By William Tydeman
This is often Michael Keefer's very good 1604 model of Marlowe's textual content. His advent reconstructs the Renaissance ideological thoughts that formed and deformed physician Faustus, and the textual content is observed by way of collations, textual and explanatory notes, and excerpts from assets. The appendices contain variations from the 1616 textual content and excerpts from The heritage of . . . surgeon John Faustus, Henricus Cornelius Agrippa, and John Calvin.
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Additional resources for Doctor Faustus: Text and Performance
The Emperor's court scenes include some farce, but they are also filled with the spirit of magical entertainment at which Faustus excels, and our support for him against Benvolio is partly a reflection of his success as a conjuror, however temporary our allegiance may be. We are visually impressed by the apparition of Alexander and his train, and, even if we cannot taste the Duchess's grapes, we can at least see them and savour the joy they bring. Thus the theatrical frame of reference retains an importance in governing our response to Faustus the showman as well as Faustus the scholar.
Douglas Jeffrey, courtesy of the Illustrated London News Picture Library. 5. Faustus (Ian McKellen) and the Good Angel, in John Barton's RSC production at the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, 26 August 1974. © Donald Cooper. 6. Beelzebub (David Rappaport) and Mephostophilis (Patrick Magee) in Christopher Fettes's production at the Lyric Studio, Hammersmith, 25 February 1980. © Sunday Times. Part Two: Performance 49 sparked off a spate of revivals in the 1950s; the next significant performance came in March 1957, when an Oxford don, Nevill Coghill, directed the work for the Oxford University Dramatic Society, attempting to bring out the paradoxes in Faustus's psychology.
Part One: Text offers some insight into his psychological condition. His first reservations in Scene v are stifled by his belief that God has no love for him; when 'Homo fuge' appears on his arm after the contract is signed, it is clear that any religious belief he may retain centres on the punitive God he has contrived from those incomplete quotations he read out in Scene i: Homofuge! Whither should I fly? Ifunto God, he'll throw me down to hell. rv 77-8] Faustus clearly lacks the capacity to believe in a god oflove or in the viability of his own redemption.