Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Aimless Reading: The M's, Part 19 (Christopher Marlowe)

The Complete Plays
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Marlowe, Christopher
The Complete Plays

I think I bought this for a class, though I may have bought it at the Niagara Falls Outlet Mall Discount Book Store, RIP. I know I read Marlowe in school. Actually, I remember now I had to take a kind of warm-up class in graduate school that was mostly about professionalization. The professor happened to be a Renaissance scholar, so she used Marlowe for some of the lessons. I think we read Doctor Faustus.

There's something very impudent about the look on Marlowe's face in the painting on the cover of this book. You can almost tell he has no patience for you or anyone else. This face does not suffer fools gladly. I remember learning as a teen that he was knifed to death and thinking, Wow, they had murder back then? In England? I guess I hadn't yet read Shakespeare, or Marlowe, for the matter.

from Doctor Faustus

Know that your words have won me at the last
To practice magic and concealed arts.
Yet not your words but only mine own fantasy
That will receive no object for my head,
But ruminates on necromantic skill.
Philosophy is odious and obscure.
Both law and physic are for petty wits.
Divinity is basest of the three,
Unpleasant, harsh, contemptible and vile.
'Tis magic, magic that hath ravished me.

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