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Dr Faustus Research Paper

Selling your soul to the devil seems a bit outrageous. The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus was a play written by Christopher Marlowe. It tells a story of the unfortunate outcome of Dr. Faustus selling his soul for power to a devil called Mephistophilis. Throughout the play, Faustus had many opportunities to repent and even back out on selling his soul. He met an old man that tried to get him to repent. Some say this man was God. One of the bigger questions readers had at the end of the book was, “What would Faustus have said to God in repentance before his death? ”

To answer this question the best way possible, facts and evidence must be found in order to truly figure out what Faustus would have possibly said to God. From the beginning of the play, Faustus was filled with the deadly sins sloth, pride, greed, and lust. He gave up on many professions because he was either to disinterested to go further in them or he thought he was better than the profession itself. Dr. Faustus was studying medicine, law, theology, and logic. To him, theology was of little importance. He thought that sin led to death. This may be why Faustus did not repent.

In the play, Faustus said that these professions were beneath him. He wanted more in his life. His longing for power brought him to a book of spells that showed him how to conjure demons. This eventually led Faustus to summon a demon to sell his soul. The deal with Mephistophilis stated that he would be Faustus’s servant for twenty-four year and then Faustus would give his soul to Lucifer. Without the complete understanding of his deal with Mephistophilis, Faustus soon began to regret selling his soul. He got the one element he desired most—power. However, this power did not grant Faustus the happiness he thought he would gain.

He questioned the truth of creation and Lucifer and if he was going to hell at all. When Faustus was told that he would be going to hell, he immediately showed signs of hesitation. At the end of the play, Faustus was on the verge of repentance to God. He was told that if he repented, he would be ripped to shreds. Towards the beginning of the play, Faustus praises Lucifer and trusts in him. In his final soliloquy, Faustus seems like he lost all faith and trust in his pal Lucifer. He did not want to go to hell. Faustus wanted to repent, but he was afraid something bad would happen.

Lucifer is the king of deceit, but God can guide us on the right path. Faustus was given two options: repent to God or be tortured in hell for eternity. The first option would be the better decision because Lucifer could have lied when he told Faustus that he would be ripped to shreds. Even if it was true, if Faustus repented, there was a possibility he could have been saved. Faustus could have tried anything to save him from hell because anything would be better than eternal damnation. Faustus would have said, “God, please forgive me for this awful sin against You.

I regret not listening to You and all of the diversions You sent down to me. I wish I would have listened. I wish I did not possess the deadly sins and give up on the many professions I had studied. I thought that You would kill me if I tried to repent. I just wanted power. My life will soon be over. I hope that You will save me from this awful death. All humans sin, ergo die. I know that I am your wayward son, but forgive me. ” In this speech, Faustus needed closure for himself. The old man, who was seen as God, told Faustus to give up necromancy else he be damned to hell.

The old man seems distressed while talking to Faustus because he tries to tell Faustus that he could be saved, even after offending God, if he repented. Before the old man leaves Faustus, he says that he was sad because Faustus would never seek forgiveness. Although there are many reasons why Faustus would repent, there are a plethora of reason he would not. First of all, Valdes and Cornelius showed Faustus the black magic and the necromantic books. Although the two men presented the books as great literature and convinced Faustus to use them, they did not tell him to use the books to summon a demon to sell his soul.

Faustus did this on his own. Ultimately, it was Faustus’s decision to resort to necromancy after giving up on the many professions. Before Mephistophilis shows up, he warns Faustus to not g proceed with the spell. Faustus ignores the warning and continues the spell. Mephistophilis spends the whole time with Faustus trying to get him to realize the consequences of what he is about to do. After trying to stop him, Mephistophilis stops and becomes Faustus’s slave. Right before Faustus is about to sign his deal with the demon, a good and bad angel come into the scene.

The good and bad angel and Faustus are talking about repentance. The good angel tells Faustus, “O, they are the means to bring thee unto heaven! ” (Marlowe, 17). The bad angel says in return that contrition and repentance are just theories. The bad angel says to Faustus, “… think of honour and of wealth. ” (Marlowe, 18). This was one of the lines that made Faustus greedy. When he heard the word “wealth”, he knew he had to sell his soul. This is where Faustus was seen with the deadly sins of greed. There are similar character in The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. Faustus and his servant Wagner is an example of this.

Faustus devises a plan to make his own servant that will give him power. Wagner has the same idea, but he does not sell his soul like Faustus does. Wagner, however, somehow finds a peasant named Robin who he makes him his servant. Two devils were conjured to guide and scare Robin into being Wagner’s servant. Both of these characters have the ability to use magic to conjure demons. This suggests that Faustus is not as special as he believes. Now, both Faustus and Wagner have servants of their own. The similarities between the two start to fade away when Faustus realizes that he is going to die.

Faustus gives all of his money to Wagner and prepares to die. Faustus dies in the end of the play, whereas Wagner does not. This could also lead to why Marlowe did not have Faustus repent; Wagner did not repent. Overall, if Faustus were to repent, he would ask God for forgiveness. He could, quite possibly, lie just to get out of going to hell and dying. Faustus is only human who posses the seven deadly sins. Sometimes humans make mistakes. We will never know if Faustus wanted to repent or what he would have said. As Christopher Marlowe wrote, “The hour finishes the day, the author finishes his work. ” (Marlowe, 75).

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