The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, to give it its full title, by Christopher Marlowe, was first published in 1604, at least twelve years after its first performance, although the basic story of the play is much older. Having decided he has accumulated all he can of conventional knowledge, Doctor Faustus turns to magic in a quest for greater truths. Before long, he ends up selling his soul to the devil – the famous “Faustian pact” that has entered everyday language. Dr Faustus gradually realizes his terrible mistake. He apparently repents, but finally dies, the devil coming to collect his soul, and his friends the dismembered body.