Beginning in 1962 with Sean Connery, the fictional MI6 spy James Bond has been played by a plethora of actors. At first, Mr. Bond was notorious as a cold, deadly killer and a conniving womanizer. However, as the actors for the role began to turn over, so did the portrayal of 007. For nearly fifty years the role was in constant transition with directors trying new things like adding humor or making Bond less promiscuous in an effort to craft the role to each new actor. In the end, Bond returned to his roots as a brutal, undisciplined agent played by Daniel Craig. While James Bond is no George Spiggott and Ian Fleming is no Christopher Marlow, a similar turnover can be seen between the works Dr. Faustus and Bedazzled. To begin with, the 1967 film Bedazzled is somewhat of a satirical retelling of the Faust narrative from the 1600s, and although many years separate each story, they are still very comparable. The relationship between these two works provides a social commentary on the perception of the Devil’s power during each time period and helps highlight humanity’s changing connection with God as a result of this.
Throughout history, the Devil has constantly tempted people. That much can be agreed upon. However, the similarities between these two works also show that the reason the Devil has tempted people is actually constant as well, to enlarge his kingdom. Unfortunately, their motives for enlarging this kingdom are not so alike. When Dr. Faustus inquires as to what good his soul will do to the Devil, the demon Mephistopheles responds, “[to] enlarge his kingdom […] to have the human souls of men” (Marlow 2). The Devil from Dr. Faustus appears to cultivate his kingdom with the hope of increasing his own power and possibly challen...
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...ebel against God, George is trying to earn God’s favor and be readmitted into heaven. Each work provides context to the reality of humanity during the time it was written. The fact that Bedazzled is a satirical take on Dr. Faustus merely accentuates this fact. Throughout history, theories are challenged, facts are redefined, beliefs and interpretations change, even the role of James Bond is revamped. By comparing these two works, it can be said that time has also transformed the relationship between humanity, God, and the Devil.
Bedazzled. Dir. Stanley Donen. Perf. Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Twentieth Century-Fox, 1967. Laser disc.
Marlow, Christopher. “Dr. Faustus.” Brophy College Preparatory. AP ENG 4: Blackboard, Nov. 2013.
Smitha, Frank E. "Trends in Christianity." Trends in Christianity. MacroHistory and World Timeline, 2013. Web. 09 Dec. 2013.