The Tragical History Of The Life And Death Of Doctor Faustus Essay

The Tragical History Of The Life And Death Of Doctor Faustus Essay

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Christopher Marlowe’s 14th century play “The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus” demonstrates not how the Devil can lead mankind to temptation, but how mankind through free-will can ultimately lead itself to suffering through sin. I believe that Marlowe heavily uses Christian doctrine through the actions of John Faustus in order to criticize those who do not partake in or see the seriousness of religion.
One of the largest themes in Doctor Faustus is pride. Within the context of Christianity, pride is considered one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Through main character John Faustus, it is this pride that opens the gates to all of the other sins. Faustus forgets his place in this world as a man born into sin, preventing him from receiving God’s grace.
Unaware that he is guilty of committing these sins, pride first leads Faustus into being extremely greedy, and this greediness acts in opposition to the will of God. While ambition is admirable, it appears to be a negative trait when it is not used for good. It appears that Faustus wanted to gain this knowledge for himself and not for the well-being of all people. Being so adamant about gaining this power beyond his means lead him to rebel against God. This rebellion against God is no different than of Lucifer, who fell from grace “by aspiring pride and insolence”. This is said by the demon Mephistophilis, who is summoned by Faustus in his quest for power.
To be a man of such conceit and to be proud of his own accomplishments, I find it interesting in how he still is not satisfied. He has already gained all that he could through intellect and wealth. But human possessions and knowledge were not enough, so he therefore initiates contact with the Devil, in which even...


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...his includes praying to him in order to remain protected from the temptations of the Devil, attending church and remaining faithful. Clearly, this is the advice Faustus should have heeded but it was too late.
Marlowe is showing us that pride and the denial of God’s authority and grace will ultimately lead to more sin with no thought of consequences, thus damning your soul to suffer in hell. He recognizes that humankind is imperfect, and according to Christian doctrine, we are all born into sin. Just like Adam in the Book of Genesis, Faustus learned great knowledge after turning his back to God, choosing to ignore God’s grace and forgiveness by playing into dangerous and worldly desires. However, they both regret their mistake in the end and are severely punished accordingly. If we do not take God’s power seriously, this may also be our fate if we fall from his grace.

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