Christopher Marlowe's The Tragical History Of Doctor Faustus

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For centuries we have had the urge and need to be entertained, to be distracted, moved, inspired, and taken away by larger-than-life characters and compelling stories, and we have found a nearly endless amount of ways to be entertained. However, according to Thomas C. Foster in his book How to Read Like a College Professor, there is “only one story” (193). I am not sure if I completely believe this, but I do believe that there are some stories that are interesting and captivating enough and that are utterly universal and transcendent that we find those stories constantly being retold--in different times, languages, and mediums. Stories that achieve this are, what academics call, ‘canonized,’ and one story that always seems to retold in some way, whether that be in literature or film, is Christopher Marlowe’s The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. The play is centered on the life of John Faustus, who is a man of extraordinary intellect, who sells his soul to the devil to gain complete and unlimited knowledge; this issue of selling one’s soul for power or glory may seem wrong or wicked, but in literature and film, this typically makes for a captivating story. In comic books, one of the more compelling characters, Ghost Rider, was created in the same vein. Johnny Blaze is a stunt motorcycle rider who, when he was 17, sells his soul to the devil to save his father. There are many depictions and appearance of Johnny Blaze as the Ghost Rider, but here, I will focus on Mark Steven

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