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Last updated:

April 8, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

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Certificate of completion

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What does Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus tell us about the author and the time at which the play was written? This course, Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus, will help you to discover the intricacies of the play and recognize how a knowledge of the historical and political background of the time can lead to a very different understanding of the author's intended meaning.


This course is on Christopher Marlowe's famous play Doctor Faustus. It considers the play in relation to Marlowe's own reputation as a rule-breaker and outsider and asks whether the play criticizes or seeks to arouse audience sympathy for its protagonist, who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for 24 years of power and pleasure. Is this pioneering drama a medieval morality play or a tragedy?
Learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
  • Read closely – analyze a passage from the play
  • Examine genre – what kind of play is Doctor Faustus?
  • Consider themes – what are the main themes or issues explored in the play?
  • Read historically – what are some of the connections between Doctor Faustus and the historical period in which it was written?
  • Read biographically – what, if any, insights do Doctor Faustus give us into the character and reputation of its author?

Course Curriculum

    • Christopher Marlowe 04:00:00
    • Reading Doctor Faustus 04:40:00
    • Act 2, Scene 1: Faustus and God 05:00:00
    • Hero and Author 01:00:00
    • Conclusion 00:20:00

About the instructor

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Open University UK
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