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Doctor Faustus

Doctor Faustus

by Christopher Marlowe

Analysis: Tough-o-Meter

We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

6 (Tree Line)

Here's the hard part: Doctor Faustus is written in Renaissance English, which means it contains some words that might look a little odd to us modern folk. That's why the dictionary's your new best friend.

There's also the matter of the fact that the play uses allegorical figures like Good and Bad Angels and the Old Man, which might throw some readers for a loop. Plus a fairly complicated plot point involving the Pope… and another Pope that readers unfamiliar with religious history might stumble over.

But you know what? Shmoop's here to help. And once you've got the background and the language down, this play is a fun romp through Faustus's world, with the added bonus of a moral lesson at the end. And seriously, who could resist a play in which one of the main characters is a dude named Mephistopheles. That's just plain fun to say.

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