A newly developing concept during Marlow's time was predestination and Marlow toys with this concept provoking questions in the religiously dogmatic society of the time. In the early 17th century play, Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlow develops within the main protagonist Faustus a constant indecisiveness on the concept of predestination in order to leave his fate and the reason for it seemingly undetermined. However, it is the incapability of Faustus to choose to believe in the ever existent opportunity to repent and prevent damnation that seals his fate.
The misinterpretation of predestination can easily lead one down an even worse path as by its very definition the choices one makes have already been decided. Faustus thinks that because he has already "incurred eternal death" that he no longer has a choice to do any good or turn his life around so he delves deeper into sin when he "surrenders up to [Lucifer] his soul" (1.3 88, 90). At this point Faustus is beginning to lose himself in the thinking that he has been predestined to go down this path and he cannot do anything. He begins making the choices that seals his fate. Although signing his soul off to the devil is not the final word on whether he shall be damned it definitely helps to drive into his mind that he does not have a choice. The constant influences and subtle manipulation from Lucifer and Mephistopheles surely do not help Faustus in overcoming the mental block that keeps him pushing down a path further from salvation. Faustus always has control over what happens but ignorance also helps Faustus become blind to the option of redemption and repentance that various people such as the scholars who try to point him in the right path alo...
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...control over his life it does not mean he will make the proper decision. His life was signed away but if he would continue his readings he would have known that Lucifer and Mephistopheles only hid that he had a choice because he still had a chance through repentance.
Marlow manages to create a debatable outcome in his story by constantly playing on the idea of predestination. At some points one may believe Faustus has a chance and at other moments it seems almost obvious that he really has no choice. Overall though Faustus himself proves that he by choice determines his own fate. The choice of repentance could have been chosen rather easily at many points during the play but he chooses not to believe that he has a chance. Marlow purposely employs the indecisiveness within Faustus to lightly cloak his fate, but Marlow does show that Faustus did indeed choose his fate.
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