Dr. Faustus Essay

Dr. Faustus Essay

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Dr. Faustus

In Christopher Marlowe’s play, Doctor Faustus, the idea of repentance is a reoccurring theme with the title character. Faustus is often urged by others to repent his decision to sell his soul to the devil, but in the end he suffers eternal damnation. Faustus was resigned to this fate because he lacked the belief in his soul of God. He was once a moral and devout man, but greed led him to sin.

Although Faustus has signed a contract with the devil in blood, it is obvious that it is still able to repent. The good angel in the play is trying to make Faustus realize this. Throughout the play the angel encourages Faustus to stay away from dark magic, “Oh Faustus, lay that damned book aside, and gaze not on it lest it tempt thy soul and heap God’s heavy wrath upon thy head.”(p. 26, line 69-71) Faustus’ growing interest in necromancy leads him to give the Lucifer his soul in return for twenty four years of luxurious life. The good angel is always accompanied by an evil angel who supports Faustus’ choice. Both spirits try to advise him on a course of action, with the evil one usually being more influential. The evil angel speaks of the power, which Faustus thirsts after. Faustus does not want to be a servant to God. He was become disillusioned with the idea of heavenly pleasures when he realizes he can profit immediately from service to the devil. In an exchange with the good angel he shows his lack of interest in having to work for rewards:
Good Angel: “Sweet Faustus, leave that execrable act!”
Faustus: “Contrition, prayer, repentance, what of these?”
Good Angel: “O, they are means to bring thee unto heaven”

With this display of lackadaisical attitude toward God, the likeliness of Faustus repenting be...


... middle of paper ...


... but for Faustus’ weak soul it is impossible.

The old man in the play is the opposing character to Faustus. The old man is a devout Christian soul, who in spite of all of the devil’s tortures, begs Faustus to repent. He clings to his faith to the very end and even Mephostophilis is wary of harming him because of his good soul. Mephostophilis says in response to Faustus request to kill the old man, “His faith is great. I cannot touch his soul. But what I may afflict his body with I will attempt, which is but little worse.” In comparison, throughout the play Faustus is unable to repent. His weak soul is not true to God. He would have to truly belief in the supreme power of God in order to be saved. He does not repent because his faith has changed, he repents because he fears death. All of Faustus’ decisions are made through a weak, greedy, power hungry mindset.

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