A newly developing concept during Marlow's time was predestination and Marlow toys with this concept provoking questions in the religiously dogmatic society of the time. In the early 17th century play, Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlow develops within the main protagonist Faustus a constant indecisiveness on the concept of predestination in order to leave his fate and the reason for it seemingly undetermined. However, it is the incapability of Faustus to choose to believe in the ever existent opportunity to repent and prevent damnation that seals his fate.
The misinterpretation of predestination can easily lead one down an even worse path as by its very definition the choices one makes have already been decided. Faustus thinks that because he has already "incurred eternal death" that he no longer has a choice to do any good or turn his life around so he delves deeper into sin when he "surrenders up to [Lucifer] his soul" (1.3 88, 90). At this point Faustus is beginning to lose himself in the thinking that he has been predestined to go down this path and he cannot do anything. He begins making the choices that seals his fate. Although signing his soul off to the devil is not the final word on whether he shall be damned it definitely helps to drive into his mind that he does not have a choice. The constant influences and subtle manipulation from Lucifer and Mephistopheles surely do not help Faustus in overcoming the mental block that keeps him pushing down a path further from salvation. Faustus always has control over what happens but ignorance also helps Faustus become blind to the option of redemption and repentance that various people such as the scholars who try to point him in the right path alo...
... middle of paper ...
...control over his life it does not mean he will make the proper decision. His life was signed away but if he would continue his readings he would have known that Lucifer and Mephistopheles only hid that he had a choice because he still had a chance through repentance.
Marlow manages to create a debatable outcome in his story by constantly playing on the idea of predestination. At some points one may believe Faustus has a chance and at other moments it seems almost obvious that he really has no choice. Overall though Faustus himself proves that he by choice determines his own fate. The choice of repentance could have been chosen rather easily at many points during the play but he chooses not to believe that he has a chance. Marlow purposely employs the indecisiveness within Faustus to lightly cloak his fate, but Marlow does show that Faustus did indeed choose his fate.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- It seems as if Bernard Knox is inside Sophocles mind when he states that tragedy deals with, “the problem of man’s true stature, his proper place in the universe” because in Oedipus the King Oedipus is unable to control the situations he is put in but is accountable for his crimes. Fate plays a major role in the tragedy because Oedipus does not have control over the statements of the Oracle, even if he believes otherwise. Also the flaw of Oedipus that he believes he has certainty of knowledge because of how he was come to be raised is a result of fate and something he could not control.... [tags: knowledge, fate, choices]
573 words (1.6 pages)
- In Christopher Marlowe’s play Doctor Faustus, Faustus faces harsh consequences at the end of the play. Faustus is damned for all eternity. It is quite difficult to put your fingers on rather his fate is a tragedy or justice served for all his sins. I want to say his fate was a tragedy because his fate changed into tragedy once he sold his soul for twenty-four years of knowledge and power. I wouldn't say it's a tragedy if he was a bad person and a sinner from the beginning. But I feel sympathy for Doctor Faustus and also sort of feel the connection between him and human being.... [tags: Fall From Grace, True Identity]
1702 words (4.9 pages)
- ... Most nights I felt dead. I stared at the hosiptal barelets fastened on my writsts. There was two of them. One from the emergancy room and one from the physc ward. They didn't want to let me leave, but I no longer showed signs of physical harm and they no longer could find a reason to keep me. I watched as the memories played through my mind, forcing myself to watch because I knew this was the last time I would have to face them. I watched as my life slowly faded into the deep abyss of lost memorys, as the months numbly passed by like minutes, and as my will to survive effortlessly slipped from my hadns.... [tags: personal narrative]
718 words (2.1 pages)
- Oedipus the King: Free Will or Fate. A common debate that still rages today is whether we as a species have free will or if some divine source, some call it fate, controls our destiny. The same debate applies to Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus. Does Oedipus control his actions, or are they predetermined by the gods. It’s that question that makes Oedipus a classic, and many different people think many different things. With all the oracles and talk of prophecies, its obvious that there is some divine intervention in Oedipus.... [tags: Destiny, Fate, Free Will, Free Choice]
617 words (1.8 pages)
- How Fate Disappointed in Macbeth How forceful was fate in the venerable Shakespearean tragedy Macbeth. Did it deprive either of the Macbeths of their ability to choose. This essay intends to answer these and other fate-related questions. In his critical volume, Macbeth: a Guide to the Play, H. R. Coursen explains the concept of Fate within the play: Macbeth's tragedy is not that he decides to kill Duncan but that he cannot become independent. Even if a weaker agency than God, he would be his own, himself alone.... [tags: Macbeth Destiny Fate Free Will Choice]
3029 words (8.7 pages)
- Free Will and Personal Responsibility in Faustus It can be argued that Doctor Faustus is damned from the moment of conception. His innate desire for knowledge inevitably leads to his downfall. He represents the common human dissatisfaction with being human and the struggle of accepting our lack of omnipotence and omniscience. Marlowe manipulates this struggle between the aspirations of one character of his time and the implications to Christianity in relation to its doctrine of heaven and hell.... [tags: Doctor Faustus Essays]
3313 words (9.5 pages)
- Doctor Faustus as Apollonian Hero How long will a man lie i' th' earth ere he rot. - Hamlet, V, i, 168 The Tragic History of Doctor Faustus is Marlowe's misreading of the drama of the morality tradition, the Faust legend, and, ironically, his own Tamburlaine plays. In the development of the character of Doctor Faustus, we find one of the supreme artistic achievements of English dramatic literature, a milestone of artistic creativity and originality. The force of Marlowe's dramatic poetry resonates with lyrical intensity in its dialectic between world and will.... [tags: Doctor Faustus]
4836 words (13.8 pages)
- Dr. Faustus and the Christian Moral 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.... [tags: Doctor Faustus Essays]
534 words (1.5 pages)
- Doctor Faustus' Changing Relationship with the Audience Any good drama will have interesting and multi-faceted characters; some go a step further by developing some of those characters throughout the story, using the events of the plot to change them in various ways. The audience (in the case of a play) follows the characters throughout, watching as they move away from their originally crafted personalities and become something different. Naturally, during this period, the audience's opinion of the characters will change, as will their sympathies.... [tags: Doctor Faustus Essays]
1531 words (4.4 pages)
- Destiny is no matter of chance. It’s a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved,” quoted by William Jennings Bryan. One of the most debated questions in history is whether our lives are ruled by fate or by own choice. William Shakespeare brings this question into play in his production Romeo and Juliet. Although fate does seam to be ruling over every situation, I believe that choice has more to do with this story then it’s really credited to. Even in the opening lines, this play drills into your head the inevitable outcome of the two lover’s deaths.... [tags: essays research papers]
943 words (2.7 pages)