Doctor Faustus Questions and Answers
by Christopher Marlowe

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What is the difference between the A text and B text of Doctor Faustus?

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The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus was written by Christopher Marlowe around 1590. The first recorded performance of the play was by the Admiral's Men at the Rose Theater in London on September 30, 1594, a little over a year after Marlowe's death. It's entirely possible that this wasn't the first performance of Doctor Faustus, but it's the first recorded performance.

No copy of Marlowe's original manuscript of Doctor Faustus exists. The play was first published in 1604 in a version referred to as the "A" text. The same version was published again in 1609.

Doctor Faustus was published again in 1619 in a version known as the "B" text, which was published several more times in the 1600s.

Philip Henslowe, the owner of the Rose Theatre, kept a diary of the productions at his theatre, in which he records twenty-four productions of Doctor Faustus between 1594 and 1597. The play was clearly very popular in the years after Marlowe's death.

Henslowe also records in his diary that in...

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sabina2905 | Student

I am just starting with the Open University, and they have asked me to get the A text.

sunshinencurls | Student

There are a lot of differences between the two texts.  One of the main differences is the language. The language in the B text has changed quite a bit.  In the B text certain parts have been deleted and seven hundred plus lines added.  In addition, some of the scenes have been reorganized for consistency.  There is a Norton Critical Addition of Doctor Faustus that has both texts and a few essays that outline the main differences.  If you are looking to write a paper on this play I would suggest going with the B text but that would entirely depend on what your paper focus will be.  I posted a link that allows you to look at the differences of the texts on line.  I hope some of this helped.  I know it is not very specific but if I were to list all of the differences we would be here a really long time.