Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus From the Quarto of 1604

I listened to the Librivox version of Dr. Faustus, which was a quality full-cast performance (complete with singing chants.) Like Goethe's Faust, this tells the story of a man who sell's his soul to the devil for a few years of pleasure. While Goethe's is dark and psychological, Marlowe's feels lighter. Faustus initially has some conflict about selling his soul to the devil. However, he decides to go with it. After other chances of backing out and repenting, he finds the desire to continue on.

He then embarks on frat-boy escapades. He pulls jokes, makes antlers pop out of royalty, and pretty much wastes his time in doing silly stuff. As the years come to an end, he finally decides he wants to show off Helen of Troy. He finally realizes it is to late to repent, and off he goes.

Faustus got bored with his gifts and decided to call on others to explore some "dark arts". Instead of allowing him to achieve greatness, it merely served to help him joke around. This must be what makes it so tragical.

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