About the Book
'...make me immortal with a kiss'
Doctor Faustus is a play about desire: for the best in life, for knowledge, power, materialcomfort, and influence. Faustus sells his soul to the devil hoping to learn the secrets ofthe universe, but is fobbed off with explanations which he knows to be inadequate. He isobsessed with fame, but his achievement as a devil-assisted celebrity magician is lesssubstantial than it was previously as a scholar.
Marlowe's most famous play is a tragedy, but also extremely funny. It involves hideousrepresentations of the Seven Deadly Sins, and of Helen of Troy, the world's mostbeautiful woman. With its fireworks and special effects, it was one of the mostspectacular and popular on the Elizabethan stage. Yet, ever since Marlowe's death, ithas been regularly rewritten. Its mix of fantastical story, slapstick, and raw humanemotion still arouses conflicting interpretations, and presents us with endlesslyfascinating problems.
This student edition is based on the earlier so-called A-text of the play, with the B-textscenes included in an appendix. It contains a lengthy Introduction with interpretation ofthe play in its historical and cultural context, stage history, discussion of the complextextual problems, and background on the author, date and sources.
About the Author
Ros King is Professor of English at the University of Southampton, and Director of theCentre of Medieval and Renaissance Culture. She is author of several books includingThe Winter's Tale, for Palgrave's Shakespeare Handbook Series and editor of Comedyof Errors for Cambridge's New Shakespeare Series.