In the play Doctor Faustus the main character sells his soul to the devil and later dies and is sent to hell. A question that comes to mind when reading this book is, “Does Doctor Faustus have a Christian moral? ” Even though he is persuaded to sell his soul to the devil he still may have some Christian beliefs. Some of the dialogue in the play gives some signals that tell the reader if Faustus has a Christian moral. The Cultural Studies method is shown in this paper because we are talking about someone’s beliefs or morals.
In this play, Marlowe shows Dr. Faustus’s religious beliefs. In Act I, Faustus is given the chance to ask Mephostophilis whatever he wants to know. Faustus asks where hell is and he wants some information about hell. When the play starts Faustus is not scared of death and he later tells Mephostophilis “I think hell’s a fable” (Marlowe 43). You can also make the assumption that he believes that the only place you go after you die is to heaven. Towards the end of the play he believes that heaven and hell exists and that you can spend eternity there.
Faustus could be also thought of as an Atheist because during some of the acts of the play he denies that there is a God and he thinks of religion as a false ritual. Faustus even calls on God, “Ah my God… I would weep, but the devil drains my tears”(96). The part of the play that best describes his beliefs is right after he sells his soul to the devil and he deciding whether or not to repent. He states,” My heart is hardened, I cannot repent. Scarce can I name salvation, faith, or heaven. Swords, poison, halters, and envenomed my steel Are laid before me to dispatch myself……. I am resolved, Faustus shall not repent”(45).
When he does finally ask for forgiveness and wants to repent to God, he is denied and is forced to spend eternity in hell. The Cultural Studies method describes someone’s moral or beliefs. It can relate to other methods, but they are not as well described in this play. In the play we learn about what Faustus’ religious beliefs are and how it relates to Cultural Studies. The book was written during Shakespeare’s time and what they knew about Heaven or Hell is probably different than what we believe today. In the novel Doctor Faustus a doctor sells his soul to the devil because he wants power.
A question that may strike some readers is, “Does Dr. Faustus have a Christian moral? ” Many readers can say that he does not have a Christian moral because he sells his soul to the devil. Others can say that he does have a Christian moral because at the beginning of the play he believes in the existence of Heaven and Hell. Numerous scenes in the play give us some answers to this question. The Cultural Studies method is a good choice because we are talking about someone’s beliefs or morals. In this paper we are talking about a character’s religious beliefs. Link to another great paper!