What is the language in Doctor Faustus by Marlowe?

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Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, written sometime between 1589–92, is in early modern English. Early modern English began to be used about 1500 and was in use until about 1700, when it was replaced by modern English. This was not a sudden change, but a gradual evolution.

Early modern English is much easier to understand than Middle English, which, depending on the dialect, can almost seem to be a foreign language. Even an accessible author like Chaucer, who wrote in a version of Middle English not too different from modern English, can be very difficult to understand. (Often, students are given Chaucer in modern translation or with modern spellings.)

Early modern English can provide some challenges but is basically similar to modern English. It uses a form of the singular "you"—thee and thou—that has become archaic, and often adds a "th" or "eth" to third person singular verbs. Sounds which have been dropped in modern English, such as the k in front of knight, are still pronounced in early...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 813 words.)

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