Doctor Faustus


The following text was prepared by four of my students from the 3rd form scientific high school, option applied sciences (Alessandro, Federico, Gabriele, and Tommaso). It's part of a guide we're putting together for Christopher Marlowe's "The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus."

There are five acts in this drama. Blank verse was used to write it. A blank verse is an unrhymed iambic pentameter.

At the opening and end of the excerpt, a chorus plays a role comparable to that of a narrator.

There are captions in brackets in this extract. The actors do not pronounce them because captions explain what is happening on stage, such as the half-hour clock, the Devil's entrance, or the sound of thunder and lightning. They are called 'stage directions'. They provide details about the atmosphere and setting, as well as how characters enter and exit the stage.

Faustus was a scholar. Faustus was a professor at a university. He did, however, have an ambition of becoming wise and knowing everything. As a result, he made a contract with Lucifer (Mephistoteles), the demon. So he made a deal with Mephistoteles, the devil, in which he agreed to give up his soul in exchange for everything he desired in 24 years.

After 24 years,...

It is the last hour of Faustus' life in his house. He says he hopes to save himself with all his convictions, but time passes and those dreams are beginning to fade.

The devils enter the house at 00.00 o'clock and leave with Faustus.