an extract, read it through two or three times.
Do not adopt the first possible approach - be willing to dispute the terms of the question if you are given the opportunity.
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