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Doctor Faustus

Christopher Marlowe, [late 16th century]; ed. 1954. 

“Settle thy studies, Faustus,” begins the titular character of Marlowe’s work. Having reached the limits of human knowledge, but still hungry for more, Faustus makes a pact with the devil Mephistopheles. As Faust travels the heavens and earth greedily acquiring knowledge, several passages discuss astronomy. Portraying the knowledge-seeker as damned, Marlowe depicts the pursuit of knowledge as a theatrical villain. 

Macmillan & Co, Ltd. Courtesy of Alona Bach. Frontispiece in the public domain.