Book Review: Doctor Faustus

Hello all, today’s blog is going to be a little different as it’s going to be my very first book review!

So if you’ve read my’ University, Life, And A New Purchase’ blog post, you’ll know that for my first assignment I had to read Doctor Faustus: the A text as part of the discussion. And at first I did struggle immensely with trying to read through it by myself in my head just because of the differences in language used because this book was written sometime in the 1500s.

In the package for my University Course, luckily, I had an Audio CD given that had the whole play (2002 version with Jude Law and Toby Jones) so I could listen to it whilst reading through my copy of the play. This really helped me to understand where certain emphasis was placed on different words/phrases but what also helped was the version of the ‘Doctor Faustus’ play (pictured above). It was released in 2003 by Pearson Longman and it includes annotations/interpretations/language and something that was particularly useful was the definitions of words used back then that we probably wouldn’t use now and their meaning. 

Once I could understand certain words and listen to the audio cd whilst reading through it at the same time, I really enjoyed the story behind it. It’s a mix between a morality play and a tragedy and it was thoroughly entertaining. There were some serious issues that really made you feel for Faustus but then it was balanced with some comical scenes between other minor characters as well.

It really made me want to go and watch this on stage if they were to ever do it again in London any time soon. I might have to go research it now once I’ve finished this blog post.

But I think the thing that really made the play amazing was the language used that was very descriptive and visual. I haven’t read any of Christopher Marlowe’s works but I can see why people think he’s a brilliant writer, because he definitely has a way with words. And it was particularly interesting reading through this play after reading about his background in my textbook because you get more of a insight into why he may have written this at that particular point in his life.

Plus, it also appeals to some of our basic desires of maybe having everything we needed but still wanting more.

It’s just a fantastic play and I highly, highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read a book/play in this format. It is wonderfully insightful and comical at times. Never before in my life would I think I would enjoy plays –  I mean, I’ve read Shakespeare before and enjoyed those but they were child-friendly ones and not the originals, which I may well have to read after this – but this is one book that I am very pleased that I purchased it and got to read and analyse it for my Uni course!

I hope you enjoyed my review of this fantastic play. If you are interested to read it, if you already have it, or even if you have read it and didn’t think it particularly interesting – leave me a comment and I’ll reply! We can have a discussion about it!

Happy reading!

~A.