Magic In Doctor Faustus

680 Words3 Pages
Black Magic
The story of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe explains how someone can only desire three things in life: power, pleasure, and knowledge, but end up with nothing. In the beginning of Dr. Faustus, Faustus imagines all of the great achievements of learning black magic. He says, “Shall I make spirits fetch me what I please, resolve me of all ambiguities, preform what desperate enterprise I will? I’ll have them fly to India for gold, ransack the ocean for orient pearls, and search all corners of the new-found world” (1131). Faustus dreams of all the wealth and knowledge he will gain from learning black magic; however, after signing the contract with Lucifer, his grand ideas of using black magic seem to be downgraded to playing pointless tricks on people to only gain attention from others. Also as the story progresses his tricks become less impressive. For example, his first trick he conjures up Alexander the Great and one of his last is conjuring up grapes in the off season of growing.
Faustus also places his desire for knowledge over wisdom throughout the story which puzzles me, because Doctor Faustus’s wisdom is often brought up when he questions himself for selling his soul to the devil and being damned to hell forever. Over the 24 year span that the story takes place Faustus has many chances to save himself, but does not take the warnings. The first warning comes from Mephastophilis himself. He states, “O’Faustus, leave these frivolous demands, which strike a terror to my fainting soul,” when describing the “ten thousand hells” that curse his soul (1136). Faustus then questions why Mephastophilis was “so passionate for being deprived of the joys of Heaven?” (1136), against his better judgment Faustus plans to co...

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...s, “I see an angel hovers o’er thy head and with a vial full of precious grace offers to pour the same into thy soul! Then call for mercy, and avoid despair” (1158). Although against his better judgment again, Faustus decides to renew is vow to Lucifer. As Faustus’s time runs down, he begins to realize the mistakes he has made. He tries to bargain with God to reduce his time in hell, curses himself, Lucifer, and his parents for him ever being born. As hell begins to appear Faustus tries to repent for his sins. Little did Faustus know this would be his last chance to save his soul, because it was too late, for he dies shortly after and is damned to hell for eternity. Because of Faustus desire for more knowledge he became unaware of his wisdom. His wisdom tires many times to save his soul, but he dismisses them to acquire knowledge that he never fully achieves.
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