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Faustus

Faustus dealing with Mephistophilus.

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus is an English play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the German legend of Faust which dated to the 1520s or therabouts, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first performed no later than 1592, but not published until 1604.

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus in Ruled BritanniaEdit

When Christopher Marlowe fled London after the Spaniards attempted to arrest him for sodomy, he had a boatman take him to Deptford. The boatman asked him where he wanted to be rowed, Marlowe answered he could row him to hell and then added "Why this is hell, nor am I out of it", a line from his own play The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus.

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus in SupervolcanoEdit

When the Yellowstone Supervolcano rained ash down on Denver, Vanessa Ferguson thought "Why this is hell, nor am I out of it." She remembered that was a line from a play, but not which one or who'd written it.[1]

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus in The War That Came EarlyEdit

After escaping Nazi Germany for Denmark, only to have that country invaded and occupied by the Nazis, Peggy Druce thought of the line "Why this is hell, nor am I out of it." This was a line she remembered from college literature courses, but she couldn't remember which play it came from.[2]

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus in "We Haven't Got There Yet"Edit

William Shakespeare was reminded of the late Christopher Marlowe's The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus as he watched a production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Shakespeare realised that the eponymous leads of the latter play didn't even have the definitive ending of Marlowe's Faustus, who at least ended the play knowing he was in Hell.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Eruption, p. 196.
  2. West and East, p. 320.

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