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.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus - The Folly of Dr. Faustus Christopher Marlowe's tragedy of Dr. Faustus envelops a realm of theological issues around one man's quest for knowledge. Feeling a university education to be inadequate for his purposes, Faustus makes the ultimate sacrifice possible to quench his thirst for otherworldly wisdom. Yet even though he gains amazing powers and a broad reputation as a man in the know, his quest is incomplete. He actually learns very little. The nature of knowledge involves both the ability to recall facts, dates, events etc.... [tags: Dr Faustus]
607 words (1.7 pages)
- In Christopher Marlowe’s ‘Dr. Faustus’, Faustus is presented as the Gothic protagonist. Typical features of a Gothic protagonist include things such as: being ambitious, have an inability to make decision and they are typically easily persuaded amongst others. Marlow does present Faustus as someone with these features; however Faustus does not have all of the features of the ideal gothic protagonist. Faustus is an ambitious character. In the first Chorus he is compared to Icarus as “his waxen wings did mount above his reach”, much like in the story of Icarus whose waxen wings melted when he believed he could fly away from Crete and reach the sun due to his high ambition.... [tags: Dr. Faustus, Christopher Marlowe, Gothic, ]
523 words (1.5 pages)
- The Religious Motivations of Christopher Marlowe's Dr Faustus Dr Faustus is a short play written by Christopher Marlowe. The play is a masterful insight into the paradoxical soul of mankind and its ironically self inflicted corruption. The play could be classified as a theological allegory. It can be assumed that the play specifically speaks to the religious motivations of the time, but can be adapted to the present as well. Marlowe portrays Faustus’ ambition as dangerous; it was the cause of his demise.... [tags: Christopher Marlowe Dr Faustus]
1785 words (5.1 pages)
- The Supernatural in Shakespeare’s The Tempest And Marlowe’s The Tragical History of D. Faustus The supernatural forces are at once alike and distinct in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and in Marlowe’s The Tragical History of D. Faustus. The supernatural is kind to Prospero and his daughter Miranda in The Tempest, while the devils in Dr Faustus eagerly wait for the day that Faustus would join them in Hell. In both plays, the supernatural provides recurrent waves of sounds and feelings, lending special atmospheric qualities to The Tempest and Dr Faustus.... [tags: Marlowe’s Tragical History of Dr. Faustus]
3388 words (9.7 pages)
- The Devil in Dr Faustus In Scene 3 Mephastophilis appears to Faustus in his real form. Faustus reacts with disgust and asks the devil to come back in a shape more pleasant to the eye - as a Fransiscan friar. Faustus’s reaction is typically renaissance - he objects to ugliness and craves aestheticism. It also shows his sense of humour (or rather sense of irony) - as he says “That holy shape becomes a devil best” (l 26). What is striking is that when Mephastophilis appears first, Marlowe does not bother to describe him.... [tags: Doctor Faustus Essays]
706 words (2 pages)
- The Tragic Downfall of Dr. Faustus Christopher Marlowe's play, its genre an English tragedy of the sixteenth century, presents the tragic conflict of the Faust theme in the tradition of medieval morality plays. The concepts of good and evil in these plays and their psychological implications reflect a historical background in which the church dominates the ethical and moral concepts of their time. Faustus defies society's norms and embraces the devil with courageous desperation, fully aware of the inevitable consequences, but incapable of being satisfied with his human limitations.... [tags: Doctor Faustus Essays]
1051 words (3 pages)
- Dr Faustus In Dr. Faustus, Christopher Marlowe uses the resolution of the conflict between Dr. Faustus and the beliefs of his time to explore the idea of man’s place in the universe. In Faustus’ time, it was believed that man had a place in the universe, and man must stay within his boundaries. It can be shown that Dr. Faustus stepped out of his place, failed in his attempt repent his actions, and ultimately caused his own end. The conflict between Dr. Faustus and the belief system of the age of discovery is established when Faustus makes a pact with the devil to sell his soul.... [tags: Essays Papers]
609 words (1.7 pages)
- Dr. Faustus Dramatic Quality of the Central Scenes in ‘Dr Faustus’ by Christopher Marlowe 'Dr Faustus' is considered by many to be a tragic play, in fact, Marlowe himself called it, ‘The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Dr. Faustus’. However, there are several scenes in the middle of the play (scenes 6 to 11) which can be considered to be comical scenes, which do not fit into the stereotype of tragedies of the time. They can be considered to be interesting scenes in their own right, but their overall purpose and their closely linked end dramatic quality, is examinable.... [tags: Christopher Marlowe Tragedies Plays Essays]
1860 words (5.3 pages)
- 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.... [tags: essays papers]
823 words (2.4 pages)
- Dr. Faustus Dr. Faustus, written by Christopher, is the story of a man that represents the common human dissatisfaction with being human. He sells his soul to the devil for what he believes to be limitless power, with full logical knowledge as to the consequences of such a transaction. He knows the stakes of his gamble with the devil. His extensive education and his cultural environment had certainly alerted him as to the dangers associated with Lucifer. Although aware of the consequences of such a pact, he is blinded by three things that bring about his ultimate demise.... [tags: essays research papers]
642 words (1.8 pages)