Doctor Faustus Questions and Answers
by Christopher Marlowe

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What is the importance of Marlowe's Doctor Faustus and why?  

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The importance of any work of literature is clearly a matter for debate. There must be a great many people in the world to whom Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus is not remotely important. Nonetheless, some works of literature have had a greater lasting impact, and Doctor Faustus has endured for many reasons. First of all, Christopher Marlowe is an important writer. With the single exception of Shakespeare, he is probably the best-known and most influential of all Elizabethan dramatists, whose innovations (such as the use of blank verse on the stage) were widely copied and whose style of writing (the “mighty line”) was the most brilliant and memorable of all the work by the so-called “University Wits.”

In writing about the story of Faustus, Marlowe chose a well-known legend which has been told many times in European literature. If the play were nothing more than a source for Goethe’s Faust , it would still be read and studied, though of course it is very much more than that. The universal...

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