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Doctor Faustus [PDF]

by Christopher Marlowe
Selling Your Soul: A Short PowerPoint Presentation

Good morning. I recall reading an article about Tony Blair

Tony Blair

where the columnist said that one of the surprising things about selling your soul is that the price usually turns out to be so low. There is, indeed, a tendency to think that it's a question of getting an advantageous deal. Here, Faust has landed himself a terrific package, even better than the one Keanu Reaves gets in The Devil's Advocate.

The Devil's Advocate

The top item is Sex With Helen Of Troy. Let me quote the relevant lines:
Is this the face that launched a thousand ships
and burned the topless towers of Ilium?
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss...
her lips suck forth my soul
See where it flies!
Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again.
Here will I dwell, for heaven is in these lips,
And all is dross that is not Helena.
At an emotional level, I find Marlowe's description pretty convincing, though, as a scientist, I also feel obliged to try and estimate in quantitative terms just how beautiful Helen of Troy was. Well, look at it this way. Jackie Onassis,

Jackie O

who was generally acknowledged at the time to be one of the world's most beautiful women and was married for several years to a major shipping tycoon, perhaps launched five to ten ships. So Helen was at least a hundred times as beautiful as Jackie O, even before adjusting for inflation. I hope you found that helpful.

Another imaginative bullet-point on Faust's wishlist is Kicking The Pope's Scrawny Ass.

The Pope

Again, direct comparisons may be a little misleading, and it's possible that the pope Marlowe was thinking about wasn't a former member of the Hitler Youth

Hitler Youth

and hadn't been instrumental in covering up evidence of widespread child abuse. But, I gather from the context, people had equally good reasons to dislike him. Faust sneaks in wearing a cloak of invisibility that Mephistopheles borrows from Harry Potter

Harry Potter

(note to self: check this), and all the helpless clerics can do is try to exorcise him. Faust lets them know how much he cares:
Bell and book and candle,
Candle, book and bell
Backwards, forwards and back again
to damn poor Faust to Hell
As you can see, this guy thinks out of the box and knows how to maximize his opportunities! But, despite everything, when it's time to pay up he still regrets what he's done:
O lente, lente currite, noctis equi!
The hour will come, the clock will strike, and Faust must die...
Definitely makes you feel a little thoughtful, doesn't it?

Okay, summary. If you're currently negotiating the sale of your own soul, check out Doctor Faustus while you're doing the due diligence. There's a significant probability that you've called it wrong. And, if you're so deluded that you think no one's ever going to make you an offer, then you definitely need to read it. Thank you and have a nice day.
[PDF] Doctor Faustus download

Book info

eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
PublisherManchester University Press
File size6.4 Mb
Release date 01.05.1993
Pages count320
Book rating4.47 (34451 votes)
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1 comment

1. Persia Emily | 05.03.2018 17:33

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Thank you! Great book!

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