The Root of All Evil
When a man 's downfall is caused by a lack of knowledge of the truth, his actions are often justified by phrases such as, "He didn 't know" or "If he had known the truth, then maybe…" But what happens when a man has complete knowledge of the truth and continues to make the same mistakes as someone whose ignorance is what causes them to fall into temptation. The actions of such a man cannot be justified by lack of knowledge, so what exactly is the cause of their mistakes? While reading and analyzing Christopher Marlowe 's Dr. Faustus and John Milton’s Paradise Lost, the answer to that question becomes clear. In both these works, Marlowe and Milton put a special emphasis on the pride of Faustus and Lucifer, proving how arrogance is their fatal flaw. Despite Dr. Faustus ' extensive knowledge of biblical truths and Lucifer’s high standing in the kingdom of God, their blinding pride sets them on a path straight to damnation.
An interesting fact about Marlowe’s play is that one of the first truths that the reader discovers concerning Dr. Faustus is that he has earned a doctorate in "heavenly matters of theology" at a prominent university in Germany (Prologue 19) This information is included in the prologue, which immediately lets the reader see that this man has to have the knowledge and even wisdom to make virtuous choices. However, as the rest of the play goes on, Dr. Faustus proves differently as he gives in to temptation despite knowing God’s deity and power. When faced with the temptation of gaining power and making himself an “omnipotent” god, Faustus considers all the riches and the benefits he would gain if he were to sell his soul to the devil (Marlowe3. 53-54). Faustus’ choice to listen to the evil angel...
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...ts is that pride is where all evil begins because it creates the illusion that anyone can do anything at any point in time. This is seen in both Lucifer and Faustus as they go on throughout the story making wrong choices and thinking that there will be no greater consequence and this feeling of elevation is mainly attributed to arrogance. One of the biggest impacts that these works make is to illustrate the ‘falling’ part of temptation. When both Lucifer and Faustus decided to take the wrong way and go against God for their own interests, both of them fell from a very high place without any chance of returning. Lucifer who was one considered the angel of light fell into a pit of fire full of pain and agony. Similarly, Faustus who had once been a man of great knowledge in the matters of God brought damnation upon himself by choosing to side with evil instead of good.
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